The Defence Headquarters has dismissed claims by former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode that the Department of State Security (DSS) informed the military about an impending attack on Kuje Medium Correctional Centre and a previous attack on a Kaduna-Abuja passenger train.
The Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, in a statement on Saturday, described the claims as wild and unsubstantiated.
Akpor said that Fani-Kayode made allegations in a social media video following the recent spate of terrorist attacks particularly, the attack on the Kuje Custodial Centre.
He said that Fani-Kayode had also claimed that soldiers were withdrawn shortly before the prison was attacked.
He said that Fani-Kayode was merely playing to the gallery as he was not in any position to know whether the DSS notified the military of any attack.
“It may not be impossible that such a claim is part of a calculated attempt to cause division and rivalry amongst all government agencies that have been working collaboratively in addressing issues of insecurity in the country.
“The claim that soldiers were withdrawn from the Kuje Correctional Custodial Centre before the attack is laughable.
“It is sad that Fani-Kayode is ignorant of whose responsibility it is to guard prison,” he said.
The defence spokesman said that Fani-Kayode had also claimed that the military took no action on the recent Shiroro terrorists’ attack, which resulted in the unfortunate death of some soldiers, policemen and civilians.
He said it was also an attempt to smear the military and create bad blood between service personnel and the military high command.
According toAkpor, it is a despicable statement that does not honour the sacrifices of the gallant officers and soldiers that paid the supreme price while defending the the mining community.
“What a shame! Fani-Kayode is encouraged to pay more attention to the weekly briefs by Defence Media Operations.
“Defence Media Operations gives weekly briefs and updates on operations being conducted across the country; press releases on military operations are also made when the need arises.
“Fani-Kayode is also called to refresh himself on the constitutional roles of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“It is pertinent to state that the armed forces have toiled to sustain and nurture our democracy, hence the same military cannot contemplate a coup d`etat, as alluded to by Fani-Kayode in his video,” he added.
Akpor said the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, had always stressed the unalloyed loyalty of the armed forces to the President, Commander-in-Chief and the Nigerian Constitution.
He reiterated the commitment of the military to ensuring the sustenance of democratic governance, warning political actors to depart from evil ways ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He also accused Fani-Kayode of attempting to malign the leadership of the military, by creating an impression that while junior military commanders and non-commissioned officers were working hard, senior commanders were doing nothing.
According to him, this is indeed a difficult time for the armed forces and Nigerians as a whole.
“It is not time for attention-seeking individuals to cause needless distractions.
“Members of the public are, therefore, urged to ignore Fani-Kayode and continue to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities promptly to law enforcement agencies,” he added. (NAN)