Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, says he has no apology for retiring officers of the Nigerian military who had been exposed to politics as at the inception of the current democratic dispensation in 1999.
He disclosed that his decision to retire military officers who had held political positions as at the time he came on board was to engender fertile environment for the nascent democracy to survive.
Obasanjo 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.
The ex-president condemned military incursion into the nation’s politics and bemoaned the kind of bloodshed that has been witnessed in Nigeria.
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.