Nigeria: Boko Haram - We're Not Overwhelmed, DHQ Replies Governors

4 December 2020

The Defence Headquarters has faulted the statement credited to the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, that the military was overstretched.

Coordinator, Defence Military Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, while fielding questions from reporters at a briefing in Abuja Thursday, also noted that only the Federal Government could decide on engagement of foreign mercenaries to fight the BokoHaram insurgency.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum had demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari engage foreign mercenaries, in the wake of the Saturday's killings of many rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram terrorists.

He said" "Our bosses that engaged us said we are overstretched, it is left to them. It is not for the military to say we are overstretched; I am not overstretched. If I say, I am overstretched, that means, I don't want to work. And if I say, I am not overstretched, that means, I am under-utilized".

Enenche said the military had no business debating the proposal of recruiting foreign mercenaries to tackle insurgents, saying that the troops are diligently prosecuting the war, and focused on victory.

According to him, "Request or proposal to engage mercenaries, that is at a very high level. The kind of armed forces and security agencies you have now is normally determined by the people. It (engagement of mercenaries) is not in our powers.

"It is a kind of force package; it is what the government wants. It is not for the military to begin to contend. No armed forces anywhere will tell the people, 'this is how we want to operate.' The legislators, the National Security Council, will decide on it".

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