President Goodluck Jonathan has given a stern warning that the global community would no longer tolerate military role in governance both in Africa and other parts of the world.
Addressing a special session of the National Peoples’ Assembly, Friday, in Bissau, during his visit to Guinea-Bissau, Jonathan charged their Armed Forces to embrace total respect for democracy and constitutionalism in the interest of their nation.
“It is no longer fashionable today to see the military parading themselves as the custodians of political power. Rather, it is fashionable for the military to embrace the protection, preservation and total respect for constitutional order and democracy in order to build a prosperous and an egalitarian society”, he said.
Speaking at the session attended by members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of civil society organizations, Jonathan, said he was in Bissau to show solidarity to the government and people of Guinea Bissau as part of efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability on the African continent.
He also restated Nigeria’s condemnation of recent attacks on the Nigerian Embassy and Nigerian nationals in Guinea Bissau.
Jonathan said “mischief makers” in the country should be discouraged from inciting the public against brotherly Nigerians and Africans.
“We should be our brothers’ keepers and work hand-in-hand in this era of globalization so as to reap the fruits that come with it. I want to reassure you that the incident that led to the death of a Nigerian will not deter us from our desire to ensure that peace and stability is restored in Guinea-Bissau,” he told the Parliament.
Jonathan noted that the objective of his visit was to “identify with your aspiration to transform your country to the status of a stable and democratic society that will guarantee peace and stable democratic governance, which is a fundamental pre-requisite for meaningful economic development.”
He therefore called on the country’s political leaders and members of its Armed Forces to “remain steadfast and maintain the commitment which you have demonstrated right from the onset until the transition process is successfully completed with the holding of general elections which will take place soon.”
He urged all stakeholders in the country to sheathe their swords and work together in harmony to salvage the nation.
Thanking President Jonathan and the Nigerian government for “Nigeria’s presence in our country every time we need support, particularly in this last crisis to which we are determined to find a solution”, speaker of the National Peoples’ Assembly, Ibraima Sori Djalo, described the October attack on Nigerians in Guinea Bissau as very “depressing” and reiterated the earlier official apology conveyed to Nigeria on the incident.
Before departing Guinea Bissau for The Gambia, President Jonathan met with members of the Nigerian community and also visited the Nigerian contingent of ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) at Bras, Bissau.