Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has advised politicians and certain segment of the populace, who still think that the Nigerian Military has that ambition of delving into the political arena, to forget it, as such thinking and belief were now archaic.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is a creation of the constitution and we are subject to the constitution. In the past, there had been certain circumstances, which people thought encouraged the military’s foray into politics. Some people still think the same should apply. But that thinking is archaic.”
Speaking when the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, paid him a courtesy visit, the CDS said: “Since 1999, there has been an incremental and positive socialization of the Armed Forces and we are not there yet in terms of perfection because no mortal can certainly be perfect. But I think within the grasp of professional extents, we remain on the upward trajectory.
“Not just because of the commitment that we have made by virtue of the oath and the ethos of our existence as an Armed Forces, we believe that on an incremental basis, we should work on ourselves, look at the mirror and evaluate ourselves to see what our performances have been and see what level we need to attain and benchmark all our activities and actions.
Gen Irabor noted that with the progress made by the military in restoring peace in the country and creating the enabling environment, “In no distant time, you (Nigerian’s) will begin to see a gradual reduction of the military in internal security space, giving more room for the Police to do the work.
“I am glad there is a reversal of the threats and security challenges confronting the country. We are making gains and we will continue to make the gains.
“We are hoping that never again will we have what we saw in the past, where it was becoming as if the nation’s security architecture was greatly in peril to the extent that we almost become helpless.”
On the 2023 general elections, the CDS told the NBA delegation, “We have been working very closely with the Police and INEC. The Police remains the lead law enforcement agency in that exercise.
“We remain subject to the civil authority, we are men and women of the law, obeying the constitution and ensuring that the democratic values are protected and advanced.
“I believe that under your leadership, the NBA will transform to such an extent that critical value addition will be noticed in the processes of adjudication of criminal justice in the light of the fight against terrorism, insurgency and other related cases, so that there would be a huge value in content that would be brought into the orderly disposition of our country.”
Earlier, the NBA President disclosed: “The armed forces of Nigeria are one of the institutions we are very proud of because they have sworn to protect the territorial integrity of the country. They have been laying down their lives to defend the existence of Nigeria. We have come to identify with the excellent work that the armed forces are doing and the sacrifice of upholding and promoting the rule of law.
“You have defended the integrity of this country. You have made us proud in Lebanon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Mali. Are we where we ought to be as a nation? Are we where the military ought to be? There are certainly challenges here and there, but it is more discerning for every Nigerian to say a big thank you to the military.
“In the North East peace is returning. In the North West, sanity is being restored.”