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Military restate loyalty to democratic institutions

Chief of Defence Staff, Major General AG Olonisakin

By Johnson Eyiangho

The Defence Headquarters has assured Nigerians and the international community of the military’s unalloyed loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, and its readiness to provide all necessary support for the sustenance of the nation’s democracy.

In a statement issued by Brig.-Gen. John Agim, the Director, Defence Information, on Thursday, the defence headquarters also urged Nigerians to disregard comment made by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on Wednesday.

Agim recalls Ekweremadu’s comment in which he said that the problem in Nigeria was that: “our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over, let us not joke with our democracy, that is the issue”.

The deputy Senate president made the comment while contributing to a debate on a motion sponsored by Sen. Ahmed Ogembe, representing Kogi Central.

Agim said : “This statement may appear cautionary and sincere in the atmosphere of discourse, it is, however, derogatory to the Army used in the expression and by extension to the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“The statement in the true sense has the capacity to denigrate the Nigerian Military in every ramification including it’s loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the confidence of the general public to defend Nigeria’s democracy.

“In the light of this; the Defence Headquarters wishes to state clearly that the Nigerian Military has come of age and is in tune with best international military practices of complete and total subordination to democratic governance.”

The director of defence information noted that a number of measures had been taken since 1999 to professionalise the armed forces and make them “politically unambitious.”

He recalled that those who were quasi-political had been honourably eased out of service.

“This was done to avoid indoctrination of other officers in the military in order to enable the democratic government to commence a re-professionalisation process of the Armed Forces.”

“The present crop of personnel in the Armed Forces of Nigeria right from the Service Chiefs to the men; are made up of the balance of re-professionalised officers and fresh intakes from 1999, who do not nurse political ambitions.

“They are fully committed to their oaths of allegiance to serve their fatherland, Nigeria, with total submission to our democratic government,” Agim said.

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