We are loyal to civil authorities ―defence headquarters

Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin
Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin

IN a swift response to the deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu’s insinuation that the military still has the propensity to remove democratic governments, the Defence office has said that they do not intend to topple any lawfully elected government.

The Defence office which encompasses the Army, navy and airforce stated in a release signed by Brigadier General John Agim that on no account will the current crop of officers wake up one day and overthrow their commander in chief President Mohammed Buhari.

General Agim maintained that the present crop of officers and men in the armed forces are extremely loyal to their oaths of commission and can never deviate from it no matter the pressures or instigation from anyone.

Quoting from Ekweremadu, who said that “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 comment brought the military into disrepute and was not a proper reflection of who they are now.

The Defence spokesman said that “even though 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 it’s 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 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.”

General Agim, reminded the general public that strong measures have been taken to guarantee the present sustainable status of politically unambitious members of the Armed Forces adding that no such ambition exists in its ranks now.

Apart from easing out officers who had tested politics from its ranks when this democracy started in 1999, the defence spokesman said that the easing out 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 process commenced in collaboration with international organisations 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-professionalised to be totally subordinate to political leadership and democracy in the Country.

” In addition, the Nigerian Military began to take the lead in ensuring that the West African Sub Region is stable democratically through military diplomacy and physical actions where it is highly desirable and supported by ECOWAS.

The case of the Gambia last year is still fresh in our memories, where democracy was enforced by an ECOWAS Military Coalition led by the Armed Forces of Nigeria, under the focused and able leadership of Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin

“Furthermore, the present crop of personnel in the Armed Forces of Nigeria right from the Service Chiefs to the men; is 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.

“Defence Headquarters 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 “

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