The Guardian Lagos Leo Sobechi
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

A retired admiral, Akinsola Johnson, has observed that Nigeria’s democracy in the last 17 years has been stunted by lack of purposeful leadership and poor management of resources, noting that the military has no choice than to be subjected to civil authority.

Johnson spoke to The Guardian after the public presentation of his book, Caught in a trap at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos at the weekend.

He explained that the failure by the military to impart discipline in the citizens during their time in political power was because they modulated their discipline with politics, stressing that « when you play politics with everything, you cannot be a disciplined person. »

He added: « I am telling you as a retired admiral. These are the things we have been taught and you can quote me any time, I have taught people junior to me when I was still in service, that we have to be loyal to Nigeria. The military has no choice; it must be subordinate to political masters.

« Military, I want to say, got it wrong, because first of all the military in politics is an aberration, it was an institutional thing. They found themselves taking charge of the nation based on the situation they found themselves.

« As a military man I was not trained to be in politics while in uniform. My training is to defend the country and to preserve security and ensure the wellbeing of the people.

That is my job, to defend the nation against territorial aggression and to ensure that we support the political authorities towards ensuring that there is peace within the society. »