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BANKOLE RULES OUT MASS REVOLT, MILITARY COUP

By NBF News
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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, yesterday disabused the minds of German parliament of the possibility of an uprising against the Federal Government, as witnessed in some North African nations.

Nigeria, he said, will not experience the kind of revolution going on in North Africa, because of the acceptance of democracy by the citizens.

Bankole, who was represented by the chairman of House Committee on Defence, Mr. Oluwole Oke, said that it was evident that Nigerians have embraced democracy and would deepen it.

Responding to questions on the nation's preparedness for such revolt, from a delegation of the German parliament, the speaker cited the successful transitions between democratically elected leadership in 2003 and 2007, adding that the North Africa's experience was therefore, not applicable to Nigeria.

Led by Herbert Frankenhauser, a member of the German parliament, the delegation said that they were on a familiarisation tour of Nigeria, especially the National Assembly, with the view to seeking possible areas of collaboration.

The Speaker also ruled out the possibility of military intervention in Nigeria, saying that the nation's armed forces have been highly professionalized.

'The armed forces have adopted democratic culture. They have been transformed, professionalized and deeply restricted to their professional duties,' he said.

He told the delegation that the military institution has regretted ever dabbling into governance based on the experiences of democracy in the country.

On budgetary allocation for defence, since the advent of democracy, the German team was informed that Nigeria's defence budget ratio to her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was never less than 10 percent of the national budget.

He said that since the nation was in a relative peace condition, her defence allocation mainly goes into training and retraining of personnel, and the country's efforts at foreign peace keeping missions.

While thanking the German government for its support to Nigeria, Bankole pleaded for more collaboration.

Identifying some possible areas of collaboration with Nigeria and Africa, especially in the war against corruption, a member of the delegation, Mr. Klaus-Peter Willsch. said while it was not possible to restrict flow of investment due to Germany's commitment to free trade, efforts would be made at freezing any suspicious funds until successful investigation, to have such repatriated to the rightful owners, was concluded.