Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Thursday, urged the military to avoid being used by disgruntled elements to compromise national security.
Mr Dan-Ali made the call at the passing out of Direct Short Service Course 27 cadets of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) in Kaduna.
“Let me remind you that we are in a democratic government and you, as members of the armed forces are subject to military and civil laws.
“Hence you must subordinate yourself to civil authority and protect our fledgling democracy.
“You must know the limits of your freedom of association and expression which must be matched with responsibility to maintain national security.
“Furthermore, avoid being used by disgruntled elements in the society to compromise national security or to act in a way capable of denting the good image of the service.
“You should always remember that good civil -military relations are key to unlocking the solution to our national security challenges.
“You must therefore guard against over zealousness and resist the temptation to brutalize the civil populace.
“Your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination.’’
The defence minister pledged that the government would continue to support the policy thrust to improve economic, social and political situation in the country.
“Within the context, I have also noted with satisfaction that the NAF had adopted measures to engender transparency, accountability and maximize the utilization and resources of government.
“Therefore I want to charge you all to imbibe this culture of doing more with less resources and embrace the policy of zero tolerance to corruption by this government,’’ he said.
Mr Dan-Ali said the state government is taking necessary measures to safeguard lives and property, and end the wave of kidnapping and other acts of criminality across country.
The minister expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for giving due attention to the armed forces in spite of competing economic needs.