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Military will continue to protect democracy -Azazi

Posted by By MOLLY KILETE, Abuja on 2008/03/14 | Views: 421 |

Military will continue to protect democracy -Azazi


The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, has again maintained that the military will do everything in its power to protect democracy in Nigeria.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, has again maintained that the military will do everything in its power to protect democracy in Nigeria.

Similarly, Gen. Azazi, says he has no regrets whatsoever in his comments last week to the media when he announced to the world that the Nigerian Armed Forces is solidly behind president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who is also the Commander Chief of the Armed Forces.

Azazi, who was speaking at the opening of the maiden edition of the Nigerian Air Force Senior Non-Commission Officers Convention, holding at the Bolingo Hotels and Towers during the week in Abuja, maintained that as an organization responsible for peace and stability as well as protect the nation’s territorial integrity, the military will not fail in its responsibility to provide a peaceful environment in the country and ensure that democracy is well protected.

While noting that it is the duty of the military to ensure that things go on well in the country by providing a peaceful and conducive environment for the citizens, Azazi, urged officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces to be loyal, discipline, honest, law abiding and absolute loyalty to the democratic elected government.

According to him, “It is also important to use this forum to remind you as military personnel to always uphold your oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and other constituted authorities. It is only by so doing that you would justify the confidence reposed in the government. This means that loyalty, discipline, honesty and integrity must be your guiding principles.”

On his declaration last week of the armed forces support for president Yaradua, Azazi, said there was nothing wrong with that declaration, especially when it is the duty of the military to make sure that things go on smoothly in the country.
According to him, “Few days ago there was a statement issued by me and certain part of the press condemned me seriously but I’ll say again that we have a duty to make things go well in this country. We are responsible for peace whether we say we act in support of the Police or otherwise we want to make sure that democracy is well protected and the way to do it is by making sure that everybody is loyal and law abiding. It is only by doing that, that you will justify the confidence reposed in you by the government of the day.

“I know I have been criticized severally in the media over those comments I made but I still want to reaffirm the comments to the Senior Non-Commissioned Officers that we are committed to the protection of democracy”.
Azazi, also condemned the situation, where the military is being painted in bad light in the media, saying that it was not in the best interest of the military.

According to him, “In the last several weeks we have seen a lot going on in the media about the Nigerian Armed Forces. They seems to show the pictures of the Nigerian Army and all that but it is important to note that any time we discredit ourselves in the media we are not doing ourselves any good. I don’t think the problems are as serious the way they are painted in the media and I believe that everybody in leadership is working hard to make sure those problems are addressed.

“That is what you must take back to your troops that things are not as bad as they seem, nobody wants to neglect their responsibilities, how did we get to where we are if we have been bad people? Is not in the interest of any nation to find that the affairs of her military is in the public domain every day that is not good for the Nigerian Armed Forces and we must educate everybody”, he warned.

The CDS, while assuring that the Defence Head Quarters(DHQ), is committed to creating a congenial environment for the development of military professionalism under a democratic government, urged the seniour non-commission officers(SNCOs), whom he also described as the bridge between the officers corps and the airmen, as well as the custodians of military traditions and customs, on the need for them to imbibe to the transformation that is currently going on in the armed forces, saying that “the decline we have noticed as regards adherence to traditions, ethics and values in the service can be traced to the laxity and unprofessional conduct on the part of some of the personnel within your cadre.”

He said, “it is imperative to remind you that our traditions, ethics and values are the common bonds that distinguish the military fromother professions, I charge you therefore to cherish and imbibe these virtues and inculcate them in your subordinates at all times”.
The CDS, who commended the Chief of Air Staff, who according to him, has done well especially in the area of training, up-grade of supporting infrastructure, acquisition of new platforms and facilities as well the general improvement on welfare, noted that Convention was the beginning of the process to get the military back on track and urged the service to not just be one of the leading Air Force in the continent but the leading Air Force in the Continent.

In his address, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshall Paul Dike, noted that while the return to democratic governance in 1999 is a development cherished by all, it has brought with it new challenges for the mangers of the Armed Forces.
He listed some of those challenges to include issues relating civil-relations and the growing misconception by some service personnel that democratic freedom is tantamount to the abandonment of military regulations, norms, traditions and values, adding that “this attitude is exemplified by the unprecedented spate of petition writing by personnel”.

Dike said that the theme for the convention, “Reviving NAF Tradition, Ethics and Values, was chosen to enable the service achieve the broad objective of its regenerative mission and go back to those traditions, a those and values that have historically distinguished the military as a class from other group and organizations in the society.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown