The Nigerian military has said it will not undermine Nigeria’s democracy or encourage any act that would threaten democratic process in Nigeria.
Referring to the controversy over the military’s role in the recent postponement of the 2015 general election, Defence Spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, said neither the military nor any of its service chiefs will engage in any act that could pose a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
Mr. Olukolade, in a statement, said Nigerians and its friends 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.”
Stating that the military values the calm exhibited by citizens, the defence spokesperson said it recognizes the nation’s larger interest and that her security is sacrosanct and beyond any political expediency or ulterior consideration.
“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,” Mr. Olukolade said.
He advised Nigerians to strive towards separating the military from partisan politics and retain their confidence in its neutrality and sense of patriotism at this critical point.
Mr. Olukolade said that while the military will be working with all other security agencies to protect Nigeria’s electoral process; all military personnel have also been warned to stay conscious of the service oath and solemn commitment to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while remaining loyal to constituted authorities in the country.
Mr. Olukolade said, no excuse will be acceptable for any act that tends to compromise the electoral process or decent conduct of personnel while discharging duties related to elections in Nigeria in March and April.
On Saturday, the INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, announced the postponement of election originally scheduled to hold in February after the nation’s security agencies indicated to the commission that they will not be available to provide security during the elections.
The INEC chairman said security operative agencies told INEC that they were commencing a six-week special operation against Boko Haram insurgents in the north eastern corridors of the country and would rather not be distracted by the elections.