By Joy Baba
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen Kenneth Minimah has said the country is fighting fellow Nigerians in the current war against insurgency and not foreigners, adding that the terrorist are people we don’t know but lives amongst us.
Minimah stated this yesterday in Abuja, while declaring open the 3rd quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference, held at the Army Headquarters’ Command Mess.
The army chief urged Nigerians to be patient with the military, as according to him, the war they are facing now is not conventional war.
“We are fighting terrorism; and the terrorist is someone you don’t know. It may be somebody who sold coke, fruit or food to you in the morning and in the afternoon he is the terrorist.
“We are having all that in an inter-play, in the battle front in the North and we have to be conscious to separate the terrorists from the law-abiding citizens; and we also have human rights to protect.
“You just don’t go out killing people on the grounds that they are terrorists; some are innocent Nigerians. We are bound by all the international treaties of the human rights, therefore, we need time.
He said the military will certainly surmount this battle, adding that they also need support from all segments of society including the media.
Commenting on the recent reported desertion by troops in Maiduguri, he said desertion is part of warfare we must accept that soldiers have over time deserted battles.
He also said the army will not condone any act of indiscipline and unprofessional misconduct by troops, saying that the conduct of troops must be above board at all times, charging all commanders to put in measures in place to check acts of indiscipline and misconduct by personnel under their Command.