Military Will Resist Violence In Form Of Agitations And Secession, CDS Warns
Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor has warned that the country’s security authorities will not tolerate any form of violence in the guise of agitations and secessionists’ threats, urging people to channel their grievances via the right quarters.
General Irabor made the remark when he met with retired senior military officers in the Southeast in Owerri, the Imo State capital on Thursday.
“The military will resist any attempt by anybody, group or individual wanting to use the instrument of violence against the state, that we will not allow,” the CDS noted but added that the military is not against peaceful agitations.
“Again, there are provisions for anyone who believes that he has certain desires within the confines of the arrangement as enshrined in the Constitution to ventilate such views.
“So this is the reason why we think that violence is not the way to go, we are appealing to everyone to seek the course of rule of law to bring about whatever his agitations are.”
The CDS described retired military officers as valuable assets in the country’s fight against criminality. He said the officers, having served the nation, have a crucial role to play in quelling agitations and stamping out crime in Nigeria.
“Given the current dynamics of insecurity, the asymmetric nature of its spread, dit behooves retired senior officers to advise us on the way forward towards for their containment,” he added.
”Yes, the Armed Forces, just at it was earlier pointed out, are at the forefront of addressing these security threats but we also believe that the feedback coming from you will be very critical in redressing these security issues.”
Crackdown On Dissidents
Separatist agitations have gathered steam in the southern part of the country, further compounding Nigeria’s security challenges which have lingered for years.
In the southeast, members of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu are agitating for the creation of the Biafran nation from the region while Sunday ‘Igboho’ Adeyemo is leading calls for the carving out of a Yoruba nation from the southwest.
But the Nigerian government which recently launched a clampdown on secessionist movements in the West African country, has vowed to defend the nation’s sovereignty.
The move seems to be yielding fruits as Kanu has been extradited to Nigeria -after jumping bail in 2017 – to face charges of “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.”
‘Igboho’s house in Ibadan was equally raided by the Department of State Services (DSS), with arms and ammunition recovered from the apartment. He was declared wanted by the Nigerian authorities and subsequently arrested in neigbouring Benin Republic weeks later.
Critics have faulted the crackdown, insisting the move may cause more troubles for the country.
“What is wrong in canvassing for self-determination so long as such agitation is devoid of violence?” the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere asked following the raid on Igboho’s house.
“The constitution the country is running guarantees the right of every Nigerian to express an opinion and even carry out rallies as long as such is done without violence.”