African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Posted by African Press International on March 9, 2008

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Owoye Azazi, on Thursday said that no amount of criticisms would make the military recant its loyalty and support for President Umaru YarAdua.

Azazi said the military had a duty to protect the nations democratic process, adding that it would not tolerate blackmail on the matter. The CDS spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Convention in Abuja. Azazi, who earlier warned officers and men of the military against unprofessional conducts, said the military had a duty to protect democracy in the country. He said, Recently, I have been criticised severally in the media over my statement that the military will defend the President. I just want to restate my stance, that we are loyal to the President.

We have a duty to protect our democracy and we must ensure that at all times. I want to reaffirm that the criticisms will not make us shift our position. It is our duty to stand by the President. The defence boss also reacted to the situation in the Niger Delta, saying that security in the area had greatly improved in recent times. In his speech, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Paul Dike, said no amount of external influence would make the Air Force compromise on laid down military laws.

Dike said, Many of us today conveniently forget that our rights as military personnel are to some extent circumscribed by military laws and regulations.Very often, personnel sidetrack such laid down procedures in the erroneous belief that they can use external pressures to influence situations in their favour. For the avoidance of doubt, let me restate that the military is an organisation governed by rules and regulations, and indeed traditions. While we have a duty to apply those laws fairly, we cannot apply them selectively to suit individual caprices.

Published by Korir, API africanpress@getmail.no source.ThePunch.Nigeria

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