Oba Adekunle Makama Oyelude Tegbosun III, the Olowu of Kuta on Tuesday urged Nigerians not to drag the military into politics.
The monarch advocated patriotic support for the Nigerian Army in the fight against insurgency and effort towards achieving a credible and violence-free elections.
Oba Oyelude made this clarion call at a World Press Conference on Global support for the Nigeria Army, towards War against Insurgency in Ikeja, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference tagged: “While Politicians Think about Next Election, Royal Fathers Think About Secured and Safe Country,” had some traditional rulers and civil society organisations in attendance.
“Contemporary government has informally imposed some social-political duties on us as royal fathers such that we can no longer fold our arms and watch things go awry.
“The Nigeria Army knows neither APC nor PDP. I am very sure that the Nigerian Army will not be dragged into politics. I salute the courage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai for his professionalism.
“I want to plead with our politicians across board not to play politics with our Armed Forces being the symbol of our unity. If the election is about the masses, there should be no victor nor vanquished.
“My appeal to all the gladiators is to eschew violence. Nothing should be done to jeopardize the peace and the template set by ex-president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2015,” the first class traditional ruler said.
According to him, all candidates must keep to the peace accord bearing in mind the sanctity of the country.
He added that the re-scheduled elections should be approached with open mind.
He said that the constant accusations by opposition parties that the incumbent government was using the military to suppress the will of the people was unhealthy for democracy and nation-building.
Oyelude said that the Nigerian Army are never accused of bias in the discharge of its duties in all the reasons adduced for the postponement of the general elections by INEC.
“I am appealing to our political class that as we go into the re-scheduled elections, to leave the armed forces out of their build up to the elections.
“Without any fear of contradiction, the armed force is not only the symbol of our national unity and cohesion, it is also the defenders of our territorial integrity as its personnel sacrifice their comfort for our peace.
He expressed optimism that the end of insurgency was at sight if the current tempo and innovative ideas by the Nigerian Army was sustained and intensified.
He called for individual and concerted support through prayers and positive comments from religious leaders, traditional rulers and well-meaning patriotic Nigerians.
The Oba urged all to contribute their quota towards achieving permanent peace and security in the country, which he said was necessary ingredients for growth and development.
He called for support for the fighting gallant troops, rather than politicising occasional setbacks with scornful remarks that might kill morale and incapacitate the spirit of the soldiers.
Oyelude, who noted that the Army was worst hit in the fight against terrorism, also called for the support of the international community more than ever before at this trying moment of Nigeria’s history.
“I will like to clamour for a massive increase in the budgetary allocation to the Defence Ministry. This will enhance an accelerated equipping of our armed forces to meet up with the demand of modern day and conventional warfare.”