• Friday, June 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Irabor backs Banex Plaza closure, says an attack on soldiers is an attack on the state

Soon the world will see those behind Owo church attack – General Irabor

Lucky Irabor, the former chief of defence staff (CDS), has urged cooperation from Banex Plaza’s leadership in the investigation to fish out those who assaulted soldiers, saying that “an attack on soldiers is an attack on the state.”

In an interview with Arise News on Tuesday, the former CDS expressed his support for the closure of the Banex plaza in Abuja.

His opinion followed an incident at the plaza in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja on Saturday where traders engaged two soldiers in a fight. Witnesses reported that the soldiers visited the plaza to complain about a phone, leading to an argument and subsequent fight.

After the incident, many shop owners and traders promptly closed for the day to avoid being caught up in a reprisal attack.

On Monday, military personnel arrived in about five Hilux vehicles and reportedly shut down the plaza.

Irabor described the Banex Plaza incident as a very sad one, emphasising that it is unacceptable to raise a finger on a uniformed man.

He asserted that any attack on a uniformed person, as long as they are an agent of the state, constitutes an attack on the state itself. Irabor called for justice, stating that failure to address such acts would lead to anarchy.

He said, “This applies to any uniformed person for as long as he is an agent of the state. An attack on him is an attack on the state, so any Nigerian of goodwill must condemn such an act.

“For me, I join to support the closure of Banex Plaza for as long as it takes to have anyone responsible for that dastardly act brought to justice. This is because if we fail to do so, we will be calling for anarchy.”

He acknowledged the role of policemen and other private individuals who rescued the soldiers, preventing a potentially worse situation that could have reflected poorly on the nation.

While appreciating the media’s role, Irabor emphasised the need to contextualise discussions. He highlighted the importance of re-educating the populace to understand national security and their responsibility in preserving the sanctity of various establishments.

Regarding claims that the army has refused to comment, Irabor clarified that members of the armed forces act on behalf of the state, and it is the state’s responsibility to speak for them.

He said, “Whatever job members of the armed forces do, it is not on their behalf but on behalf of the state, so they are only an agent of the state. They ought not to speak for themselves; the state should speak for them.”