2023: Air Chief begs military to defend democracy

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has charged members of the Armed Forces to defend democracy, irrespective of their political opinion.

Mr Amao stated this at a regimental dinner in honour of graduands of Junior Course 95 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji in Kaduna State.

“Being mindful of the upcoming General Elections in Nigeria, I have chosen to share my thoughts with you on the “Role of Military Officers in Sustaining Democracy”.

“Therefore, all members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, including you graduating students of Junior Course 94 are duty bound to defend democracy, irrespective of your political opinions.

“I must mention that the Armed Forces Act, Section A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, charges all military personnel to be apolitical.

“Showing absolute loyalty to the Commander-in-Chief and being subservient to constituted authorities, civil or military,” Amao said.

He also reeled out the roles of the military in sustaining democracy.

“Your roles in sustaining democracy encompass all due diligence in respecting and obeying constitutional laws and authorities.

“You must obey every law of the land and subject yourselves to civilian authorities.

“In so doing, you must heed lawful orders and instructions from your commanding officers and superior officers in line with established laws and customs,” the CAS said.

Mr Amao explained that the military has a huge role to play in providing a peaceful atmosphere necessary for the success of the February 2023 elections.

“Therefore, as the general elections approach, please be careful that you are not enticed by politicians to mar the electoral process or engage in any political activity.

“This is not acceptable and will certainly compromise democracy. As military personnel, you are not expected to make any political statements or avail yourself or your men as campaign tools to politicians.

“Hence, you must be apolitical and unreservedly patriotic to ensure a credible and peaceful process.

“This is very important because it is officers within your cadre that would be deployed on the fields to lead men in furtherance of our constitutional mandate of providing military aid to civil authority.

“Such duties will not only require your absolute dedication but also your leadership abilities,”Amao further said.

The CAS appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari’s support to the armed forces, which enabled it to thrive despite numerous challenges.

He told the graduating students that the dinner was to promote the much-required camaraderie to foster a disciplined workforce essential for combat readiness.

“You are to ensure that you show good example both in conduct and character at all times,” he added.