President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government has the capacity to deploy massive force against Fulani bandits in the villages where they operate but has to put into consideration the lives of innocent citizens.
Buhari said his government’s limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.
Buhari said this in reaction to the abduction of over 300 Government Secondary Schoolgirls from Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara state on Friday.
In a statement signed on Friday and made available to newsmen by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, Buhari warned that no criminal group can be too strong for the government to defeat.
“No criminal group can be too strong to be defeated by the government,” he said.
Buhari lamented that the rule of engagement is the only thing standing between the country’s security forces and the criminals hiding in different forests across the North.
“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.”
President 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.”
Meanwhile the United Nations has condemned the attack and kidnap of the schoolgirls.
President of the UN General Assembly Ambassador Volkan Bozkir on Friday strongly condemned the abduction of 317 schoolgirls from Government Secondary in Jangebe, Zamfara State.