Group hails army on civil-military relations - Vanguard News Nigeria
This paper examines the state of civil-military relations and the prospects for demilitarisation and At the same time, it offers a potentially useful mecha nism for . blown military dictatorship in the region's largest country -Nigeria. Even in Mali. Mar 28, Executive Director Of GOPRI, Amb. Melvin Ejeh stated this yesterday while appraising the civil military relationship across the country. C. Civil-military relation: this notion connote the idea of engendering civilian control D. Fourth republic: this is the period that begin from the time the Abubakar.
Form this foundation, the military had perfected its strategies of subjugation of other groups, and dislodging it from governance has remained a tall agenda. After independence many parts of Africa experienced a new lease of life because independence brought a revolution of rising expectation. It was most unexpected that military intervention was going to become part of the development crisis of the African States.
These officers overthrow the Monarchy headed by King Farouk and subsequently, the Egyptian Army took over the reins of power which was a novelty in Africa [ 5 ]. However, like a wild fire this cankerworm soon spread to Africa south of the Sahara: Bya group of Army officers in Togo overthrew the elected government of Slyvanus Olympic. Sooner than later elected government in Ghana, Nigeria, Dahomey which was later known as republic of Benin fell to the military like packs of cards. From then on what started as a little problem assumed a cancerous dimension as many more government fell in the hands of the military in many African states.
Nigeria experienced military intervention first inwhen the elected government of Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was overthrown in by a group of young military officers. But the coup plotters were not the beneficiaries of it, they were swept aside by the senior officer and the rein of power fell to General Aguiyi-lronsi. Since this experience with military intervention in politics, Nigeria has been plaque with a problem that once the politicians failed, the military is confronted with one issue, how long is it to remain in power.
Once it comes up with a programme or time — table of transition [ 6 ] from military to civilian rule, the other competitors for power as well as the international community expect it to adhere to this whatever its duration, it is not expected to have no end. Prevarication on this alone could be the basis for assessing the success or otherwise of the regime.
With all its imperfections, Nigerians have now come to settle for even the worst form of civilian rule even if democratic rule is still a remote — possibility. Fortunately, the military has also come to the conclusion that it hardly fare better under military rule as professionalism is the first casualty. Military regimes were not willing to have a professional military that could strike with precision because of the fear of military coup. The argument then is that rather than preparing Africans for political independence, the colonial regime prepared Africans against independence [ 7 ].
Democracy, democratization and military in Nigeria discussion and analysis Democracy has become a much — abused concept even as it has gained a lot of currency across the globe.
Claude Ake argues that democracy has been devalued in order to make it convenient and less threatening to those in power or demanding on anyone.
While it spreads, our world is more repressive, after the cold war, there is only one power bloc whose leader act as thought might is right. There is only one ideology, liberal democracy, only one religionmarket forces.
Democratic theory has been mired in an unresolved conflict between two meanings The first conceives democracy as some kind of popular power, a kind of politics in which citizens are engaged in self — government and self-regulation.
Civil-Military Relations in a Democratic Nigeria | Gani Joses Yoroms - promovare-site.info
This perspective holds the view that democracy has a basic intent and objectives. These intents such as individual liberty, equality of citizens, fundamental rights can be realized within a variety of processes.
Democratic government must be dedicated to the well — being of the people who should be able to hold leaders accountable and make them the people express their wishes and respond to their needs [ 9 ]. The second views democracy as an aid to decision — making, that is, a means of conferring authority on those periodically voted into office. Democracy through voting aggregates interest and expresses policy preference.
The emphasis here is process, those institutions and processes designed to ensure the happiness of society as a whole not triumphing on individual liberty. These two ways of viewing democracy has led to the emergence of three models of democracy.
The first is a system of decision — making about public affairs in which citizen are directly involved. This is the original form that democracy took in the Greek city — state of Athens and is referred to as direct democracy.
Direct democracy is indeed the foundation of republican government. Citizen participation is underlined by a commitment to the principle of civic virtue. The second model is the liberal or representative democracy. Representative democracy was therefore the institutional structure that is devised to protect individual liberty and at the same time ensure the general welfare [ 10 ].
The third model is the one party or Marxist democracy. This model takes off from the view that the ideals of liberty, equality and justice that produce the liberation tradition could not be realized by free struggle for votes in the political systems together with the free struggle for profit in the market place.
The failure of liberalism to achieve these ideals is attributed to the dynamics of capitalism that produces systematic inequality and thereby limits individual freedom. There is also the tendency of inequality and constraints in economic production, especially in capitalist societies, to abridge the realization of justice and liberty [ 11 ]. The districts in turn sand their representative to the national government. This pyramid structure of delegated democracy would restore self— reliance and freedom In Nigeria, we have adopted the liberal model of democracy that places emphasis on electoral competition in a high context of high inequalities individual and group and an authoritarian state, such that people vote without choosing, and when they close the only option is between two oppressors.
Thus, the nature of the state, the ambivalent citizenship and thereby problematic civil society, coupled with poor social conditions marked by wide spread poverty and ignorance limit good governance and threaten democracy [ 12 ]. Liberal democracy extends beyond the minimalist or electoral democracy. In addition to regular, free and fair electoral competition and universal suffrage, it requires the absence of reserved domain of power for the military or other social and political forces that are not either directly or indirectly accountable to the electorate Second, in addition to the vertical accountable of rulers to the ruled which is secured most reliably through regular, free and fair electionsit requires horizontal accountability of office — holders to one another.
This constrains executive power and so helps protect constitutionalism, of law and the deliberative process. Third, it encourages extensive provision for political and civic pluralism as well as kir individual and group freedom belief, opinion, speech, assembly etc.
Democratization entails the continuous restructuring of both state and civil society. It involves the restructuring of political institutions and the general approach to management of public affairs with an eye on efficient collective prosperity [ 13 ].
For developing countries, it implies particular conception of development management that mobilizes citizen initiative and resources by their active participation in public affairs. This can be referred to as extending the procedural model to encompassing substantive democracy. One outcome of the democratization processes on the military is that of gain in professionalism.
The social tensions and division that result from the involvement of a fraction of the militarily in politics should begin to disappear, more so with the retirement of the political soldiers. It is obvious that only a fraction of the armed get involved in politics and the juicy appointments that it throws up. In any case, there are practices within the democratization processes that activate militarism and thus endanger the unfolding processes.
By democracy or the absence of rigging or corruption at polling booths nor the absence of the intimidation of voters but we have in mind some respect for movement from one — party rule to multi —partismfrom military rule to multi — party democracy and life presidency to a term — presidency.
Central to good governance is the question of development and the enhancement of general welfare of the citizen. While it was originally thought that democracy should take a back seat in the quest for development in Africa, the failure to achieve development after several decades of authoritarian rule, and military dictatorships has led to a return to the question of the relationship between development and democracy.
Democracy now enjoys worldwide popularity as a key element of good governance and of promoting sustainable human development. In fact, the benefit of good governance, economic prosperity, are said to generate pressures for democratization in newly industrialized countries.
For example, a people that enjoys even modest levels of properly, prosperity, and education is unlikely to become servile. Indeed, the more means people acquire, the more likely they are to want a say in making the rules under domain of political freedom.
Thus, democracy is the road to good governance, while the achievement of good governance and its attendant economic prosperity is a bulwark for democracy. The military institution is the offshoot of the need to secure the territorial boundaries of the state.
Group hails army on civil-military relations
The first point of relevance to new democracies like Nigeria is the conflict between the military world view and culture and democratic values. In the same vein, the civil populace need to and must be educated on how not to confront the military or simply provoke them into self defence that could easily switch to the deadly offensive mode. To this end, members of the public must be fully mobilised and sensitized on the difference between the military and civil police without necessarily losing their freedom and rights as enshrined in the constitution.
This now brings me to the tragic Zaria incidence of December 12,where the civil-military relations simply went sour. Having been embedded with the Army for over a week covering and monitoring the ongoing counter-terrorism activities in parts of Borno state, I can say that the alert level and combat readiness of the officers and soldiers, were at its maximum.
While in Borno state, we visited some of the hot zones in Gajigani, and Konduga amongst others, where the troops work under hostile environment and harsh weather conditions. It is not for the lilly-livered nor is it for show and entertainment purposes because it places not only his life but those around him in danger. I could recall how scary it was, while driving from Borno through the lonely and dangerous routes to Damaturu, Yobe state where we also passed a night.
Even though I was with heavily armed, combat ready and highly alert army convoy, I still felt vulnerable that any ambush could prove deadly. Not only was I worried but yet determined for the duty call, my family is even more worried and you can imagine the families left behind by these committed officers who are not in any way immune to bullets. It was therefore, in that state of combat readiness and war mood that we left to Jigawa and later to attend the Passing Out Parade of 73 Regular Recruits Intake of Depot Nigerian Army, Zaria in kaduna state.
It is even to the credit of the military and dangerously so that they were patient for over 30 minutes, while negotiating the right of passage with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Shiites whose followers practically placed Buratai and his men under siege.
No matter how you might view it, that singular act of laying siege on the COAS for almost an hour is a dangerous provocation.
He is the symbol of the army, the number one man and any threat to him is not just a threat to the Nigerian army but symbolically to the national security. Also, experience has shown that he could be ambushed and shot within the period the siege lasted. It could also be recalled that Buratai had earlier survived an ambush, when his convoy was attacked in Borno state. Therefore, the natural instinct was to break the Shiite siege even with minimal collateral damages.
Even though, I have tried to understand why the military acted the way they did in the first instance but one could not help but wonder what must have necessitated the deadly carnage that followed, leading to the destruction of lives and properties of the Shiites. I heard from some sources that there was intelligence report alleging that the shiites were in possession of stockpile of arms and possibly planning an attack against security and state institutions, prompting the pre-emptive strike.
However, I still feel the second wave of the military retaliation was an unwarranted overkill and unlike the first, which was to break the siege. At worst, that operation required police action first and then the military could be involved only in a situation the police were successfully challenged or repelled by a superior fire power. Anyway, the Army authorities have elected not to speak further on the issue until the judicial inquiry to address the incident conclude their work.
Similarly, the military have been reportedly involved in two separate confrontations with the IPOB members in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, leading to the death of some of them. However, the questions are: Were the Shiite and IPOB members armed or found to have attacked any state institution in a calculated or impulsive manner?
Did they ever overpower the Police to require the involvement of the military? Are the military permitted and required to use live bullets against own citizens who have not deliberately carried arms against the state?
These are questions begging for an answer as we try to resolve the volatile situation.