While speaking at the inauguration of the newly built ultra-modern 2 brigade headquarters complex and Olympic-sized swimming pool in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state, Buratai had urged Niger Delta militants to embrace the dialogue offer of the federal government or risk contending with the force of the army.
“Government is still committed to dialogue and where this cannot go on – then there could be resort to other means,” Ibrahim Attahiru, general officer commanding, 82 division, who represented him, had said.
“The non-kinetic (force) means has always been the source first before the government can recourse to the kinetic means. So, there is a need for the Niger Delta Avengers to see reason and dialogue with the government.”
But responding on Tuesday, MEND said such a statement is “insensitive, provocative, unprofessional and prejudicial to the fair outcome of the ongoing preliminary talks”.
“The attention of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been drawn to a statement made in Port Harcourt on Monday, July 25, 2016, by the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai to the effect that the Nigerian military authorities will resort to the use of force if dialogue to resolve the current Niger Delta crisis fails,” read a statement by the group, signed by Jomo Gbomo.