Against the backdrop of agitations and growing anxieties over the postponement of the February general elections, Nigeria’s military high command on Wednesday in Abuja, reassured Nigerians and the political class of its commitment in working to ensure the sustenance of peace, law, order and stability in the country before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
The assurance was contained in a statement issued by the Defence Headquarters and signed by its Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, amidst the palpable tension regarding the roles of the Nigerian military in the ongoing political activities, especially in relation to the electioneering programmes in the country.
The Defence Headquarters noted that it is working with all security agencies and stakeholders to ensure stable democracy adding that it will remain professional, apolitical and non-partisan in all operations or activities related to this crucial exercise.
“It has become necessary to reassure all citizens that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains committed to its duty and democracy.
“It will therefore not engage in, condone or encourage any act that has capacity to undermine or subvert any aspect of the democratic processes. The Armed Forces of Nigeria is quite conscious of the fact that apart from its primary constitutional role of defending the country from external aggression and internal insurrection, it also has the responsibility of providing support in aid of civil authority such as the need to provide complementary security arrangement to protect our electoral process. It is on record that the military has successfully lived up to its responsibility while discharging this duty during previous elections without equivocation. In this instance, all military personnel have been reminded and warned to remain ever conscious of their service oath and solemn commitment to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria even while remaining loyal to constituted authorities in the country” reads part of the release.
“It is important to reassure Nigerians that the military will remain professional, apolitical and non-partisan in all operations … related to (elections)”It also indicated that no excuse will be acceptable for any act of commission or omission that tend to compromise the law or the electoral process as well as decent conduct or judgment on the part of any service personnel while discharging duties related to elections in any part of the country.
The military authority expressed deep appreciation to Nigerians who have remained calm and understanding of the peculiarity of the security challenges it is managing at the moment noting that the military is unequivocally assuring all citizens that it recognizes the fact that the nation’s larger interest and her security is sacrosanct and beyond any political expediency or ulterior consideration.
Nigerians were also called upon to insulate the military from partisan politics as the Nigerian Armed Forces will not engage in, condone or encourage any act that has capacity to undermine or subvert any aspect of the democratic processes.
“Nigerians and the friends of the country should be reassured that the Nigerian Armed Forces believes strongly in the prospects of the country under a democratic rule and will continue to discharge its responsibility to support our democracy as constitutionally guaranteed” the statement concluded.