Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday, said that the Nigerian Army would not succeed in the counter insurgency war in the North-East and the battle against the bandits in the North-West, unless it received the full cooperation of the civilian population in these regions.
Buratai, who stated this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the civilian population had a big role to play in ending the evils of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery in the society.
The COAS, who was at the Presidential Villa to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the ongoing military operations in the two regions, disclosed that the troops were working hard to contain the conflicts, but needed all hands to be on deck for the war to be won.
He acknowledged the public outcry and appeals to the military to bring the war against terrorism, insurgency and banditry to an end, but said that overcoming these security challenges will depend on the people.
“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 lands. These terrorists, 99 per cent of them are Nigerians. These kidnappers, I will say 100 per cent of them are Nigerians.
“So it’s not just a military, security agency’s 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 it.
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 contending 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,