African Press International (API)

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Obasanjo advises military men eyeing leadership to go the political way

Posted by African Press International on April 13, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised any military personnel in Africa who wished to assume political leadership to contest elections for the office.

Obasanjo told members of the ECOWAS Committee of Experts on Peace and Security, who called on him late on Tuesday in Abuja that “If you have worn the military uniform and desire to participate in politics, you can drop the uniform and contest for the office.”

He said Africa would no longer accept people with “gun in hand and in uniform, shooting themselves into office’’.

“Gone forever are the days when someone in uniform hopes to use it as a stepping stone to political office,” he said.

He said West Africa was experiencing a period of “vibrant democracy,” with two nations, Mali and Nigeria, holding elections this month, with Senegal’s newly elected leader being inaugurated last week.

The Nigerian President thanked the committee for its role in the sustenance of democracy, through the maintenance of peace, security and stability in their nations.

Earlier, Colonel Mahamen Toure, ECOWAS Commissioner for Peace and Security, said the committee was meeting in Abuja to look at the security situation in the sub-region and the new Commission’s organisational structure.

The ECOWAS Committee of Experts on Peace and Security comprises all Chiefs of Defence Staff of ECOWAS member countries.

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Martin Luther Agwai, led the delegation to the Nigerian president.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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