The Nigerian military has said it is not the business of its personnel to stop agitations by secessionists.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor stated this in Owerri, Imo State capital, during an interactive session with retired senior military officers from the South East geo-political zone.
Irabor, who noted that there are constitutional provisions to deal with agitating groups, stressed that the military would not, however, tolerate any act of violence.
This is just as the former Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (Retd) said war won’t solve the current issues in the country.
“It is not the job of the military to stop anybody who wants to agitate. It’s a political thing, but what we are against is having to use the instruments of violence to bring about such agitations.
“We have a constitution that guarantees us avenues to ventilate any grievance. Why do you have to kill before you achieve your desire?
“So, anyone outside the provisions of the constitution, of course, we as army officers or security agents won’t allow that. It is out of place and we will use anyone who will use instruments of violence to achieve any agenda,” Irabor said.
The CDS expressed optimism that the results of the interactions to be held in the six geo-political zones would assist the military in fashioning out ways of resolving the myriad of security issues in the country.
On his part, the former army chief, Ihejirika, said that history shows war has never solved any problem any country might be facing.
He said, “War had never been an option for settling political issues or any issues whatsoever. Why do we have to go to war when we know that we can resolve the issues at a roundtable. So, it’s better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.”
Earlier in a welcome address, the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja described the retired officers as key stakeholders in the security business.