Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, has pointed out that the Armed Forces have no competence to dialogue with the Boko Haram sector.
Speaking in Maiduguri, Borno State, which is the principal enclave of Boko Haram, he said that the armed forces are trained for purposes related to absolute protection of Nigeria’s sovereignty and territory.
“It is the federal government who has people who can talk to boko haram, who can sit at the table and deliberate, we are not trained for that,” Air Chief Marshall Petinrin said. “Federal government is federal government; they own everybody and everything, if they decide to dialogue they can dialogue, but what I am saying is that as far as the security forces are concerned, ours is to ensure there is peace, nobody has told us to dialogue with anybody and we work based on order. We are not trained to conduct dialogue as soldiers.”
He further noted the complexities of terrorism, saying of terrorism and issues of criminality, “Once people get it introduced to the society, the society continues to be on the guard, it is like armed robbery, after the civil war, armed robbery started in the country and till now it is still with us.
Nevertheless, he warned the Boko Haram sect that they cannot triumph in their insurgency, and urged them to be better citizens and demand change by forming their own political party.
He urged Nigerians to be vigilant and for everyone to play his part in the quest for stability.