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I don’t regret retiring ‘political’ military officers in 1999 – Obasanjo

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Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said he has no apology for retiring officers of the Nigerian military, who had been exposed to politics in 1999.

Obasanjo explained that his decision was to preserve the country’s nascent democracy.

He stated this on Tuesday at the public presentation of a book entitled: “The First Regular Combatant: Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari, OFR” in Abuja. The book written by Haruna Yahaya.

Obasanjo added that easing out military officers who have the assistance of political office holders, will prevent Nigeria from another war.

His words: “I have no apology, but I have explanations; it is because it is necessary to stop the sort of thing that took the life of your father prematurely that I had to take decision that all those that have tasted of power that they should never have tasted of political offices while they were soldiers; that we should ease them out of the army so that we can have an army that will be completely free from political aberration.

“And so far, since 1999, I think we seem to have got it right. Let us hope that we will continue to get it right and learn the right lessons that Nigeria has had enough sacrifices by those victims; that Nigeria deserves peace, unity and democracy. And may the sacrifices of the life of Brig. Zak Maimalari be sufficient to give this country peace, development, unity and progress.

“The lesson we can learn is that we have had enough tragedy in this country; the Nigerian Army, particularly, has had the unfortunate situation where officers this country has spent a lot of money to train and who had been of great service to this country and to the Nigerian Army, had to be cut out in the prime of their life. Our lesson should be that this should never happen again.”

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