By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
At a time President Muhamadu Buhari heeded call of Nigerians to effect a change in the security structure of the country, a strange information came out in the public fora.
The Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), untruthfully warned all Igbos not to be carried away by President Buhari’s appointment of a Deltan, Leo Irabor, as Nigeria’s new Chief of Defence Staff.
According to the group in a short statement on Wednesday, titled, “Biafrans don’t be deceived” it said that “Major General Leo Irabor is the new Nigeria chief of defense staff. He is from Ika, Delta State, but Biafrans open your eyes very well, do not be deceived by this appointment, Leo Irabor is a Muslim , he converted to Islam many years before now, his wife is an Hausa Fulani Muslimand she is from Kastina state .
“If you don’t know Major General Leo Irabor built one of the biggest mosque in Agbor, make your research and thank me later for opening your eyes. He has being sent to protect the Fulani jihadist in Biafra land”
This wrong information casts doubt on the role of IPOB in pursuing peace which all the citizens yearn for at this time.
The fallacy by IPOB came at a time Boko Haram spiritual leader, Shekau called on Irabor to have sympathy on himself, repent and convert to Islam.
Lucky Eluonye Onyenuche (LEO) Irabor is from Aliokpu in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. He attended the popular Ika Grammar School, Agbor and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife.
Irabor is of the Christian faith. He is an ardent member of The Redeemed Christian Church Of God. Worships at RCCG, Trinity Sanctuary, Kaduna and RCCG, Throneroom Parish, Abuja.
The wife is Victoria Anwuli Irabor (nee Okubor). She is from Ute-Erumu in Ika North-East local Government Area of Delta State.She attended a very popular school, Marymount College, Agbor and University of Benin.She is a Lawyer, called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992, a Director and Company Secretary of Railway Property Management Company Limited. Madam Victoria is An ordained Deaconess of The Redeemed Christian Church Of God. Worships at RCCG, Trinity Sanctuary, Kaduna and RCCG, Throneroom Parish, Abuja. Irabor and his family loves God and mankind, irrespective of religion and ethnicity.
No wonder on his appointment as CDS, there was eruption of joy in the military circles.
Those who have had encounter with him will attest that he does not discriminate. He works and deal with you based on merit.
He acknowledges what is in you and works on it for your good.
Rather than bringing up divisive issues that will distract the new service chiefs, this is time for IPOB and their likes to join President of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo in calling on the new appointees to put in their best to end the rising cases of insecurity threatening the existence of the country by understanding that their appointments are not for merriment, but for hard work and total commitment to the Fatherland.
According to Isiguzo “It is our hope, that the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Leo Irabor, will properly coordinate the other Service Chiefs to immediately confront Boko Haram insurgents, banditry and kidnappings appropriately in the best interest of the country.”The new Service Chiefs must not see their assignments as opportunities to amass wealth for themselves, families or friends, but rather as a challenge to re-engineer the country’s security architecture that has suffered serious setbacks. “It will be foolhardy for the Service Chiefs to ignore the welfare of their Officers and Soldiers in the onerous task ahead of them because success can only be achieved through boosting the morale of troops at various areas of operations.
“NUJ urges the Service Chiefs to stay away from politics if they must succeed where their predecessors did not do well. What Nigerians need now, is the security of their lives and property to enable them live decent lives.”
Chuks Oyema-Aziken is Defence Correspondent, The Authority Newspaper and Chairman, Environment Media Correspondents Association of Nigeria (EMCAN).