Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), has said that the era of toppling democratically-elected government by the military is over in Nigeria.
Dike was speaking at a Civil-Military Forum organised by the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, for members of the public and military personnel in Jos.
Represented by the Director, Civil-Military Cooperation at the Defence Headquarters, Maj-Gen. Dung Chong, Dike said the military were not trained to rule but to protect the country against external aggression.
The defence chief cautioned young military officers, who nursed the ambitions to rule the country while in military uniform to reconsider the ambition and leave governance to civilians.
â€œWe are going round all the military formations to speak to our officers and men on our constitutional roles; we need to be professionals and leave governance to the civilians,â€ he said.
Earlier in his remark, Maj.-Gen Saleh Maina, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Armoured Division, Nigerian Army, Jos, described the military as â€œthe last hope of the common manâ€.
â€œThe armed forces, not the judiciary, is the last hope of any country, community or any nation. The Armed Forces is the main pillar holding any country together,â€ Maina said.
According to him, it is expected that the forum will go a long way in enhancing the relationship between the civilians and the military and curtail the incessant crises in Plateau.
The Chairman of the Forum, retired Rear Admiral Francis Akpan, said that the idea of the forum was to explore the strength in communal living and discourage the weaknesses that could disintegrate the country.
Akpan stressed the need to change the negative mindset of the civil populace about soldiers and sensitise military personnel to the importance of cordial relationship with the larger society.