The Nigerian military is, during every general election season, always under pressure to compromise the elections, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, has said. But the pressure, Mr Irabor said, will not deter the military from being professional and obeying civilian authority.
Mr Irabor, an army general, said this at the 61st session of the State House Ministerial Briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
The session was organised by the Presidential Communications Team.
Mr irabor, in response to a question by journalists, assured that the military would remain neutral as it has been since the current democratic dispensation.
He said military personnel face pressure through inducements but that measures are being put in place to ensure military officials comply with President Muhammadu Buhari‘s directive to maintain neutrality.
He said, “I am glad that you reiterated the commander in chief‘s directive to the armed forces. I am afraid you say you have a worry. Rather than worry, I would rather think that trust should be anchored. Why?
“Of course, there will always be pressure from all quarters, wanting to induce security forces, not just the military, the security force, the police. And that’s what criminal enterprise is all about. That is what something that is wrong is all about.
“But what makes the difference is the professional approach to dealing with those issues. And that is what the military we are committed to doing.
“Now, the reason why we have ramped up our training in that regard, sensitisation, a lot of engagement across, you know, the formations and units are being undertaken. And then, more so to articulate code of conduct for all our personnel, which has been done and distributed.
“So, what, why should they act before, during and after the elections? These are being codified in the SOP that have been issued to them. So, it remains the duty of the commanders to ensure that the directive, as indicated, and the contents of the SOP is adhered to by every personnel in the armed forces.
“So, please cease from worrying, rather trust and also engage others to trust that we will keep faith to these desires.”
300,000 person rescued from
Mr Irabor said about 300,000 people have been rescued from kidnappers through military operations and negotiations since 2014.
He said refugees who ran away from the North-east region because of insurgency have returned.
He stated that some insurgents are being trained and that they would graduate in February after which they would be reintegrated into the society.
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