Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says the military would have to resort to force if the Niger Delta militants do not embrace the dialogue offer of the federal government.
Buratai made this known at the inauguration of the newly built ultra-modern 2 brigade headquarters complex and Olympic-sized swimming pool in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state capital, on Monday.
He was represented by Ibrahim Attahiru, general officer commanding 82 division.
The COAS urged militant groups in the region to shun violence in making their demands saying dialogue is the best option under a democratic dispensation.
“Government is still committed to dialogue and where this cannot go on – then there could be resort to other means,” he said.
“The non-kinetic (force) means has always been the source first before government can recourse to the kinetic means.
“So, there is need for the Niger Delta Avengers to see reason and dialogue with government,” he said.
Buratai said the Nigerian army would provide adequate security during the July 30 legislative re-run election.
He said the army had challenges included shortage of accommodation, offices in the discharge of its responsibilities
The COAS said despite the dwindling resources there were efforts at renovating dilapidated structures and building new ones.
“The newly built RSM quarters and brigade administrative headquarters will provide a conducive atmosphere for higher productivity by the officers and soldiers,” he said.
“Also, the Olympic-sized swimming pool will avail troops opportunity to continue to train and prepare for amphibious operation in our maritime environment.”
He commended Stevenson Olabanji, immediate past commander of 2 brigade Port- Harcourt, for completing the projects within six months.
Earlier, Olabanji, now the commander, 3 brigade, Kano, said he executed the projects so as to improve the operations of the brigade.
“On assumption of office, I thought it wise to build a structure that would accommodate all the staff branches and sub-units of the brigade,” he said.
“Similarly, the Olympic size swimming pool came about as a result of death of some soldiers who died because of their inability to swim.
“The swimming pool will enhance troops confidence and increase chances of survival in emergency situation during the conduct of operations on waterways and creeks.”