The traditional ruler of Owu–Okuta, Osun State, Oba Adekunle Oyelude Makama, Tegbesun III, has warned politicians not to drag the Nigerian military into politics.
Makama, who hosted journalists at his palace on Wednesday, said the move is anti- democratic.
“Through my consistent observation of our political activities since the return of civilian rule in 1999, I have come to a realisation that opposition parties are fond of accusing incumbent of using the military to suppress it before, during and after general elections, with the Army being the worst hit.
There is no doubt that this development is unhealthy for our nascent democracy and nation building. It is noteworthy that it creates unnecessary tension in the polity just as it also reduces the military to a dispensable tool in the hands of political class.”
The royal father, who could be seen holding back some privileged information at his disposal on how some politicians are allegedly mounting pressure on the military, especially the Nigerian Army to carry out partisan activities, commended the leadership of the Army for resisting external influences and performing their duties as patriotic Nigerians.
“Based on my status as traditional ruler who must always be seen as father of the nation, I will not go into the specifics on different pressures allegedly mounted on the military, especially the Army, but which the military persistently resisted.
“On the strength of this, I am appealing to our political parties, as we go into the next general election, to leave the armed forces out of their build-up. Without any fear of contradiction, the armed forces is not only the symbol of our national unity and cohesion, it is also the defenders of our territorial integrity as its personnel sacrifice their comfort for our peace.”
He appealed to every Nigerian irrespective of religious, political and ethnic leanings to support the military in the fight against insurgency, in order for the strides made in the war to be visible to all.
“As I have said before now, our troops need our individual and concerted support through prayers and positive comments,” he said. “A situation whereby their efforts are greeted with scornful remarks would naturally kill their morale and also incapacitate their spirit to fight and get desired results.”
Makama also warned Nigerians to be weary of external forces who masquerade as human rights organization but are agents of destabilization while he also challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be fair in their conduct of the forth coming general elections.