Don’t play politics with Military – Ex-CDS Irabor warns

Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, has warned politicians to desist from playing politics with the military, saying the service possessed strong unity and bond that could not be broken.

Irabor gave the warning while speaking at a reception organised by the Defence Headquarters after his Pulling-Out-Parade from service on Friday in Abuja.

He said the friendship and unity that existed within the armed forces could not be found anywhere else.

The former CDS described the military as an institution that had people from the 774 Local Government Areas of the country being represented.

According to him, contrary to beliefs, no military personnel takes any special injection but for the training and indoctrination which comes from the regimentation.

“The military is a family for those who may not know and I have answered so many questions on we being given an injection.

“What is that injection? There is no injection. The injection is training and discipline.

“They also said we operate like a cult, the process alone there is nothing wrong if I say we are in a cult but it is a good cult.

“In the training establishment when I was a cadet, we spend three years but two years later, it became a five year programme.

“When it was three years, the admission was every six months and when it became five year, the admission became every year.

“For you to finish a three year programme means that you will have five sets of your senior and five sets of your junior.

“The bonding that comes with it , you can’t find it in any other place and that is why you think is a cult.

“The values and traditions are transmitted from one generation to the other and when you get to the field you see yourself as brothers,” he said.

Irabor expressed joy that he was handing over the task of defending the nation to the new CDS, adding that he left a safer and better country.

He also cautioned against destructive criticism against the armed forces, calling on Nigerians to constructively criticise if there was the need.

He also called on his successor to follow up with the President to implement his policies for the greater good of the armed forces of Nigeria.

“During my last interaction with the president, he made some promises to the military and I urge you to follow up on the promises because those promises would be of greater good for the armed forces and the nation,” he added.

Earlier, the new Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa said Irabor left a tall task and pledged not to disappoint.

Musa commended Irabor and past service chiefs for working in synergy for a common purpose and vowed to continue to promote synergy and work collectively to attain peace and stability.

“I want to assure you that we will continue from where you have stopped, we will complete all ongoing projects.

“We will continue the synergy you have started and we will always come to you because of the experience you have had.

I will not allow your experience to waste. We willl work together with the citizens of Nigeria.We will not relent until there is total peace in Nigeria,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Irabor had earlier been pulled out of service in a colourful parade, following the announcement in the change of leadership of the Armed Forces of Nigeria by President Bola Tinubu.

Tinubu had on June 19, approved the appointment of new service chiefs, marking the retirement of the erstwhile chiefs from the service of the armed forces.

The parade is a traditional military ceremony to mark officers’ retirement from service which involves review of parade by the retiring senior officer, march past by troops and pulling out of the retired officer by top Generals. (NAN)