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No strong democracy without a strong Army, says Mark

Posted by ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2007/06/25 | Views: 381 |

No strong democracy without a strong Army, says Mark


The Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday declared that there can never be a strong democracy without a strong Army, saying that there was the need for a strong democracy to be backed by a strong Army, as such was an integral part of a democracy.

The Senate President, David Mark, on Wednesday declared that there can never be a strong democracy without a strong Army, saying that there was the need for a strong democracy to be backed by a strong Army, as such was an integral part of a democracy.
He also said that the Army stands to benefit more from a democratic government than any form of government.

He made the declaration when the new Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Luka Yusuf, paid him a visit in his office.
Mark’s declaration is coming on the heels of an assurance from the Army Chief that the Nigeria Army was more than ever ready now to defend the country’s nascent democracy. He said that so far, the Army has identified with democratic governance and was satisfied with the progress made by Nigeria in the last eight years.

The Senate President, who also described the Army as the best profession so far in Nigeria, called on serving army officers not to shy away from joining the game of politics once they are out of the force.
“The general fear is that democracy cannot last in Nigeria . But we thank God the Army have come to fully understand that their constitutional roles do not include interfering in government. The Army stands to benefit from democracy more. For instance, you cannot move troops out for training in the military, you will be arrested. But you can do that under democracy. We can appropriate funds for you but the military can’t.

“Whatever can be done to assist the Army from our end, we will do it. Defence is an expensive venture. Pay one naira for defense, you get one naira defense. No strong democracy without a strong military, it is an integral part of the democracy. There is need for a strong military to back up democracy. When you retire, please join us in politics. I don’t think there is any profession better than the military. At least we have lawyers, doctors and even journalists on this side (of politics). Army too is a profession,” he stated.

Speaking earlier, the Army Chief disclosed that already series of training have been lined up for the rank and file of the Army to re-direct the minds of the officers and men of the force to enable them appreciate better their constitutional roles.

“I have just taken over as the Army Chief and so I have come to assure you of our complete loyalty to the government of Nigeria , the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Nigerian people.

“More than ever before, we identify with and are very satisfied with the progress so far made in Nigeria within the last eight years. We have identified our constitutional roles and we are training our officers and men to conform to our new found role. The training is to enable us protect our nascent democracy, because we have seen that we are going to enjoy democracy than any other government hitherto known in Nigeria .

“There is a roadmap rigidly in line to achieve repositioning of the Army so as to change the orientation of our soldiers. We need the support of the Senate to carry out these programmes, so that you can rely on us for full protection,” he added.









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