Abuja - Former Head of State and Chairman of National Peace Committee for 2015 Elections, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Thursday in Abuja commended the Nigerian Military for its role in the Presidential elections.
Abubakar gave the commendation when members of the committee paid a visit to the Chief of Defence Staff at the Defence Headquarters.
He also congratulated the military for the successes achieved in combating terrorists in the north east part of the country.
“On behalf of the committee, I congratulate the armed forces on what they are doing to salvage this country from this Boko Haram menace.”
“On behalf of the committee, we pray that the souls of those who departed may rest in peace.”
He noted that Nigerian military and police make a mark anywhere they are serving the United Nations “One way or the other, all of you here are veterans of peace keeping.”
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“I know quite a number of you had done more than two three tours on this mission.”
“So, I am not surprised that through your leadership, the military had been able to safeguard the Constitution.”
“We commend your effort and urge you to build on that. In any country, the civilians look up, especially in time of crisis, towards the military.”
“I thank you for all you have done and I am very proud to be part and parcel of the military who since independence, have been contributing to the development and well- being of this country.”
Prof Ibrahim Gambari, member of the committee, said the armed forces did an excellent job during the just-concluded presidential elections but added that the journey was not ended yet.
Gambari said they came to urged the military on build the successes recorded in the last elections and to show professionalism the armed forces was known for in the next elections.
“You have distinguished yourselves, build on that and make Nigerians proud.”
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, said the armed forces were very proud that members of the peace committee came to give them a pat on the back for a job well done.
Badeh said the armed forces were also grateful that the committee recognized what it was doing in the North-East of the country.
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The CDS reaffirmed the commitment and loyalty of the Nigerian Armed Forces to civil rule, saying the era of military rule was gone forever.
“The era of military rule is gone forever in this country. In fact, if there was military rule, I am not sure if I could have been here.”
“We are the armed forces of Nigeria and not that of any political party and will be subordinate to the constituted authorities,” he said.
He recalled when they were canvassing for extension of time to allow them to do something in the North-East.
“There was so much misgiving. We did it with all sense of responsibility.”
“As the armed forces of Nigeria, we thought we needed to give everybody a fair chance to exercise his franchise of casting his vote for the person he wants to govern Nigeria for the next four years.”
The Defence Chief said that the military leaders were the product of democratic governance and would therefore not embark on any activities that could jeopardize the electoral processes.
He assured that the military would remain non-partisan while carrying out its legitimate duties of providing secured environment for Saturday's elections
“We can promise you that from here we give orders and that we will build on what we did on March 28, we want to replicate it and do better.”