13th February, 2015
The Defence Headquarters on Wednesday in Abuja reaffirmed the military’s commitment to democratic processes.
This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information. Olukolade reassured the citizenry that the Armed Forces remained committed to their duty.
He also said that the military were working to ensure the sustenance of peace, law, order and stability in the country before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
He said that the Defence Headquarters had noted the impression being created in some quarters with regards to the role of the military in the ongoing political activities.
“It is also important to reassure Nigerians that the military will, while working with all security agencies and stake holders in the
process, remain professional.
“The military will also remain apolitical and non-partisan in all their operations or activities related to this crucial exercise,” he said.
He said the armed forces were conscious of the fact that apart from their primary constitutional role of defending the country from external aggression and internal insurrection, they also had the responsibility of supporting the civil authority.
He said such included the need to provide complementary security arrangement to protect our electoral process.
The statement said that it was on record that the military had successfully lived up to their 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.
“No excuse will be acceptable for any act of commission or omission that tends 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,” he said.
Olukolade appreciated the citizenry for remaining calm and understanding of the peculiarity of the security challenges being managed by the armed forces at this period in the nation’s history.
The statement said that the military were unequivocally assuring all citizens that they recognised the fact that the nation’s larger interest and her security were sacrosanct and beyond any political expediency or ulterior consideration.
It therefore advised that Nigerians should also endeavor to insulate the military from partisan politics and retain their confidence in their neutrality and sense of patriotism at this critical point.
“Indeed, the leadership, in particular, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs, being products and beneficiaries of the nation’s democratic processes themselves, continue to cherish highly, the nation’s democracy.
“They will therefore 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 armed forces believe strongly in the prospects of the country under a democratic rule.
“And will continue to discharge their responsibility to support our democracy as constitutionally guaranteed,” the statement said.