Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, has dismissed allegations of discriminatory military engagement against the people of the South East.
The submission came following rising allegation of harsh treatment of the people of the South East by security operatives deployed to the area to maintain peace.
He spoke, yesterday, at the resumed ministerial briefing anchored by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Irabor, who fielded sundry questions on negotiations with bandits in the North West where repentant Boko Haram members were being rehabilitated, said military operations in the South East were scaled up, noting that insecurity varies from region to region.
According to him, what one could find in the South East is different from what is obtainable in the North.
The CDS also distanced the military from Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, the Muslim cleric who had been leading negotiations with bandits, saying, “Gumi does not work for the military.”
He, however, added that the military would not prevent anyone from playing their part in the bid to tame the menace of insecurity in the country.
Pointing out that what was not acceptable to the military would be when such persons work at cross purposes with the security agencies, Irabor informed that despite the military engagement in the South East, he had led other discussions with people of the area.
While Nigerians have the right to pass their views to the government, they must not do so through the use of violence, he noted.
The CDS warned: “If anyone thinks they can try the armed forces, let him try the shape of the armed forces.”
On the alarm raised by Afenifere on proliferation of terrorists’ camps in Abuja, he urged Nigerians to see it as just a social media report. “That report is not true, though we are making sure that anyone that desires to do that does not succeed. It is not a true report.”
He confirmed that the military took delivery of the remaining six Tucano fighter jets from the United States (U.S.) on September 28.
On the rumoured death of Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP) leader, Abu Musab, he said, “Of course, I can authoritatively confirm to you that Abu Musab is dead and remains dead.”