Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai yesterday warned that the Army will use force if the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other militant groups reject dialogue with the Federal Government.
Besides, Gen. Buratai said, the army will support civil authority during the elections in eight local governments, should there be a request for help.
According to the Nation, Gen. Buratai, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division, Enugu, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, spoke yesterday after inaugurating the two-storey administrative headquarters complex, Olympic-size swimming pool and two other projects at the 2 Brigade of the Army, in Rivers State.
The army chief said:
“Government is still committed to dialogue (with Niger Delta militants). Whereby this cannot go on, then there could be resort to other means. The non-kinetic means has always been the source first, before government can recourse to the kinetic means (dropping bombs and using bullets, using lethal force/full military action/war or killing people).
“So, there is the need for the Niger Delta Avengers to see reason and dialogue with government.
“Each time the army goes out to work, it works in support of the civil authority and we will continue to do that. If there is a need for the military authority to support the civil authority (during Rivers July 30 rerun), based on need from the police, we will continue to do just that.”