The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that the Nigerian Army would not hesitate to use force should the dialogue between the Federal Government and militants fail.
Buratai also appealed to the Niger Delta militants to embrace democratic means in their demands and desist from engaging in violence.
The army chief made this remark in Port Harcourt on Monday at the commissioning of a modern 2 Brigade headquarter complex with an Olympic size swimming pool.
He explained that, though, the Federal Government was committed to negotiation, the use of force had always been the first action before dialogue.
Buratai added that it was necessary for the militant groups in the oil rich region to take advantage of the government’s readiness to engage them in a dialogue.
“Government is still committed to dialogue and whereby this cannot go on – then there could be resort to other means. The non-kinetic (force) means has always been the source first before government can recourse to the kinetic means.
“So, there is need for the Niger Delta Avengers to see reason and dialogue with government,” the Chief of Army Staff insisted.
Buratai, who was represented at the occasion by the General Officer Commanding 82 Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, pointed out that the military was ready to provide its services for the legislative rerun in Rivers State if it was called upon to do so.
He lamented that the army was facing shortage of accommodation, offices and other facilities needed for optimal performance by troops.
According to him, “The newly built RSM accommodation quarters and brigade administrative headquarters will provide a conducive atmosphere for higher productivity by officers and soldiers.