Lekki Massacre: Soldiers not policemen, CDS Irabor defends military

Gen. Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff, on Tuesday in Benin said Nigerians should continue to trust the Armed Forces in spite of reports making the rounds of the Army indictment in the massacre at Lekki Toll Gate during the #EndSARs protest last year.

Irabor, fielding questions from reporters, said that this was because the Armed Forces were not the police, adding that they were only called out when there was the need to.

He noted that the #EndSARs report, released by the Lagos state panel in his view, was released through a wrong channel.

According to him, whether it’s a true report, I can’t tell. But I will like to indicate that the normal procedure is to have such a report submitted to the convening authority.

“Then there will be a white paper presented based on which one can then make informed comment.

“But whatever it is, currently, I will like to indicate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional armed Forces which remain committed to constitutional mandate”.

He said that in view of this, Nigerians should not make disparaging remarks regarding the Armed Forces.

“If there are issues of course, we address them within the ambit of the divisions.

“It will not be right to disparage men and women who have worked so hard to ensure that the territorial integrity of the nation is kept intact.

“So until I see the full report, I may not be able to say anything. But I can assure you that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is well disciplined and do not engage in ignoble act,” Irabor said.

“I can assure that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are well-disciplined and we do not engage in any ignoble acts. If Nigerians do not trust us, then we won’t be doing what we are doing.

“We need to understand that the Armed Forces are there to keep the peace, to provide the ambiance that will enable each Nigerian to live his or her desires in peace and harmony.

“So let us not make inciting comments that will put the entire space on fire. That’s not right.”

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