On thursday, Gen. Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) said the Army will only go after violent secessionist agitators.
He noted that the military has no business with anyone acting within the ambits of the law.
Gen. Irabor spoke in Owerri, the Imo State capital, during a meeting with retired senior military officers in the Southeast.
He said: “It is not the job of the military to stop anyone from agitating for whatever he so wishes. It is a political thing.
“What we are against is having to use the instrument of violence to bring about the agitation.
“We have a constitution that enables us to present whatever grievances that we have. So, if anyone is going outside the provisions of the Constitution, of course, we as military and other security agencies won’t allow that. Why do you have to kill to achieve your desires?”
Irabor stated that the military will resist any attempt by anyone, group or individual using violence against the state.
“That we will not allow,” he stressed.
He continued: “Again, there are provisions for anyone who believes that he has certain desires within the confines of the arrangement as enshrined in the constitution to ventilate such views.
“So, this is the reason we think that violence is not the way to go. We are appealing to everyone to seek the course of rule of law to bring about whatever his agitations are.”
He noted that the security parley was to fashion out ways of curtaining and tackling the security challenges currently facing the country.
Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, Former Chief of Army Staff, believes businesses and free movement can only thrive where there is peace.
“I am happy to note that the civil-military cooperation department which I established as the Chief of Army Staff has grown and is today playing a major role in interfacing between the military and civil society,” he said.