By Uche Amunike
The Defense Headquarters has responded to the utterances made by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode where he accused them of complicity both during the Kuje Custodial Centre attacks and the Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
Speaking, through a statement issued Saturday night, the Director of defense information, Major General Jimmy Akpor described Femi Fani-Kayode’s allegations levied against the military, accusing them of withdrawing their personnel from the Kuje Custodial Centre as laughable, especially as he was ignorant of the proper people who were responsible for guarding custodial centres.
It partly read: ‘The attention of the Defense Headquarters has been drawn to a video produced by Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, wherein he made wild and unsubstantiated allegations against the Armed Forces of Nigeria, regarding the recent spate of terrorist attacks particularly, the attack of the prison in Kuje – Abuja on July 5, 2022.’
‘Ordinarily, the video and its maker would have been ignored, considering the antecedents of the person behind it as a known rabble-rouser. However, in the interest of members of the public who might be misled by the deliberate falsehood and the sensibilities of service personnel and their families who have been paying dearly to keep Nigerians safe, it has become urgent to respond to the video currently circulating on social media.’
‘Among other allegations, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode claimed that the Department of State Security informed the military about the impending attack on Kuje Custodial Centre and even the previous attack on the Kaduna – Abuja rail service. He also claimed that soldiers were withdrawn shortly before the prison attack. In all these allegations, Mr Kayode is merely playing to the gallery. He is not in any position to know whether the DSS notified the military of any attack or not. 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 Defense Headquarters stated that the comments made by Femi Fani-Kayode concerning the Shiroro terrorists attack, which led to the unfortunate deaths of some soldiers, some members of the public and some policemen was merely an attempt by him smear the image of the military and as well, cause a friction between service personnel and the military high command.
The Defense Headquarters have also asked Fani-Kayode get himself acquainted with the roles of the Armed Forces of Nigeria as spelt out in the constitution. They further stated that the Nigerian Armed Forces had worked hard to sustain and build the Nigerian democracy, therefore the same military could not come in the present time to contemplate a coup d’état as implied by Fani-Kayode in his viral video.
The statement concluded thus: ‘This is indeed a difficult time for the Armed Forces of Nigeria 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 Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and continue to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities promptly to law enforcement agencies.’