The Defence Headquarters has declared that the final decision on bringing mercenaries to assist in the fight against Boko Haram terrorists can only be taken by the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This position was made known in Abuja on Thursday by Maj. Gen. John Enenche during the weekly press briefing on activities of the Nigerian military in combating insecurity in the country.
Naija News recalls following the Boko Haram killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State last Saturday and subsequent discovery of 35 decomposing bodies, Governor Babagana Zulum had suggested that the foreign mercenaries should be engaged in the fight against the insurgents.
His position was also supported by some governors of the North-East State when they paid him a condolence visit.
But while answering a question from journalists on Thursday based on the demand by the Governors for a private army to be brought in to tackle the terrorists, Enenche explained that it was left to the federal government to make the decision.
“Request or proposal to engage mercenaries, that is at a very high level. The kind of armed forces and security agencies you have now is normally determined by the people.
”It (engagement of mercenaries) is not in our powers. It is a kind of force package; it is what the government wants. It is not for the military to begin to contend.”
“No armed forces anywhere will tell the people, ‘this is how we want to operate.’ The legislators, National Security Council, will decide on it,” he submitted.
He added that the military has weakened the position of the terrorists and would continue to battle them.
Asked further if the soldiers were overstretched as suggested on Wednesday by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State who is also the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Enenche replied that “It is not for the military to say, we are overstretched; I am not overstretched. If I say, I am overstretched, that means, I don’t want to work. And if I say, I am not overstretched, that means, I am under-utilised.”