Let’s Keep The Military Out Of It

Politicians should leave the Republic of Fiji Military Forces alone. They must not make it a political football. The RFMF is apolitical. We know that every political party has the
06 Sep 2014 10:56

Politicians should leave the Republic of Fiji Military Forces alone. They must not make it a political football. The RFMF is apolitical.

We know that every political party has the right to voice what it wants to put in place if elected to lead the nation.

But surely, there are better topics to cover like water, electricity, roads, etc, that will really benefit the people.

We all know what happened in 2006 when the military took over leadership from the Laisenia Qarase-led Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua government.

According to the RFMF commander  Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga, what the RFMF did in 2006 was for the security of the nation and they were committed to the new roadmap put in place by the then President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, for Fiji to return to a truly democratic country after the 2014 general elections.

The Commander reminds all that it is the military’s responsibility to support the government of the day and at the moment the Government is the Voreqe Bainimarama-led Government and they will support it.

“And when elections come, we’ll support the democratically-elected government that comes into power,” he said.

Isn’t this statement by the RFMF Commander commendable? During the Social Democratic Liberal Party campaign at the chiefly village of Lomanikoro, Rewa, party candidate Semesa Karavaki said the military was not doing its designated role. Is this true?

He is saying the designated role of the military is to protect the generation of the iTaukei. According to Mr Karavaki the role of the military “…is to protect the land and what has happened is that they have divided the land.”

Section 131 (2) of the new Cnstitution clearly stipulates the role of the military. It read: “It shall be the overall responsibility of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to ensure at all times the security, defence and well-being of Fiji and all Fijians.”

We have seen the many developments that the Government with the full support of the military had done.

Let us all be reminded that the change in leadership in 2006 was really for the betterment of the nation.

No one can deny, but critics will, that the military backed the new roadmap to the united Fiji that we are all heading to. When Prime Minister Bainimarama handed over the military leadership to Brigadier-General Tikoitoga, the new Commander assured the nation that the RFMF would carry out its role as specified in the Constitution.

“RFMF will at all times protect the nation and all Fijians,” Brigadier General Tikoitoga said in his address to the nation.

As the nation gears up for the September 17 general elections, the RFMF Commander rightly says that the military must be left alone. They have nothing to do with politics as they are apolitical.

As the protector of the Constitution, the RFMF will like to see that “the legal procedures are followed as outlined in the constitution for any changes”.

Section 160 of the Constitution explains in detail the procedures to be followed.

“There are no other procedures and the RFMF will stand by the procedures in the Constitution.”

If other procedures are followed by any political party, the Commander said the RFMF would step in to stop it. For all political parties they should not waste their time talking about the RFMF.

The RFMF with its strong leadership is firm and is set with its mission and that is to protect all. We all know of the crisis the RFMF is facing in Syria and we are all affected by it.

If politicians say something about the RFMF they should just appreciate the great work it has done in the peacekeeping duties and not forgetting the role, it played in making this general election a reality.



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