The Immediate past Chief Of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, on Sunday hit back at some Northern Elders who criticised the military offensive on Boko Haram terrorists, stating that they were being insensitive.
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) had threatened to drag the immediate past Chief of Army Staff and six others to International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for alleged extra-judicial killings.
However, Ihejirika, who was oust alongside other service chiefs, by President Goodluck Jonathan last week Thursday, told journalists State House, Abuja after attending the Aso Villa Chapel first church service for 2014, that the statement of the Northern Elders was ill conceived.
Quizzed by journalists on his reaction to the threat , the former military helmsman noted that their utterances was capable of demoralising soldiers who are making huge sacrifices everyday for the nation as well as the jeopardise the war against terrorism.
“My reaction to that is that their statement is ill-conceived, perhaps based on some misinformation.
“I think that their statement is discouraging and it impacts negatively on the counter-terrorist efforts because as we speak, they are soldiers that have not had a meal since yesterday because of the peculiarity of where they are at the moment” he said.
He also argued that so far the supposed elders have not bothered with to send a single condolence message to the military after it lost several men. He added that they should instead be thankful to the military for the sacrifices it continues to make to keep the North safe.
“There is no senatorial zone in this country that has not lost a personnel of the armed forces. It is unfortunate that the same elders, if they are really elders, they have not cared to send a single condolence message to the military.
“The northern elders should be thanking the service chiefs, my officers and myself for making huge sacrifices, first to see that Nigeria is safe and the north in particular, since they are the first beneficiaries of the sacrifices being made” he said.
Ihejirika expressed hope that very soon insurgents would be wiped out, as the fight against terrorism has been boosted by recent strategic measures.
“It has been a very busy thing. I believe that very soon Nigerians will be very happy because we have put quite a number of structures in place.
“I want to say that with some equipment and training that were carried out in recent days, there will be little or no hiding place for the insurgents” he said
For him, after working so hard as Chief of Army Staff, the next immediate thing is to “have a small vacation with my family and thereafter we can then think of what next”.