General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) while reacting to the Lagos State Judicial Panel’s report, which indicated that at least nine persons were killed and 39 others injured at the Lekki Toll Gate during the #EndSARS Protest on October 20, 2020, said only a white paper report can confirm the alleged incident.
Irabor stated this on Tuesday in Edo State while absolving the Nigerian Military of any blame over the Lekki massacre shortly after a courtesy visit on Governor Godwin Obaseki in the government house.
Speaking to journalists, the CDS assured that the Nigerian Armed Forces remain committed to their professional calling of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria just as he cautioned Nigerians against making inciting comments on what is happening across the country.
When asked about his stance on the report of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters, Irabor said only the white paper that would be generated from the findings could confirm the contents of the report.
He stated that the armed forces are conducting operations across the country, including battles against criminals in Edo forests and waterways, and should not be compared to the police.
The General complained about the release of the report “through a wrong channel (social media)”, adding that the military will fully speak when the technical paper is out.
He said officers and men are committed to constitutional mandates and as such, Nigerians should stop making disparaging remarks regarding the personnel.
“Until I see the full report, I may not be able to say much. But I can assure you that the armed forces of Nigeria are well disciplined and we do not engage in any ignoble acts.
“If Nigerians don’t trust us then we wouldn’t have been doing what we are doing and in any case, it is the armed forces of Nigeria.
“We are not talking about the police, we are talking about the armed forces with emphasis – armed forces, When the armed forces are called out, it is because there is a need.
“We need to understand that the armed forces are there to keep the peace and provide the ambience that will enable every Nigerian to live up to their desires in harmony.”