The Federal Government has restated its commitment towards riding the country of terrorists and criminal elements through improved intelligence gathering and effective military operations, saying it would not be adopting suggestions from different quarters on negotiations with terrorists.
It explained that contrary to the approach being adopted by other tiers of governments in securing their territories, the apex government was not interested in giving those terrorising the country a soft landing through negotiations.
The National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), said that adopting such options would further embolden the criminals and portray the government as incapacitated of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
Briefing journalists on Thursday at State House in Aso Villa, Abuja, Monguno maintained that since all subtle approaches have failed, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would not hesitate to deploy maximum force after the terrorists.
He said that it was out of place for the government to be seeking negotiations with terrorists who are only out to kill, main, and wreak unimaginable havoc across the country.
“The government is tackling the problem of insecurity, we’ve said this many times that there are two phases in solving this problem –the soft approach: talking, negotiating, and so on and so forth. While the government is not averse to talking to these entities, these human beings, I have to be very honest, the government has to apply its weight, that force that is required because you can’t even talk with people who are unreliable, who will turn out to do a different thing and people who will continue to hurt the society.
“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. If along the line, some of them are ready to come out and talk and negotiate, when the time comes, we will do that but for now, we can’t keep on dwelling on ‘Let’s dialogue’.
“Psychologically, it is not even good for us, it paints the picture of weakness, it paints the picture of incapacity and I, just like the governor of Kaduna State said, do not see any reason why we cannot, with what we have, deal with these elements.
“These are not people who are looking for anything that is genuine (or) legitimate; these are people who are just out to perform atrocities, to take calculated measures to inflict pain, violence on people. At the slightest opportunity, they go haywire. And so, it is important for us to realize that we are dealing with people who are not looking for anything, people who without provocation will give birth to their homicidal instincts. We must deal with them the way they have to be dealt with,” the statement said.