Talks with the commanders of terror groups form part of the “non-kinetic” aspect of ending Nigeria’s 13-year insurgency war, the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK) in the North-East, Major General Chris Musa has said.
Maj-Gen. Musa made this known on Saturday during a live appearance on Channels TV’s 2022 In Retrospect, an End-Of-Year special.
When asked whether talks should be held with terrorists or not, the Major General said, “Most definitely. You will find out that what we are facing now is a kind of insurgency that has run for 13 years.
“For us to be able to get this wrapped up, we need to be able to get the non-kinetic aspect and this non-kinetic aspect has to do with good governance, reaching out to the commanders of these groups including looking and searching out where their sponsors are.”
The major general said the insurgents including fighters of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province have realised that they cannot take over Nigeria.
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“They have seen within themselves that they cannot take out the Federal Republic of Nigeria, they cannot face the Armed Forces.
“So, it is good that we open other windows as we are doing this, there will be dialogue behind the doors. So that they give them a leeway to exit so that there will be peace because they know it is just a matter of time,” he said.
The theatre commander, however, said the military won’t compromise its stance on ransom payment, emphasising that the military won’t support the payment of ransom to marauders and kidnappers.
He said insurgents fizzle out during military operations and move into neighbouring countries only to return after military operations.
According to the theatre commander, the solution to terrorism in Nigeria should start with good parenting and good schools. He advised that needed capacity be built; schools should be in place, lectures given on security awareness in schools. He also stressed the importance of good governance, and the need for a database of citizens, amongst others.
“We need to go back to be able to build capacity from behind: our schools must be in place, we must have good governance, we must be able to curtail and understand who are Nigerians and how do we do this? Build up capacities,” Maj-Gen. Musa said.
“Every Nigerian must take ownership of what is going on: don’t throw blames but take ownership,” he said.