Jonathan chides critics of military, Nigerian donates N1m to armed forces
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday chided critics of the nation’s military over the anti-terrorists operations in the North east, saying any leader who ropes in the armed forces in the politics of gaining political power to govern the country is reckless.
According to him, rather than denigrating and dressing the military in any political garb, men of the armed forces should be appreciated by all Nigerians and be insulated from politics.
Jonathan, who spoke at the State House in Abuja while receiving a cheque of N1 million donated by a Nigerian, Mr. Dotun Oyetunde, to the military in appreciation of the recent successes being recorded against Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, said he always felt bad whenever he heard people make derogatory comments about the nation’s military, noting that countries that Nigeria builds its democracy after do not behave in that manner.
“We must continue to commend men of the Nigerian armed forces. A nation must honour men of its armed forces. All the nations that we emulate and build our democracy after do not insult their military. They must be appreciated and insulated from politics. I feel bad when leaders rope in military in our day-to-day political activities. That is reckless.
“These men stay in the rain while we are under roofs. They stay awake for us to sleep well. We acknowledge the supports the military is currently receiving from Nigerians.,” the president said.
At the presentation of the cheque before the national security council meeting went into closed-door session yesterday, President Jonathan specifically commended youth groups that have been demonstrating in support of the troops, urging other Nigerians to borrow a leaf from those who have been donating in cash and kind to the troops. He said such assistance could be channeled through the chief of defence staff, national security adviser or the minister of defence.
The donor said he and his wife were moved by the plight of the troops in the hands of members of the Boko Haram sect. Oyetunde said he was surprised that some and groups seemed to be criticising the military and are seeing Boko Haram insurgency as political as if the insurgents ask for their victims’ political affiliations before attacking them.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, while introducing the donor, told the President that the military had received various donations such as drugs, bags of rice and cartons of instant noodles.
He said when he received Oyetunde’s message, he discussed with the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), who suggested that the donor should be brought to personally present the cheque to the President during the meeting.