Nigeria will not seek the services of mercenaries to fight the Boko Haram terrorists according to some Borno elders, leaders of thought and security experts who have countered the National Security Adviser, retired Major General Babagana Monguno.
They said it would be difficult to end the almost 12-year-old insurgency without engaging mercenaries as was done ahead of the 2015 general elections.
General Monguno on Thursday ruled out negotiation with bandits and engagement of mercenaries in the fight against insurgents and other security breaches in the country, saying Nigeria had enough military power to address its security challenges.
He stated this during the third edition of the Villa media briefing at the State House, Abuja.
Monguno, while reacting to a question on renewed calls by the North East governors on the federal government to engage mercenaries to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists, said: “The president’s view and the directive is that we will not engage mercenaries when we have our own people to deal with these problems.
“We have the personnel and resources, and the president has given a new lease of life to the armed forces.”
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, the chairman of North East Governors Forum, had on Wednesday, March 3, called on the federal government to bring in mercenaries to help end the Boko Haram menace.
According to Zulum, “As it is now, especially in Borno State, violence being perpetrated by the insurgents seems to be on the increase, both in scope and viciousness, and it has become a matter of tactical necessity for the new service chiefs to devise new offensive strategies to counter the current attacks and forestall any future attacks.
“Undoubtedly, the commitment of our military to the war against the insurgency is unquestionable and their determination to succeed is undeniable, as they have considered and acted upon a full range of options to deal with the insurgency.
“However, with the current escalation of deadly attacks by the terrorists, the various courses of action being pursued seem to have some limitations in terms of the expected impact; hence the need for a new set of pragmatic and result-oriented initiatives to completely subdue the terrorists and ultimately end the insurgency.
“The government should also seek support from neighbouring countries such as the Republic of Chad, Cameroon and Niger with a view to providing a joint action that will look into the possibility of ending this crisis.
“The federal government has to look into the possibility of involving mercenaries with a view to ending this insurgency because it seems that the commitment is not there.
“Therefore, for us to end this insurgency, we must be committed enough, we must bring in external support to ensure that mercenaries are hired to end this insurgency,” he said