The head of Nigeria’s military Thursday described as false a Reuters story that the military forced about 10,000 women to have abortions over a 10-year period.
Lucky Irabor, an army general, spoke at the weekly media briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Irabor gave no indication that the military would investigate the claims in the report which he described as ‘spurious allegations.’
“I was informed by the Director of Defence Information that he received a mail from Reuters requesting to have an interview with me and he gave me a letter written by one Alexandra Xavis making all manner of spurious allegations, many of which have now been published by the same Reuters,” he said.
“But I said I wasn’t going to dignify such because he was saying that the military since 2013 has been engaged in a planned abortion programme and he also said in that letter that it is perhaps part of government’s design. He also indicated in his letter that 12,000 abortions have been conducted but they have now published that it is 10,000.
“He went on to say their sources and I wondered which sources? I thought with the problems we are contending with, I should not waste my energy on such things besides, it falls within the realm of ‘my mind is made up’ and since that was the position of Reuters, I didn’t think it was necessary for me to call them up and engage in that.
“Yes we have a hospital; 7Div hospital, in Malari cantonment, where I lived and that was our major hospital for the treatment of our personnel and their families especially the wounded and I took the media round the wards for them to see what we do and to confirm to them that the war is real and the wounds inflicted on our personnel is real and it paid off and that is why today sanity has returned to the North-east.”
Irabor, Nigeria’s chief of defence staff, insinuated that, Reuters had an ulterior motive for the story.
“We are not unaware that there are extra-territorial elements who do not want us to live in peace or move forward. I am also aware that the war economy has affected many people and now that we are making progress, they think that we need to return to the old order,” he said.