*Tinubu: Operational capability of security agencies, personnel welfare my top priority
Deji Elumoye, Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano.
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has condemned requests for the Armed Forces to interfere in the nation’s democratic process, saying that Nigeria is better under democracy.
This is as President Bola Tinubu has assured that his government will make adequate provision for the enhancement of the operational capability of security and law enforcement agencies and improved welfare of personnel, in its renewed drive to address security and related concerns across the country.
The DHQ was apparently reacting to the recent allegations of poor welfare among troops across the services and a request for the military to seize power.
In a statement issued at the weekend by the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Tukur Gusau, the DHQ described the request as wicked and unpatriotic.
Gusau said the attempt would fail, insisting that the military was happy and better under democracy, adding that it would not get involved in any act to sabotage the hard-earned democracy in Nigeria.
According to him, the military would continue to perform its constitutional duties rather than plotting any coup against the present democratic administration, saying the armed forces of Nigeria would not be distracted.
He said the armed forces of Nigeria under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, would not for any reason involve itself in any form of insubordination.
“The reports calling on the military to interfere in our democracy is highly unpatriotic, wicked, and an attempt to distract the Armed Forces of Nigeria from performing its constitutional responsibilities,” Gusau said.
He also dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the troops of the Nigerian military were not well taken care of, noting that it would not allow any individual or group of individuals to instigate military officers against the present government.
Gusau added: “The Defence headquarters frowns at a report being circulated online about welfare issues in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN). We wish to state unequivocally that the military is happy and better under democracy and will not get involved in any act to sabotage the hard-earned democracy in our country.
“While the leadership of the AFN gives priority to the welfare of its personnel, however, we detest any attempt by any individual or group to instigate the law-abiding Armed Forces of Nigeria to embark on any unconstitutional change of government in our country.
“The AFN under the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff, General CG Musa is determined to ensure complete subordination of the Armed Forces to constitutional authority under His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and will not be distracted from its roles that are well defined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” Gusau added.
It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja, had last week declared that sustained democratic rule remained the path of progress for the nation.
He said subordination of the military to constituted authority remained the most fashionable means of promoting military professionalism.
Lagbaja said Nigerians desired flourishing, uninterrupted, constitutional democratic governance.
“I, therefore, charge all Nigerian Army personnel to be proud champions of our flourishing democracy and remain apolitical in discharging their constitutional duties,” he said.
Operational Capability of Security Agencies, Personnel Welfare My Top Priority, Says Tinubu
Meanwhile, President Tinubu has assured that his government will make adequate provision for the enhancement of the operational capability of security and law enforcement agencies and improved welfare of personnel, in its renewed drive to address security and related concerns across the country.
The president, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, gave the assurance at the Passing Out Parade of the 5th Regular Course of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano.
According to him, “This administration is committed to implementing effective measures to combat the security challenges in Nigeria and our synergy is the surest ticket to that destiny. We are implementing a comprehensive approach that focuses on key areas.
“First, we are investing in our law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities and effectiveness. We are offering extra resources, training, and equipment to bolster our police force and security agencies.
“Simultaneously, we are enhancing our intelligence and systems on both national and information-sharing international levels. We acknowledge that addressing security challenges necessitates cooperative endeavours with other countries. Hence, we are establishing alliances to adeptly tackle transnational threats.
“Furthermore, we are executing all-encompassing social programs and economic development projects aimed at fostering inclusiveness, social unity, and economic prospects for everyone.”
While commending the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies for their efforts, the President said “Our moral duty now is to support the Nigeria Police Force and other security organisations in intensifying their bids to improve public safety. We must do the best within our capacity to ensure there is an improvement in the security of lives, properties, and investments of our people and foreign investors.”
President Tinubu urged members of the Force to always “hold fast to the core virtues of our Police Force: integrity, honesty, and compassion. We must treat all citizens fairly and uphold their human rights, regardless of background.
“Our actions must exemplify the highest ethical standards as we safeguard the rule of law. Together, we embody the principles that define a trusted and responsible Police Force.”
Earlier in his address, the Commandant of the Academy, AIG Sadiq Abubakar, thanked the federal government for its unwavering support of the institution, noting that the successful graduation of the 169 cadets was a testament to the present administration’s commitment to infrastructure and manpower development in the Force.