The Nigeria military says it supports the talks between the federal government and Niger Delta militants, but it will not relent in making criminals “regret the consequences of their evil action”.
Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesman, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
There have been attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta despite a truce between the government and some militant groups.
In an obvious response to this, Abubakar assured citizens that the military was capable of defending them and critical infrastructure.
“The defence headquarters has re-emphasised that military will continue to abide by the ongoing negotiation effort of the federal government with militants in order to have peaceful settlement of the Niger Delta problem,” he said.
“However, while trying to achieve this feat, the military would not take kindly to any individual or group taking military’s good gesture of adherence to ceasefire and peaceful disposition to the impasse for granted, otherwise military will respond proportionately to any armed attacks against its location in a decisive but professional manner in line with its constitutional mandate of defending innocent citizens as well as national critical infrastructure.
“It is also instructive to state that the armed forces have the capacity to defend themselves just as they did recently when a group of misguided elements under the militancy guise attacked its location at Efut Esighi waterfront in Bakassi local government area of Cross River state where they paid dearly for their evil act.
“The armed forces, therefore, warn various belligerent groups in either the Niger Delta or any other part of the nation to desist from any act capable of jeopardising peace and security of our country or they will regret the consequences of their evil action.
“The armed forces of Nigeria would continue to partner with peace-minded groups and stakeholders to bring lasting peace in any security threatened areas or locations.”
Last Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed not to allow militants to hold the country to ransom.