INSECURITY | Buratai to Nigerians: If We Want it to End, People’s Effort Must be Put into it

July 20, 2020
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*Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen TY Buratai…answering reporters’ questions at the Villa, Abuja, Monday, July 20, 2020

By Ngozi Ekhator with additional report from Villa

Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen TY Buratai, says ending insurgency in the Nortn-east rests squarely in the hands of Nigerians.

Speaking with State House Correspondents, Monday in Abuja after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Buratai said:  “Like I said, if we want it to end, the totality of the people’s effort must be put into it to see that insecurity in the country is reduced to the barest minimum.”

He frowned at the rather constant castigation of the army by the populace, the army chief, further sad: “But if we don’t do anything and continue to complain, and continue to accuse the agencies involved in fighting it, then we are not helping matters.

“You are supposed to find solutions as something is being done on daily basis. I assure you that we will soon reach the end of the tunnel and we will see the light that will improve the security situation in all parts of the country.”

Answering a specific question from the journalists, i.e., “What was the task given to you and how will you accomplish it? Can Nigeria win this war?”, Buratai explained: “This tasks are still ongoing and we will continue to deal with them. Securing our country is a task everybody knows, is to secure the country from any form of insecurity and in this case, you know the military task is very clear, to defend our country from external aggression, our territorial integrity and to come to the aid of civil authority of which we are doing.

“So, it’s the same task that we should end or curtail or bring to the barest minimum the issue of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and insurgency and we have been doing it for a long time. We are essentially supporting the police to ensure that our country is safe.

“As to whether banditry, terrorism and so on will end, I think it all depends. If Nigerians want it to end today, I can assure you it will end today if everybody joins hands because these bandits are not outside Nigeria, they are not from foreign land.

“These terrorists, 99 percent of them are Nigerians. These kidnappers I will say 100 percent of them are Nigerians. So it’s not just a military, security agency task to end the insecurity in this country. It’s only when it goes bad that we are called in, but everybody has the responsibility to handle that.

“Some of the insecurities are as old as history itself and it all depends on what you are doing to contain or defeat it at a particular time. It is the totality of your effort that will determine the escalation or containment of the insecurity in the country.

“It’s not today that we have been containing with armed robbery, as far as I know, armed robbery has been existing in this country even before we were born and it’s still going on. Kidnapping too is as old as the history of the country but it’s all depends on the level it’s been perpetuated at a particular time.

“Terrorism is relatively new and insurgency, we have had that experience before and we contained it, just like the different crisis we have had in different locations. We had the matasine issue, few uprising in history we have contained them, the unfortunate civil war has come to an end.

“So any other crisis will also come to an end. The terrorism, insurgency will come to an end but the important thing is that it’s been contained. It is not allowed to spread the way it use to be. Whatever that is happening, you can only be apprehensive and express discontentment where there is serious insecurity and nothing is being done.

“But if serious efforts is being done to contain the situation, I believe the right for any right thinking individual to do is to be hopeful and support the efforts of all the agencies that are involved in containing the situation.

“There are set backs that can occur in such military operations or any security operations but that not mean inability to handle it, incompetence to handle it, as long as the efforts are there and are visible, the support of all and sundry will be required to address it squarely.”

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