General Lucky Irabor, the chief of Defence Staff, has pledged neutrality of the military during the 2023 general elections.
He stated this when the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the military would partner the Nigeria Police, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other security agencies for smooth conduct of the elections.
Irabor said, “Our involvement in internal security operations may not be the best for our democratic setting, but of course because of the dynamics of the challenges that we face, it has become incumbent on us by virtue of the constitutional provisions that empowered Mr President to direct us to be part of the security provision within the internal space as we find it currently.
“We assure you that in no distant time, given the result that we have gotten thus far that we will see a gradual reduction of the military in internal security space giving room for the police and other civil establishments to show greater prominence in addressing all security concerns in the country.
“We are hoping that never again will we have what we saw in the past where it was becoming as if the nation’s security architecture was greatly in peril to the extent that we almost become helpless.
“I am glad that there is reversal. We are making gains and we will continue to make the gains. I believe that under your leadership, the NBA will transform to such an extent that critical value addition will be noticed in the processes of adjudication of criminal justice in the light of terrorism, insurgency and other related cases so that there would be a huge value in content that would be brought into the orderly disposition of our country.”
Responding, the NBA president called on Nigerians to assist the military in all their efforts towards restoring peace and unity across the country.