The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Friday, declared that human rights violations allegations levelled against the Nigerian military by Reuters, were not only shocking but also spurious.
Irabor said this when he appeared before the National Human Rights Commission investigative panel on rights violations in counter-insurgency operations by the military in the North-East.
The commission inaugurated the panel on February 8, 2023, following the allegations of gross human rights violations contained in the three-part report published in Dec. 2022 on military operations in the North-East by media group Reuters hence the panel.
”The allegations came as a rude shock to me. It is a rude shock to me that someone could orchestrate such a report.
”There are strange allusions, if they say we want to stop the regeneration of Boko Haram children, on what grounds?
”We are not responsible for the stigmatisation of the women who bore children by Boko Haram insurgents, we don’t know them” he said.
Answering Reuters’ claims that they interviewed some officers who gave them such information about abortions, he said those officers should be brought to the panel.
”Who are the officers, I will give them immunity to come and testify before the panel on what they have alleged.
”Throughout my stay as a commander, I never heard of who are referred to as wives of Boko Haram insurgents,” he said.
He told the panel that the army worked in a hierarchical manner, there is nothing written or verbal about such programmes as claimed by Reuters.
”I never witnessed it, it is a strange allusion to the arrangement within the armed forces. We have disciplined procedures, if the officer saddled with responsibility did not report how do I know?
”The military facility under my control is open. There is nothing secretive going on there.
”Whoever will disparage the men and women of the armed forces who have put their lives in the forefront, is doing a damage.
”We are dealing with a professional armed,” he said.