‘Military will continue to respect democratic government in Nigeria’

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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh has declared that the era of military rule is gone, saying the military will continue to respect democratic institutions.

Badeh, who stated this when members of the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections visited the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), further said that if there was military rule, he is not sure if could have been in his present position.

He said: “We are the armed forces of Nigeria and not that of any political party and will be subordinate to the constituted authorities.”

Badeh also said that the military leaders are the product of democratic governance and would therefore not embark on any activities that could jeopardize the electoral processes in the country.

The CDS assured that the military would remain non-partisan while carrying out their legitimate duties of providing the enabling security environment for the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections.

Badeh commended the efforts of the Peace Committee and expressed gratitude that the roles of the military in the whole electoral processes are being recognized and appreciated.

According to him: “The Armed Forces is indeed very proud that members of the peace committee are here to give us a part on the back for what we have done. I want to again thank you for recognizing what we have done in the North-east. I remember when we asked for more time to embark on what we are doing, there was a lot of misgivings.

“We are happy that we are able to ensure that some exercise their choice of who to govern them even though we did not achieve 100 per cent but we are able to secure the major ones.

“We want to say that Nigerian Armed Forces have been participating in the past elections and there was no much misgiving. We as Service Chiefs where beneficiaries of democracy because we were confirmed by the National Assembly.

“We promise you as we will replicate even better what we did during the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday elections. I am sure we can do better than what we did last time and at least get another pat on the back”.

Earlier, leader of the National Peace Committee and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), commended the military for providing adequate security in ensuring free, fair and violence free elections, just as he also commended the Armed Forces for liberating many communities in Nigeria from terrorists.

Speaking in turn, another member of the Committee, and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, commended the military for exhibiting maturity and professionalism during the March 28, elections.

Gambari however advised that despite their commendable efforts at the last polls, a lot is still required to ensure that the governorship and State Assembly elections surpasses expectations.

He said: “The Nigerian military has been responsible for enforcing peace in other areas including Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. So, you have distinguished yourself and proved your professionalism and all we ask is for you to enhance that in the forthcoming elections. We also commend you by ensuring that the people in the North-east have the rights to exercise their franchise and we want you to ensure that the job is finished.

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