It is reckless to criticise Nigeria’s military – President Jonathan warns

by Godwin Akanfe

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, March 17, said it is reckless for any leader to robe the military into the nation’s political activities. 

The President said the armed forces must continuously be commended by all as well as be insulated from politics.

He was speaking while receiving a cheque of N1m from Dotun Oyetunde, in support of the nation’s armed forces, shortly before the commencement of the closed door Security Council meeting presided over by the President.

The President said he feels bad when he hears people making insulting remarks about the nation’s military.

“We must continue to commend men of the Nigerian armed forces. A nation must honour men of its armed forces.

“All the nations that we emulate and build our democracy after do not insult their military. 

“They must be appreciated and insulated from politics. I feel bad when leaders robe military into our day to day political activities. That is reckless. 

“These men stay in the rain while we are under roofs.  They stay awake for us to sleep well” he said.

He however acknowledged the supports received by the military from Nigerians, commending especially youth groups that have been demonstrating in support of the troops.

He urged other Nigerians to borrow a leaf from those who have been donating in cash and kind to the troops adding that such assistance could be channeled through the Chief of Defence Staff, National Security Adviser on the Minister of Defence. 

The donor, Oyetunde said he and his wife were moved by the plight of troops in the hands of members of the Boko Haram sect.

He said he was surprised that everybody seemed to be criticising the military as well as see the Boko Haram as apolitical adding that sometimes it sounds as if the insurgents ask for their victims’ political affiliations before attacking.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, while introducing the donor told the President that the military had received various donations such as drugs, bags of rice and cartons of instant noodles among others.

He said when he received Oyetunde’s message, he discussed with the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki (retd.), who had in turn suggested that the donor be brought to personally present the cheque to the President during the meeting.

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