By Chinonso Alozie – Owerri
The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, on Thursday said “it is not the job of the military to stop anyone from agitation for whatever he so wishes, it is a political thing”.
“But what we are against is having to use the instrument of violence to bring about the agitation”.
Irabor said this in Owerri, during a Security meeting with retired Senior Military Officers in the South-East zone.
The CDS said the meeting was part of the collaborative effort towards addressing the security challenges troubling the country.
The CDS however stated that the military would not tolerate killing innocent citizens in the name of agitation.
He added that whoever wants to agitate should take advantage of the provisions of the constitution in doing that and not by carrying out violence on people to achieve their aims.
“We have a Constitution and the Constitution enables us to present whatever grievances that we have.
“So anyone going outside the provision of the Constitution of course we as military and other security agencies won’t allow that. Why do you have to kill in order to achieve your desires.
“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.
“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.”
In his remark, the former Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike said: “I am happy to note that the Civil-military cooperation department which I have established as the Chief of Army Staff has grown and today playing a major role in interfacing between the military and civil society.”
Earlier in his speech, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja, GOC 82 Division of the Nigerian Army said the security meeting which had taken place in other regions of the country, “is aimed at brainstorming on possible and lasting solutions to the prevailing security threats in the region.”