General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff, has acknowledged that the security services and the military are frequently pressured to make concessions during elections through a variety of financial inducements, but he has urged Nigerians to maintain their faith in the military as it works to uphold neutrality in accordance with the president’s directive.
The Chief of Defense Staff stated that personnel are being trained to adhere to the established rules of engagement before, during, and after the elections while providing an update on the Military’s progress in the fight against insurgency, terrorism, and banditry during today’s Ministerial Weekly Briefing.
The CDS also discloses that since 2016, almost 300,000 people have been released from captors’ control, and refugees who fled the northeast due to insurgency have begun to return.
He acknowledges that there are still attempts at internal sabotage within the military, but he claims they have failed. For this reason, he refutes a recent accusation made by a global news outlet that the military performed over 10,000 illegal abortions on women who had been affected by the conflict in the North East.
Since he was the military commander in charge of Operation Lafia Dole during 2016 and 2017, he claims that it is impossible for the military to have been involved in a planned abortion program since 2013. He also claims that he was unaware of any such operation during that time.
Therefore, he rejects the story in its entirety, pointing out that the military is aware of outsiders who want unrest to brew in the nation.
The CDS also brought up the purported Lekki toll gate massacre in 2020, arguing that the Nigerian military is more interested in defending the populace than it is in killing its own people.
The military’s efforts to combat crude oil theft are paying off, he continued, as seen by the rise in daily crude oil production of 1.6 million barrels.