President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, said his administration is well capable of deploying massive force against Fulani bandits in the area where they operate, but considering the lives of innocent citizens, he won’t.
Buhari made this statement in reaction to the kidnapping of the over 300 Government Secondary Schoolgirls from Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara state on Friday.
The President said his government is limited in using force to address the banditry action in some part of the country is due to the fear of innocent villages and hostages whom the bandits have abducted.
Garba Shehu, the President’s aide, said in a signed statement et that no criminal group is too strong for the government to defeat.
“No criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government,” he said.
According to the President, the only thing standing between the country’s security forces and criminals hiding in the different forests across the country is the rule of engagement.
“The only thing standing between our security forces and the bandits are the rules of engagement.
“We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits,” he said, stressing that “our primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed.”
Buhari noted that “a hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.”