The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, yesterday said the military thwarted plans by terrorists to attack Abuja, Kano and other major cities in the country last week when they killed worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
He said this when he appeared on Channels Television’s special programme, ‘Democracy Day: Giving Hope to Nigerians’ monitored by our correspondent.
He said operatives averted what could have been the most devastating incident in the history of Nigeria.
He said: ‘’We recovered a large quantum of arms and ammunition and other materials which, of course, the criminals were intending to use in various parts of the country, including Abuja.
“Perhaps, you may not know that just only the same week of the Owo incident, in Kano, for example, given the intelligence available to security agencies, we were able to botch what would have been the most catastrophic incident within our country. In that operation, we recovered Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) making materials.
“That the Owo incident happened does not imply that improvements have not happened. Let me state that this is a process, and if you could take a look at the war stage in countries around the world, you’ll find incidents of violence and criminality in one way or the other.”
He said there had been quite a lot of improvement as the military and other security agencies were doing all that was necessary to bring peace to the various troubled regions of Nigeria.
“I can tell you that from last year till now, we’ve had quite a lot of improvement; from the North East to the North West, North Central, South South, South East and South West. Of course, there still remains a long haul in terms of addressing the nuances that attend to insecurity in Nigeria.’’
Irabor asked Nigerians to always trust the military and other security agencies for the war on insecurity to be more effective.
“It’s for us to have an understanding that we can’t withhold information and expect miracles to happen. Certainly it’s not going to happen.
“I’m a victim as well as any Nigerian that is on the street. We’re all victims together. There’s no one who is on the other side. We are in it together. We’re on the frontlines. Trust is not something we need to beg for,’’ he stated.