Posted by News Express | 28 February 2015 | 3,556 times
A new era seems to have opened in the relationship between the Nigerian military and the country’s civil society community.
Rather than view civil society with suspicion, Defence Headquarters under the watch of Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh has extended a hand of fellowship, inviting suggestions on ways to enhance peace and security in the country.
The invitation was contained in a letter dated 25th February 2015, addressed to Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman of the Onitsha-based International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety).
Referenced DHQ/ABJ/401/15/DCMR, the letter, sighted by News Express, was signed on behalf of Air Chief Marshall by Major General MA Alkali.
In it, the military expressed profound appreciation to Intersociety for its “observations, concern and suggestions pertaining to the forthcoming general elections” in the country as contained in the group’s letter of February 10, 2015 to the Service Chiefs through the Defence Headquarters; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The letter, titled ‘Healing the Wounds of Aborted Scientific Rigging of 2015 General Polls in Nigeria: What Your Respected Authorities Must Do’, contained wide-ranging suggestions on how to douse tension in the country and make the forthcoming polls successful.
In its response, the military made it clear that the “Office of the Chief of Defence Staff is open and welcome any suggestion that could enhance peace and security of the nation (country).”
Reacting to the letter, Umeagbalasi described it as “profoundly re-assuring and inviting.”
He added that “this is also a clear departure from old cat-and-dog relationship between the Civil Society and the military in Nigeria and the beginning of an end to such unhealthy relationship.”
•Photo shows Air Chief Marshall Badeh.
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