Don’t Politicise Military Matters, Defense HQ Warns Politicians

The military on Friday warned politicians and members of civil society groups to desist from comments that might incite or appear to condone indiscipline in the armed forces, saying it could lead to bigger problems for the country.

The military said that the note of caution became necessary because of comments that were being made regarding on going trial of soldiers for mutiny and other offences.

In apparent response to comments by Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who said that soldiers had the right to protest government’s failure to equip them, the Defense Headquarters said it would not succumb to blackmail or be railroaded to water down its command system or stop the trial of its men.

Amaechi in an interview granted as director general of the campaign organisation of the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, had criticised the federal government and military authorities for not property equipping Nigerian troops fighting terrorists in the North east, observing that, in the situation, the soldiers had a right to protest.

The governor spoke against the backdrop of the trial and sentencing to death of scores of soldiers for mutiny as well as the continuing prosecution of others.

In statement signed by defense spokesman, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, the military said it had acted according to established legal procedures and that criticisms of its actions “are intended to tarnish the reputation of Nigerian military and its leadership.”



    “The military law as recognized by the Constitution of the Federation is an appropriate legal document for the management of affairs of the military.  The processes it outlines for handling military offences remain legal and will continue to be applied in the interest of the nation’s security and democracy,” it stated.

    Olukolade urged politicians not to blackmail the military “with a view to forestalling the exercise of due command and control over the system as established by law in the interest of the nation” adding that “incitement to protests or mutiny in the military is an ill wind that will ultimately blow no good to anyone.”

    He also enjoined Nigerians to refrain from comments that can “undermine the established justice/disciplinary procedures and processes of the military system” adding that it is “an ill wind that will ultimately blow no good to anyone.”

    “Individuals and interest groups seeking to play to the gallery by being meddlesome, sensational or mischievous in interpreting developments in the military are advised to moderate their activities with some decorum,” the statement urged.

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