Stop Dragging Military into Politics

The warning by the defence headquarters against politicians dragging the Nigerian Army into politics is very timely. This is coming against the background of the alarm raised recently by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade that some politicians are now classifying the military as belonging to a political party.
According to the army spokesman, such act is not only divisive, but also capable of eroding morale and cohesion in the country’s armed forces. Olukolade’s warning is coming on the heels of an ongoing political campaign advert in which one of the parties targeted the person and office of Chief of Defence Staff(CDS),Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh for denigration. We decry in all its entirety such insinuation by political parties and call on them to respect the integrity and neutrality of the armed forces in matters pertaining to partisan politics.
It is disappointing that some politicians are yet to understand the need for separating sensitive national security issues from their political activities. Politicians should be reminded that members of the military are stewards of the profession of arms and it is important in a democracy that they remain apolitical.
It is only in this way that they can maintain trust of the citizens. There is no denying the fact that Nigerians do not want the military to become another special interest group. By remaining neutral in politics, the military will be reinforcing their fidelity to the Constitution.
Furthermore, it must be restated that they are not elected to serve,rather they elected to serve. It is imperative to warn those politicians seeking to undermine the military to desist from their actions,considering that the institution remains indispensable to government and its process under any dispensation.
We insist that it is too risky for the country if members of the military who are given the right to bear arms, are also allowed to dabble in partisan politics. The reason is, they are the nation’s assets and the mainstay of the state in maintaining sovereignty and stability. The Nigerian military by its calling is supposed to distance itself and adopt a neutral position from divisive politics.
It should rather be left to focus on its responsibility of protecting and defending the nation’s territorial integrity. Politicians will only be heeding this advice if they stop baiting the military.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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