The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), 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.
He 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 Northeast.
The commission inaugurated the panel on Feb. 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.
He declared, “The allegations came as a ‘rude shock to me. It is a rude shock to me that someone could orchestrate such report. There are strange allusions, if they say we want to stop regeneration of Boko Haram children, on what grounds?
“We are not responsible for the stigmatization of the women who bore children for Boko Haram insurgents, we don’t know them” he said.
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Answering on Reuters claims that they interviewed some officers who gave them such information of 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 I stay as a commander, I never heard of who are referred as wives of Boko Haram insurgents,” he said.
He told the panel that the army worked in hierarchical manner, there is nothing written or verbal of such programmes as claimed by Reuters.
“I never witnessed it, it is a strange allusion the arrangement within the armed forces. We have disciplined procedures, if the officer saddled with a 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 force,” he said.
The panel led by retired justice Abdu Aboki, Supreme court, thanked the CDS for his co- operation . (NAN)