Defence Hqts: Obasanjo?s utterances disappointing

?Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Defence Headquarters on Monday said that former Presi?dent Olusegun Obasanjo?s conduct and utterances were short of the standard of discipline expected of one who had undergone military service and risen to the position of General.
The military high command made particular reference to the al?legation credited to Obasanjo that the postponement of the general elections was to enable President Goodluck Jonathan use the na?tion?s Service Chiefs to plot a tenure extension.
This, according to Defence Head?quarters, is ?to say the least, very surprising?.
The Director of Defence Informa?tion, Major-General Chris Oluko?lade, in a statement in Abuja, said it was surprising considering the fact that the retired General chose to ig?nore the clarification and emphatic assurances of non-partisanship of the military as declared in a DHQ statement on the position of the Armed Forces in the ongoing politi?cal activities.
The statement by Olukolade read in part: ?The Defence Headquar?ters has noted the remarks of a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as reported in the media stating his views on perceived state of the armed forces and the roles being allegedly played by the mili?tary in the nation?s political process in recent times.
?The leadership and cross sec?tion of the military believe that the former President and retired Gen?eral has every right to be interested in the actions and fate of the mili?tary. Hence, his views like many others will continue to be accorded the well-deserved attention.
?It is however noteworthy that most of his utterances lately indi?cate an attitude of playing to the gallery or indulging in politiciza?tion of serious national security or military affairs.
?For instance, the comments credited to Chief Obasanjo alleging that the postponement of the Gen?eral Elections was to enable Presi?dent Jonathan to use the Service Chiefs to plot a tenure extension is to say the least, very surprising.
?It is surprising indeed, consid?ering the fact that the retired Gen?eral chose to ignore the clarifica?tion and emphatic assurances of non-partisanship of the military as declared in a DHQ statement on the position of the Armed Forces in the ongoing political activities.
?His motive as usual remains un?known but it is certainly less than noble or well intentioned. We dare say again that Chief Obasanjo?s as?sertions are false.
?Much as the military desires to respect the old General and his views, it has become necessary to point out that his conduct and un?guarded utterances of late have fallen short of the standard of disci?pline expected of an individual who has had the privilege of service in the military and risen to the status of a General.
?The behavior of retired General (Chief) Obasanjo has been so unbe?coming and continues to constitute a serious embarrassment to the mil?itary before all who have reasonably and rightly adjudged the essence of military background in terms of the high value and standard it tends to contribute to statesmanship.
?We feel constrained to remind the old General that the world has moved beyond that parochial and self-adulating reasoning and mind?set which he seems stuck to?, he said.
The Defence Headquarters point?edly said that Obasanjo, indeed, needs to be told that by virtue of their better training, exposure, education, assessment and environ?ment, the military personnel of to?day are already far beyond his level in their appreciation of democracy and it?s indispensability for the sta?ble and prosperous society which Nigerians cherish.
The statement added, ?In this instance, the military wishes to in?form the retired General that the institution which he bequeathed to the nation has certainly developed beyond how he left it.
?The Nigerian military is now better placed to strive for the main?tenance of the legacies and ethos of service, valour, subordination to constituted authorities, and non?partisan commitment to duty and fatherland.
?It has to be restated that the mili?tary as an institution, is neither as inept in the discharge of its duties, nor is it being misused for politi?cal ends in the manner the retired General Obasanjo who was also a former President has possibly been made to believe.
?Indeed, the system now strongly believes in Democracy as well as its structures and institutions to the extent that it will do nothing what?soever to undermine or truncate the steady growth and development of the nation?s democracy?, it said.
The statement gave assurance that the military would remain professional as it keeps doing its best along with others to ensure ad?equate security and defence of the nation?s territorial integrity in this auspicious period in the country.

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