Former military president Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida yesterday said that the country’s democracy has nothing to fear as the military will not overthrow the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, the military will not overthrow the present civilian government on the grounds that its officers have been exposed to training and exposure on the tenets of democracy.
Babangida spoke at the graduation/anniversary lecture of the National Defence College (NDC) in Abuja as the distinguished guest speaker.
Speaking on a theme ‘‘The Creation of National Defence College (NDC): Twenty Years After’’, Babangida said: ‘‘I can say without equivocation that our democracy faces no danger from the military. This is because the curriculum of the NDC has exposed participants to the tenets of democracy from inception.
Long before Nigeria returned to democratic rule, military officers who passed through this college were prepared for life of service under civilian leadership and control.’’
He added that most senior officers in the armed forces already knew about civil-military relations within the democratic context before international partners brought the idea of giving lessons on it. “Ironically, it seemed that it was the new civilian political masters who needed to learn from these lessons most.
"It is no wonder that the military has firmly kept to its professional duties because this is right and also out of enlightened self-interest,’’ IBB stated. “An area in which the college has contributed to national development is in the inculcation, among military and paramilitary personnel, of core values and ethics that support democratic rule.’’
Commending the college for its achievements in training officers of the military, the former military leader said the yearly studies and research reports produced by the college have the potential to contribute more to national development ‘‘if the relevant government agencies make best use of the results or findings’’.
He observed that the college has been nurtured to the prestigious institution that it is now: ‘‘I am aware that the NDC is well-known and respected not only at home but also in Africa and round the world. It is a centre of excellence for both ECOWAS and the Africa Union (AU) in training peacekeepers at the strategic level.’’