FIJI NEWS

RFMF to remain apolitical: Tikoitoga

By MAIKA BOLATIKI The Republic of Fiji Military will remain apolitical and independent, says Commander, Brigadier – General Mosese Tikoitoga. Speaking after the handover ceremony yesterday at the Queen Elizabeth
06 Mar 2014 12:32

Outgoing Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama (left), and new Commander, Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga shake hands after the outgoing Commander was traditonally towed out of the Queen Elizabeth Barracks yesterday. Photo: JONA KONATACI.

By MAIKA BOLATIKI

The Republic of Fiji Military will remain apolitical and independent, says Commander, Brigadier – General Mosese Tikoitoga.
Speaking after the handover ceremony yesterday at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua, he said: “As the new Commander of the RFMF, I want to solemnly declare before the nation my commitment to the 2013 Constitution, which incorporates the vision we all share for a new and better Fiji.”
He adds – “Under my command, the RFMF will obey, defend and protect that Constitution and the new democracy that together, we are all creating.”
The Commander said they would of course, also continue to defend and protect the nation, assist its people and contribute to a better world through their peacekeeping efforts with the United Nations.
He said the Prime Minister was leaving the RFMF to become a civilian and form a political party to contest the forthcoming general elections.
The RFMF Commander made this assurance to the nation – “I want to assure the nation that the role of the RFMF is to act in the interests of all Fijians. And we intend to uphold our constitutional duty; be independent; be above politics and respect the will of the people.”
Meanwhile he said it was an honour and privilege for him to be assuming command of the RFMF.
He paid tribute to his distinguished predecessor, the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, and thanked him on behalf of every serviceman and woman.
Brigadier-General Tikoitoga said that 15 of the 39 years the Prime Minister spent in the RFMF, were as Commander; and it was his responsibility to deal with some of the most challenging events in the nation.
“There was the overthrow of the government in 2000 and the ensuing chaos, which he successfully brought to an end and the subsequent mutiny.”
He said the history of Fiji would have been very different had either of these events succeeded and they all owed the Prime Minister their gratitude for his courage, fortitude and resolve.
“And then of course, came the events of 2006 – the revolution led by the Prime Minister, with the backing of the RFMF, to reset our national compass and place Fiji on a different path – a path of national unity, justice, prosperity and creating a modern nation state.”
He says the revolution continues and will have its climax with the first genuine democratic elections in Fiji’s history.
n Editorial: Page 10




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