By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. LEO Irabor has solicited public understanding of the pains and sacrifices of the Armed Forces of Nigeria as they seek to restore peace and stability in the country.
He noted that this would boost the morale of troops in surmounting the security threats across the country.
Gen Irabor made the call when a delegation of the African Bar Association (ABA) visited him at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja.
He commended the ABA for promoting human rights, peace and stability within the African continent, and assured that the AFN would continue to conduct its counter-insurgency and anti-banditry operations within stipulated rules of engagement, as well as guide against human rights abuses.
The CDS also pledged DHQ readiness to partner with ABA in the proposed Military Law Conference.
The CDS added that the gesture by the ABA would add to the numerous voices galvanizing support for the AFN with a view to countering negative narratives and misinterpretation of military operations
Earlier, ABA President, Mr Hannibal Uwaifo pledged support for the various internal security operations being conducted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), aimed at restoring peace and normalcy across troubled parts of the country.
He maintained that the association is in full support of AFN operations, adding that the association will be constructive in scrutinizing and criticising the operational activities of the AFN, rather than indicating the media with undeserved statements that denigrate the Armed Forces while discharging its legitimate duties.
Mr Hannibal Uwaifo who highlighted the activities of ABA since its establishment, noted that the association has continued to promote and ensure peace, stability and democratic governance in Africa, while mediating on conflicts and disputes within the region. He commended the Armed Forces African Bar Association (AFABA) for being the flagship of ABA’s activities.
He noted that the AFABA, which oversees the affairs of military lawyers in Africa have recorded tremendous successes, while its members exhibit discipline and diligence during ABA seminars and conferences.
On the operational activities being conducted by troops in the various theatres, the ABA President averred that the Association is indeed proud of the AFN, just as he noted that the fight against insurgency and banditry have not been completely won. The ABA President intimated the CDS of the Association’s intent to partner with the DHQ to co-host a military law conference in Abuja. The proposed conference according to him, will work out modalities for formulation of privacy laws and law regime in order to ensure security of military data in accordance with international privacy laws.
Mr Uwaifo used the opportunity of the visit to extend his condolences to the AFN on the unfortunate air MISHAP that claimed the lives of the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and ten other personnel, describing it as very painful.