A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.) has said political interference in military affairs undermines national security.
Mr Buratai said this while delivering a lecture “Public Service and the imperatives for national security in Nigeria,” at the Second Stanza 2023 National Public Service and 65th University of Ibadan Alumni Association anniversary lecture on Friday in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He said political interference often hindered smooth military operations and impeded effective execution of plans.
The former COAS added that political interference was capable of compromising service personnel, who are also public servants, thereby eroding public service.
“This interference often stems from a lack of understanding of the complexities in military operations, strategy and the unique challenges faced by military leaders.
“When politicians impose their own agenda or micro-manage military affairs, it can undermine the effectiveness and autonomy of military leaders. Furthermore, political interference can erode the morale and trust within military ranks.
“When military leaders are constantly subjected to political pressures and demands that do not align with military expertise, it can create a sense of disillusionment among the troops. This can negatively impact their motivation, discipline, and overall effectiveness in carrying out their duties,” he said.
Mr Buratai however noted that the insecurity in the country since 2009 could be surmounted with strong political will.
“It is essential for the civil authorities to have oversight and democratic control over the military in a democracy. However, those in civil governance should respect the expertise and professionalism of military leaders.
“Politicians should rely on the advice and expertise of military leaders in matters of defence and security, rather than playing to the gallery or politicising national security,” he added.
Buratai also charged public servants not to allow political office-holders to deviate from the rules.
In his submission, ex-Inspector-General of Police and chairman of the occasion, Mike Okiro, called for more synergy among security agencies in the country.
Mr Okiro, represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) in Oyo State, Akinade Adejobi, urged citizens to join hands with the police to tackle insecurity in the country.
Earlier, the President of UIAA Worldwide, Prof. Saawua Nyityo, in his opening remarks said the hallmark of the association was not only to connect with the alumni alone.
“But it is also to link up with worthy members of the Nigerian community to generate ideas and solutions to address societal challenges to move our nation forward,” he said.
Mr Nyityo said that the association also sought individual and institutional support for the purpose of contributing to the growth of its alma mater.