Muhammadu Buhari has said his government will resort to military action if the bombing of oil installations in the Niger Delta region persists. Buhari stated this on Saturday during the Passing out Parade of Officer cadets of the 63 regular course at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
Buhari said the priority of his administration is to engage constructively with stakeholders for peace, but the option of military action will not be ruled out if the bombing continues. He said, “Recently, we flagged off the Clean-up of Ogoniland as part of the programmes to salvage the ravaged environment. We are convinced that undertaking such a monumental project will contribute to addressing the root causes of militancy in some parts of the Niger Delta region. However, for the avoidance of doubt let me state that other options are still open including decisive military action, if necessary, to deal with the criminal elements disguised in ethnic regalia to sabotage the country largely for their selfish and parochial interests. However, our priority, still remains constructive engagement of the stakeholders for peace.”
Buhari also recognised the Academy’s first set of graduating female cadets. “Today’s Passing Out Parade has an added significance because, for the first time in 52 years, this Academy is graduating female cadets who will be commissioned as regular officers into the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“While congratulating these soon-to-be pioneer female Regular Combatant officers for their courage and resilience in the past 5 years, I advise the Services to put in place adequate institutional mechanisms to evaluate the deployment or otherwise of our female officers in active combat roles. But we must be careful to carry public opinion with us and respect cultural sensitivities.”