- Says he was handed a badly managed anti-insurgency fight in North-east
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that decisive military action was still an option to deal with militancy in Niger Delta if militants continued with sabotage.
The president gave the warning on Saturday at the Passing out Parade of 133 Cadets of 63rd Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
Buhari, who expressed happiness that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East was being defeated, however, noted that militancy and other forms of emerging threats, including kidnapping and cattle rustling, were negatively impacting the nation’s economy.
President Buhari stressed that, the activities of the militants has badly affected the Nigerian economy and must be stopped.
He said the clean-up of the Ogoniland was one of the ways to deal with root causes of militancy in the region.
“However, for avoidance of doubt, let me state that other options are still open, including decisive military action.
“Today, criminal elements disguise in ethnic regalia to sabotage the country, largely for their selfish and parochial interests.
“I reiterate the call on all Nigerians to give peace a chance and jettison negative tendencies and join government’s efforts aimed at addressing the numerous challenges in the task of building a better Nigeria”, Buhari said.
The president, however, added that his administration would prioritise constructive engagement of relevant stakeholders in dialogue to address issues.
On insurgency in the North East, the president said although his administration “inherited a badly managed Boko Haram”, the capacity of the insurgents to launch attack had been “significantly curtailed.”
He also said that their capacity to take territories had been knocked out, adding that ongoing operations were to clear remnants of the terrorists from their hideouts.
Buhari said although terrorism was a global challenge which needed multifaceted approach, the role of the military was paramount in combating it.
The president charged the newly commissioned officers to remain apolitical, patriotic and loyal to the nation at all times.
He reminded them that they no longer belong to themselves, their parents, families, tribes and villages but the nation and be ready to pay the supreme sacrifice if the need arises.)
He told the 128 newly commissioned officers that it was time to pay back what the country and their parents had invested in them.
Among the newly commissioned officers were the first set of 19 female regular combatant officers.
Buhari told them that they were joining the military at a time the country needed them.
He said: “The journey into the military career that you are starting today is turbulent and challenging, but interesting. Application of your training here in the academy will certainly see you through the journey.
“Similarly, you must be of good character as you move out of this reputable academy. Your character will determine how far you will go in your career pursuit. Maintain discipline and loyalty to one Nigeria.”