Some retired Nigerian military officers criticized the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) over their recent remarks directed at the country's former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Soon after OBJ announced his quit from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and tore apart his membership card, the DHQ took to Facebook to call the politician an embarrassment to the military. The security chiefs were outraged by Obasanjo's allegation that the ruling party would use them to extend Goodluck Jonathan's tenure.
Speaking with Punch, however, the former Chief of Army Staff , Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd.), blasted the military seniors over their insulting comments.
According to Akinrinade, Obasanjo simply exercised his political right, therefore it was inappropriate for junior officers to say such things, especially against their superiors.
"Obasanjo has exercised his political rights. I think his joining politics is what is causing this nonsense. What is the business of the Defence Headquarters in politics anyway? How did they get to the point where they are reading political statement by politicians. They are now reacting to it. Obasanjo didn’t abuse the armed forces. He must have his reasons for what he said. It is a very bad idea for a junior officer to come out in the public and chastise an ex-commander-in-chief."
A former Director of Army Legal Services, Col. Akin Kejawa (retd.), shared a similar point of view adding that such comments were the product of "the indiscipline that the military has degenerated into".
"It is unethical. They should know how to respect elders. I have read the report this morning and don’t think that is good. It is very disrespectful. He was a former head of state and he should be accorded due respect, no matter what he has said.
"This is what we are calling indiscipline in the military. A commander is doing something; you cannot come out and start condemning him. In the military, we don’t do things like that. That is my own personal view and as a lawyer with experience in military law, that is not proper. Can somebody call his father a stupid person? No matter what mistake he has made, you can’t dishonour him."
His colleague, the first Military Administrator of Osun State, Maj. Gen. Leo Ajiborisa (retd.), refused to comment on the situation explaining:
"I don’t discuss political issue. It is insubordination for anybody to write about his senior. Military etiquette does not teach us that way, so I am not interested in pronouncing anything. I am not a politician; they can go and sort their matter."
While the reactions to Obasanjo's move continue, the former President disclosed his position in a series of tweets. He insisted that Nigeria's interests always come first and added:
"I'd rather tear the PDP membership card than sit down and let Jonathan use PDP and corruption to tear my beloved country apart."