The Centre for African Liberation and Socio- Economic Rights (CALSER) says the Armed Forces has demonstrated preparedness and zeal towards a credible, transparent and violence-free elections in 2023.
The Centre noted that the apolitical stance of the military is reassuring and enough reason for Nigerians to celebrate the protection and perseveration of their nascent democracy.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Executive Director, Dr (Mrs) Cecilia Ikechukwu, described the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor as the gamechanger in the war against insurgents, bandits and other criminal elements.
She said as a leader, the CDS understands the value of teamwork which he has entrenched since his appointment.
“We must admit that the Armed Forces’ involvement in internal security operations has indeed been the game changer in our efforts to address the threats posed by criminal elements and their sponsors across the country,” Ikechukwu said.
“This much has been evident in the numerous gains recorded in the war against Boko Haram terrorists, separationist agitators, kidnappers, bandits, religious extremists and other acts of criminalities.
“The level of inter-agencies collaborations championed by the indefatigable Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, is worthy of commendation. It goes, therefore, to highlight that the Chief of Defence Staff as a leader, understands the value of teamwork, which he has entrenched since his appointment to lead the critical Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As a group, we are not surprised by the exploits of the Chief of Defence Staff because of his track record, which includes but is not limited to Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, where he led the ascendency of the military over the Boko Haram terrorist group in 2016 that saw to the recapturing of several local government areas that were hitherto under the control of the Boko Haram terrorist group, including the operational headquarters of the Boko Haram terrorist in Sambisa Forest.
“Our special commendation also goes to all heads of the various security agencies for putting the country’s interest at heart in ensuring that activities of criminal elements are neutralized and we have a country.
“We are buoyed by the fact that the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has risen above sentiments to give us a country by toiling night and day to ensure that we sleep with our eyes closed. This is remarkable and an indication that tough times await those planning to use the forthcoming general elections to cause unrest in the country.
“The capacity of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to deal with unscrupulous elements has never been in doubt. The apolitical stance of the Armed Forces is reassuring. It should give Nigerians a cause to celebrate in the protection and perseveration of our nascent democracy.
“As concerned stakeholders in the Nigerian Project, our position remains that the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have proven to be reliable and well-positioned to defend and protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The Centre, therefore, called on all well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the Armed Forces in the preservation of our democracy cannot be overemphasized.
She added: “Our commendation and appreciation are high. The Chief of Defence Staff has demonstrated that purposeful leadership is all that is required to address the country’s numerous challenges.
“The Service Chiefs, the Commanders, officers, and men of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are indeed heroes of our democracy. We pledge our continued support in the country’s fight against crime and criminalities.”
The Centre, however, urged the Chief of Defence Staff not to rest on his oars in leading the Armed Forces in the most proactive and operationally effective manner.