By Iro Dan Fulani
With speculations rife that the expanded National Security Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday would consider suspending the governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, with a view to imposing total emergency rule, one of them, Murtala Nyako, on Tuesday declared that ‘’some top military brass are now playing politics with the emergency rule”.
Governor Nyako of Adamawa State who spoke through his special adviser on election matters, Usman Ibrahim, regretted that some politicians in the country also want to politicise the military, warning that this could have serious repercussions.
“How are these governors and other political office holders hindering the military operations in the three states? Are they commanding the military or restricting their operation in any way or denying them share of the security funds or responsible for the military’s inability to use their might and strategy on the insurgents?,” he queried.
He added: “The whole thing is so confusing. Someone should help clarify please,’’
Also commenting on the suggestion that the governors be suspended, a People’s Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain in the state and one-time lecturer at the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Umar Ardo stressed the need for the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh to investigate comments credited to the unnamed serving military officer calling for the suspension of democratically elected governors and lawmakers.
In a telephone conversation, Ardo described the comments as an attempt to politicise the military which could have serious consequences on governance in the affected states.
“I feel concerned and seriously disturbed reading in a newspaper a military officer plunging into what is purely a political matter – the extension or otherwise of the state of emergency in the three North eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.”
He noted that these issues are completely outside and beyond the domain of the military as they are purely political in nature.
‘’In taking these decisions, particularly that of the need or otherwise of extending emergency rule, politicians may be guided by the military based on the operational situation on the ground, but even this advice will be confidential and on request from the civil authorities; certainly not on the pages of newspapers.
“Any military officer that would want to join this foray publicly must first put down his uniform – politics is not for the military, and they know it too well. Let our military men restrict themselves to military duties and stop getting involved in politics,” he admonished.
Ardo also wondered where the National Security Council would “draw the powers from to dissolve the established democratic structures and appoint sole administrators, when the courts have pronounced such actions as unconstitutional?”
He called on the Chief of Defence Staff to investigate take appropriate disciplinary action against the officer who made this call as well as “tell his men in uniform to forthwith desist from meddling in issues that are purely political decisions.”
He said such foray into purely political matters are “unprofessional acts capable of both compromising the superiority of civil authority and further complicating the already complex political and security situations in the country.”.
The PDP Chieftain also advised members of the media to refrain from reporting such political comments from anonymous military officers.
“You either name the officer or you don’t carry the story,” he cautioned.