Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja, says Nigeria’s military will always defend and strengthen the nation’s democracy.
Lagbaja spoke on Saturday at the cadet passing out parade and oath-taking ceremony at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in Jaji, Kaduna.
He urged Nigerian troops to be “proud champions of democracy” and take on their duties with the constitution as a guide.
According to the COAS, “The only thing better than democracy for our country in this modern era is more democracy.
“By more democracy, I mean flourishing, uninterrupted constitutional democratic governance that promotes our values and the interest of every well-meaning Nigerian, irrespective of tribe or religious affiliation.
“I, therefore, charge all Nigerian Army personnel to be proud champions of our flourishing democracy and remain apolitical in discharging their constitutional duties.
“As I mentioned earlier, our democracy is a cherished value, and the Nigerian Army is poised to defend and strengthen it and not contribute to undermining, let alone truncating it.”
Lagbaja’s remarks come less than two weeks after a military junta seized power in neighbouring Niger Republic.
President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted by Abdourahmane Tiani, a former presidential guard member.
The development has created a tense atmosphere in the West African sub-region.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the coup plotters and given them a deadline to relinquish power or face possible armed intervention — an ultimatum which lapses today.
Burkina Faso and Mali have declared their alliance with the Niger military junta and threatened to go to war with ECOWAS.