The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Friday, that; the failure of security forces to move against bandits terrorising parts of the country has been linked to the possibility of having heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Shehu quoted the president as saying, “We have the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operate, but our limitation is the fear of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.”
According to the statement, President Buhari also described the latest abduction of hundreds of students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State as inhumane and totally unacceptable.
The president insisted that no group was too strong to be defeated by government.
Revealing that Buhari noted that his “primary objective is to get the hostages safe, alive and unharmed”, he said further: “A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors.
“Let them (bandits) not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government. They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution.”