The National Democratic Front (NDF) has lashed out at the National Assembly over its proposed Armed Forces Bill, describing it as another plot to truncate the nation’s democracy.
According to the group, the bill sponsored by the lawmaker representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe, is targeted at destroying the revered Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
NDF made this disclosure at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
In a statement signed by Secretary-General, Dr. Abdulkadir Bolaji, NDF said the move is unconstitutional as it will whittle down the powers of the President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Bolaji added that the bill shouldn’t even be given consideration in the first place, especially as it is being championed by a staunch advocate of the Indigenous People of Biafra and an Nnamdi Kanu’s sympathizer.
NDF, therefore, urged Nigerians to rise in unity to condemn this attempt at destroying a critical national institution like the Armed Forces.
It further called on the National Assembly leadership to ignore sentiments in this critical time and uphold the country’s democracy and peace .
“The attention of the National Democratic Front has been drawn to the presence of a bill seeking to establish the Armed Forces Service Commission to amongst a host of other things deliberate and decide on the composition and appointments of Service Chiefs in the country.
“The bill seeking to establish the Armed Forces Service Commission is, at best, the handiwork of political merchants, warmongers, and separationist advocates. As such, the National Democratic Front wishes to put in in precise terms that this is nothing but an attempt to destroy our revered Armed Forces.
“The National Democratic Front as an organization with expertise in documenting the democratic experiences in advanced and emerging democracies wishes to state that in the most advanced democracies in the world, there is no such arrangement in place that would take the powers out of the hand of the president as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“It is the inalienable constitutional rights of the President to oversee the affairs of the Armed Forces in the country, and this bill can thus be regarded as a coup against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are appalled that the leadership of the Senate would allow such travesty to be discussed on the floor of the red chambers without taking the time to look at the antecedent of the sponsor of the bill, who is a known separationist advocate.
“The sponsorship of this despicable bill is indeed an avenue for the likes of Senator Eyinaya Abaribe to carryout out from where his protégée Nnamdi Kanu stopped in their quest to disintegrate Nigeria.
“The National Democratic Front considers the sponsorship of such a bill as an affront to our collective sensibilities as a people and as a country, given the fact that it is on record that Senator Eyinaya Abaribe is a staunch advocate for the Indigenous People of Biafra.
“We are also aware that seated in the hallowed chambers are other advocates of those that are hell-bent on destroying our revered Armed Forces so they can actualize their destabilization and disintegration plot against our dear country.
“This fact is corroborated in that such a bill that seeks to promote the interest of a certain few have been slated for a second reading on the floor of the Senate. This is indeed despicable and might be an indication that the leadership of the Nigerian Senate might have been compromised in ways too numerous to mention.
“We also wish to put it on record that, indeed, Senator Eyinaya Abaribe is nursing a grudge against the Nigerian Military for quelling the IPPOB uprising and as such one of the way to retaliate is to seek for the destruction of the Armed Forces through the Armed Forces Service Commission.
“Nigerians must indeed know that this is indeed an attempt to whittling the strength of the Armed Forces in preparation for renewed hostilities by the members of his IPOB constituency in their quest for the disintegration of Nigeria.
“Nigerians must rise in unity to condemn this attempt at destroying a critical national institution like the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The implication is that is this anomaly is allowed to materialize; we might wake up one day and realize that we do not have a country of our own anymore.
“We consequently call on the leadership of the Senate to protect Nigerians from the activities of warmongers, separationist advocates, and political merchants and protect and preserve the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the attempt at destroying it through the obnoxious Armed Forces Service Commission,” the statement read.