Following the destruction of oil pipelines and gas installations by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin, has said the Armed Forces would not negotiate with them.
Olonisakin spoke on Thursday at the inauguration of the procured 10 highlymilitarised Honker Scorpion vehicles, which were to be deployed to bases across the country in line with the Nigeria Air Force’s (NAF) new Base Defence Concept (BDC).
The CDS, who spoke alongside the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar and Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Logistics Command, Air vice Marshal Sani Ahmed, said the military’s defence architecture was still in place.
While stating that the military would rather enforce than negotiate with the NDA, he said they would also not take it lightly with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He said: “There are better ways to air their grievances than the way they go about it. The right way is to get necessary permit and protest.
If they are violent, we will not take it lightly with them.” On the newly acquired vehicles for base defence, he said:
“The vehicles being commissioned today were procured specifically for the purpose of enhancing security of the air assets within the area of their deployment.
“The equipment is certainly geared towards raising and maintaining the capability of the regiment troops as they contribute to our collective efforts to address the various security challenges confronting our nation.
“I must commend the CAS for this strategic initiative of providing troops with adequate equipment and for undertaking numerous other projects which culminate in actualising his vision for the NAF.
“I will like to say that I am very impressed with CAS’ achievements within the short period of assumption of office.
“The procurement of these Honker Airfield Defence vehicles is a testimony of the importance of NAF attaches to protection of its critical assets and force protection.”
On his part, Abubakar said: “Constitutionally, the NAF was established to provide security for all Nigerians. We will operate within that constitution and that all citizens in the Niger Delta region and all citizens are safe.”