Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, Lucky Irabor, a General, has insisted in a televised interview that men of the Nigerian Army, drafted to help quell the communal clash between Nko and Onyeadama communities, were not involved in allegations of rape and destruction of houses in Nko community, contrary to reports making the rounds.
Irabor who spoke as guest on Nigerian television station, AriseTV, came clear that “the incident in Nko community of CRS as well as Obubra…I am aware. The troops were never involved in any issue of raping and destruction, that is not correct.”
“What is the business of the military in being in a communal clash? But of course because lives were being lost and we have a military deployment around those areas, it was on the basis of that that the Commanding Officer of the unit, went to Nko to address the problem that they have. Now on getting to the scene, in one of the communities, for whatever reason or because they were armed, they shot at the Commanding Officer, wounded him and also wounded five soldiers”, he stated.
He went on to say that, “…no officer will see his men wounded when he has come to keep the peace. No soldier will stand idle and then watch citizens not only unleashing mayhem on themselves but equally taking up arms against those who have come to bring sanity to the environment. It was at this point that they insisted that those who shot the Commanding Officer and the soldiers should be apprehended.”
“In fact let me tell you, in one of those communities, a former Chief of Naval Staff comes from there. So would you think that the Armed Forces that he was a part of will now want to go and destroy his community? No. But you see, these are reports being peddled. Don’t forget that there are two communities that are involved, but what is being peddled is that the military is destroying one community. It only tells you that perhaps some individuals who are not happy with the intervention of the military, have come up with falsehood and propaganda. Let me assure Nigerians that the military is apolitical, we are there to give support to the police especially in the case of Nko and Obubra”, he concluded.
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