The Federal Government has declared that it won`t be hiring mercenaries to fight insurgency, insisting that with the reform of the Armed Forces the country has enough personnel and resources to fight insurgency.
It was learnt that over 2,403 bandits have been killed by security forces since the current administration took off in 2015, therefore negotiating with bandits could suggest weakness and incapacity on the part of the government.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, March 11.
He said the services of mercenaries would not be required as the military has the firepower and expertise to defeat the insurgents.
Monguno’s clarification is coming on the heels of calls by Nigerians that the federal government should enlist military contractors to bring a quick end to the reign of insurgents.
The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, rekindled the debate on the need to employ mercenaries to assist troops in combating the insurgency. The governor’s advocacy for the recruitment of foreign fighters in the fight against insurgency was advanced at the North-East Governors’ Forum meeting in Bauchi last week.
Zulum, had earlier made a case for the employment of mercenaries while making reference to former President Goodluck Jonathan who used same mechanism during his administration to fight insurgency.
The House of Representatives, a week later, joined Zulum in demanding the recruitment of foreign mercenaries to assist in the fight against insurgency.
The House passed a resolution on Wednesday for the recruitment of foreign fighters following a motion moved by Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis, representing Maiduguri Metropolitan Federal Constituency.
The motion was adopted after it was put to a voice vote.
However, Monguno ruled out the federal government seeking the help of mercenaries in the renewed onslaught against Boko Haram.
According to him, it is pointless re-engaging the mercenaries in the fight against Boko Haram since Nigeria has enough resources to deal with the situation.
He further described bandits and insurgents as a murderous group of individuals who are keyed up on drugs, adding that there is nothing to negotiate with them.
“So, basically, what the government wants to rely upon is to deal with this issue by using all the assets – military assets, intelligence assets to eliminate these people, This Day live reports.
Monguno emphasised that negotiating with the criminals will suggest weakness and incapacity on the part of the government.
Meanwhile,The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Leo Irabor, has said the armed forces are in a joint force to tackle the security challenges confronting the nation.
“The armed forces of today demand that every of the services work together given that the threat that we face required partnership and collaboration. The misconceived ideas or opinions in the town by those who are uninformed to the effect that the armed forces are working in disparity group are not true”, he said.
Irabor lauded the armed forces for what they have achieved so far, urging them to do more. He also urged them to ensure that they overcome the security challenges facing the country within the shortest time possible.