BENIN—Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that the Nigerian Army must remain loyal to the nation rather than be reduced to defending the tenure of an individual, adding that presidents and governors will come and go but the Nigerian nation will remain.
Speaking while receiving the General Officer Commanding, (GOC), 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Sanusi Muazu, Oshiomhole said no political office holder should get so desperate and try to use the military to boost personal ambition.
According to him, “The reason this has become an issue is because of the nature of our politics and the way political actors have put their personal interests over and above national interest. Presidents and governors would come and go, whether they are good or bad. Even the Armed Forces commander would come and go but the institution of the Nigeria Armed Forces will remain. Once we can distinguish between the person and the office, the institutions and the player, we may not have crisis.
“I believe that the forthcoming elections with all the tension that people are raising, the speculation that Nigeria will have crisis, to me I have seen all these before and the God that created this country will ensure that after all the fog, the weather will be clear. Nigeria will remain.
“It is the peace and security of the part that determine the character of peace and security of the whole. The Armed Forces must see themselves as the Nigerian Armed Forces and not the Armed Forces of the Commander in Chief, or of the governor. The Commander in Chief is to be elected by very ordinary people.
“The right of the people to vote for who will be president is a right that must be defended and upheld. Once the process is clean, the outcome does not matter. In a democracy, the people deserve the kind of president they want. He is a product of election and not an imposition.
“So, I ask you to do all you can to keep that confidence, that the army understands that its mandate is to defend the territorial integrity of the Nigerian nation and not the tenure of any political office holder regardless of the level.”