President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured Nigerians that the planned withdrawal of the military from areas where peace had been restored would not be done in a manner that would expose communities to more risks of attacks.
The President said the withdraw 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, President Buhari said 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 last week, that the withdrawal of troops would be done after an “assessment” to determine areas where peace had returned to enable civil authorities assume full control.
President Buhari said where it was determined that the withdrawal would not in any way jeopardise peace already achieved, the military pull out would 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.