Following their oat of office today, Chief of Defense Staff General Lucky Irabor has said that the Nigerian Armed Forces will never in any way leave the peace and security of the nation in the hands of the terrorists.
General Irabor, who spoke with State House correspondents after being decorated with his new rank by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja said the Armed Forces will determine the peace and will not leave it in the hands of the terrorists.
He was before his appointment as CDS a Major General.
Fielding question on the role played by the Nigerian military in the recent negotiations that led to the release of the school children from their abductors, he said that the security agencies built bridges across various divides.
According to him, “Peace and security is not just the security of the borders alone. It comes with having to build bridges across various divides.
“We as members of the Armed Forces will never in any way demand peace and security of our nation in the hands of the terrorists. Rather it is we that will determine the peace and not for us to leave it in the hands of the terrorists.”
Also answering question on the next big step to be taken to secure the country General Irabor said,” I’m glad you talk about the next big step. Nigerians expect us to bring about peace and security in concert with other security agencies that we will do. We can’t live in fear. And we will ensure that whatever brings fear to Nigerians before now will be a thing of the past.”
He, however, declined to reveal how he intends to achieve that, and simply said,” That is the trump card that I will not reveal to you.”
Asked what he will be doing differently from his predecessors, the Chief of Defence Staff said, “I will rather say what we will not do.
“What we will not do is to give instructions to our subordinates and not do the same. By extension, we will command the troops based on the expectations that we have of them and they will do it according to the expectations that we have of them too.”
Further asked whether he would consider changing strategies, he said, “Strategies are not sacrosanct. Of course, there are dynamics that we need to begin to look at, what needs to be reviewed, and that is precisely what we are doing currently. And we review various strategies and of course come up with new ones to be able to meet the demands of the current realities.”
He said that the President has given the Service Chiefs marching orders to achieve results in few weeks and that they will work assiduously towards achieving that.
Asked what Nigerians expect in the next 100 days, he said ,”No doubt, next 100 days is not as important as today. I believe that as members of the Armed Forces working in concert with the rest of the security agencies, we will bring Mr President’s expectations to bear in terms of our task.
“But let me also let you know that the inevitable is that Nigerians will indeed experience peace and security across the land.”