The Nigerian Army High Command yesterday declared that the battle against Boko Haram and terrorism will be won. It however urged the citizenry to be patient as the development was a new phenomenon whereas the army is a conventionally trained force.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Kenneth Minimah who spoke at the opening of the COAS Third Quarterly Conference in Abuja reminded Nigerians expressing frustration over continued terror attacks that the military cannot just go about killing anybody simply because there is suspicion of involvement in terrorism.
“You see, the Nigerian Army is performing and checking these insurgents. I know the expectations of the Nigerian citizens but the expectation is rather too much in haste. We need some time; we need patience and you must know we are fighting terrorism. We are not fighting a conventional war. The Nigerian Army is a conventional and regular army.
“The terrorist is someone you do not know. It may be someone who sold food or fruit to you in the morning and by the afternoon he is the terrorist. We are having all that inter-play in the battle front in the North-East. We have to be conscious to separate the terrorists from the law abiding citizens and we also have human rights to protect.
“You just do not go out killing people, that they are terrorists. Some are innocent Nigerians. We are also bound by all the international treaties on human rights, therefore, we need time. I know the expectations of the Nigerian citizens is that this thing should be over by yesterday, but the reality is that it would not have been over by yesterday because of the structure and dynamics of fighting this type of terrorism.
“We are fighting Nigerian citizens, we are not fighting foreigners; so caution must be exercised. I appeal and assure that we will certainly surmount it but we also need support from the nation, from all segments of society and from the people including the media. And we need patience and time for us to do it. We also have the equipment and the federal government is introducing fresh and newer equipment to us which in a short while hopefully be there for use,” he said.
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