President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured Nigerians that withdrawal of the military from areas where peace had been restored will not be done in a manner that will expose communities to more risks of attacks.
The president in a statement issued by his office on Friday said that the withdrawal exercise would be gradual and carefully planned, not abrupt or arbitrary to jeopardise the success already recorded by the military.
Reacting to concerns and appeals from governors and community leaders over the proposed withdrawal, Buhari said that the “administration will not abandon citizens in need of protection.”
He urged Nigerians, especially public affairs analysts, to carefully study the statement following a security council meeting with service chiefs that the withdrawal of troops will be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace had returned to enable civil authorities assume full control.
President Buhari said that where it is determined that the withdrawal will not in any way jeopardize peace already achieved, the military pull out will be in a careful and gradual way.
“You don’t need to worry. We will not expose our people and their communities to harm or danger,” the President assured.
“The withdrawal is to allow the military focus on its primary duty of defending the nation against external aggression. It is the duty of the police to handle internal security since Nigeria is not at war.
“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will support the police to provide internal security. When it is time to withdraw, nothing will be rushed,’’ he added.