On Thursday,December 8th, the Chief of Defence Staff(CDS), General Lucky Irabor, denied a report published by London-based news agency,Reuters, which alleged a forced abortion campaign in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria.
The forced abortion campaign was reported to have involved at least 10,000 pregnancies of women and girls in the country.
“It’s outright nonsense…it’s not true,” General Irabor, said at the 61st session of the State House Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The allegation was contained in an investigative report published on Wednesday, December 7th, by Reuters, which asserted that “Since at least 2013, the Nigerian military has conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s North-East, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls.”
The story went on to say that many of the women involved in the programme had been kidnapped and raped by terrorists of the Boko Haram extraction.
Citing witnesses accounts, Reuters said resisters were “beaten, held at gunpoint or drugged into compliance.”
Fielding a question on the issue, Irabor said:, “That is outright nonsense. Their allusion is news to me. It never occurred. I never saw anything like that from Maiduguri down to Maimalamari Cantonment where I lived that is a major hospital for our personnel and their family. I am disappointed to say the least. So it is not true.
“I was informed by the Director of Defense Information about a mail from Reuters requesting an interview with me. And he gave me a letter written by one Alexander making allegations that have now been published by Reuters.
“I simply said he should go back to the person and answer their questions but I’m not going to dignify such a report.
“You’re saying the military since 2013 has been engaged in a planned abortion programme and he said that is part of the government’s design. In that letter, he said that 12,000 abortions have been conducted. But in the published report, we saw ‘at least 10,000’.”
CDS Irabor also revisited the infamous shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate in 2020, insisting that the Nigerian military is not interested in “killing its own people,” as being alleged.