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Politicians and the military

Of recent, especially as the count-down to the February 2015 general elections peaks,  it has become worryingly fashionable for politicians and all sorts of commentators to prognosticate about what and how the nation’s military and security agencies should, or not, conduct their business.
The military has been castigated as cowards who flee in the field of battle against insurgents that are allegedly better armed. The military high command has been accused of outright sabotage and diversion of defence budgets to private pockets.
Matters were made worse when the military, in typical tradition all over the world, court marshalled and sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny.
Rather than allow the appeal process to higher authorities, which even in the military is normal, some politicians, or those in cahoots with them, went to town to challenge the Court Marshall and their verdict, indirectly injecting bias and subverting the hallowed command and control mechanism that compels obedience to higher and last orders to all soldiers which has been the tradition of all military throughout history.
No organized fighting force can cohere without internal discipline.
In fact, it is on record that some politicians have gone as far as threatening to form a parallel government in the event that their parties or principals do not win the 2015 elections. This is unconscionable and clearly treasonable in our volatile political environment where electoral sheep are not discerning enough to separate the wheat from the political chaff and are prone to subliminal incitement.
It is apposite to once again remind contending political contenders that the best way to gain electoral advantage and win would not be by denigrating or subverting the military that, by the way have been doing a great job by sticking to their national security role.
Politicians and their parties should concentrate on selling their manifestoes and their candidates.
The military has had cause to alert the Nigerian public to the trend of some politicians to incite, demoralize, undermine and divert their attention from the scourge of insecurity buffeting the country.
The Director of Defence Information, General Chris Olukolade had cause to say in this regards that “in view of the series of insinuations, allegations and false claims being made by certain activists and politicians on the legal and disciplinary process in the Nigerian military, the Defence Headquarters finds it necessary to call on politicians to avoid using the forum or medium of their political campaigns to incite or endorse acts of indiscipline in the nation’s military establishments. This call has become necessary as the trend got to another level on …when a prominent politician declared that “The soldiers have the right to protest for the Federal Government’s failure to fully equip them”.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, the military institution rejects this declaration and its intention in all ramifications. The military law as recognized by the Constitution of the Federation is an appropriate legal document for the management of affairs of the military. The processes it outlines for handling military offences remain legal and will continue to be applied in the interest of the nation’s security and democracy”.
We cannot agree more with this position and still urge those campaigning to power to heed this declaration and avoid all sorts of hate speeches that not only inflame the military but the populace at large.
Nigerians have a duty to support and encourage the military which appears to be the only institution of governance that is standing between the nation and probable chaos and anarchy, especially in their battle against the Islamist insurgents.

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