- Says army not politically ambitious
By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has warned the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu against coup comment.
The DHQ gave the warning yesterday in a statement issued by its Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Agim, while reacting to a comment made by the Deputy President of the Senate,
Ekwerenmadu had on Wednesday, while contributing to debate on the floor of the Senate said, “The Problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over? Let us not joke with our democracy – that is the issue!”
Agim said: “The 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 its loyalty to the President, 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 wish 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.
“In this regard, it is worthy to remind the general public about some key measures among others that guaranteed the present sustainable status of politically unambitious members of the Armed Forces.”
The statement recalled that shortly after the transition from a military to a democratically elected government in 1999, officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, who were quasi-political, were honourably eased out of service.
“This was done to avoid indoctrination of other officers in the Military, in order to enable the democratic government commence a re-professionalization process of the Armed Forces. The process commenced in collaboration with international organizations such as the United States Armed Forces and the British Military. By 2009, from the basic military training institutions through units and formation reorientation programmes, to top management workshops and seminars for the military, it became clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria has been re-professionalized to be totally subordinate to political leadership and democracy in the Country.
“The DHQ hereby assures the international community, Nigeria’s democratic institutions and the general public, of its unalloyed loyalty to the President, Commander in Chief, provision of all necessary support for the sustenance of our democracy and carrying out our constitutional roles.
“Therefore, the apprehension by the Deputy President of the Senate should be totally disregarded.”