The history of civil-military relations can be traced to 27 BC when Augustus Caesar transformed the Praetorian Guards into soldiers and permanent guards of Rome. The soldiers became so powerful and were used to settle political scores and terrorize political opponents. According to Hugo Grotius, a leading legal and political writer of the 15th Century, “once the Praetorian Guards discovered the fatal secret that they could make and unmake emperors, that is, intervene directly in the political life of Rome, Rome was never the same again until their final disbandment in 312 AD by emperor Constantine”. Thus emerged the Praetorian Guard syndrome whereby when soldiers taste the fruit of power, they want it permanently.
The Department of Civil-Military Affairs (DCMA) was established in December 2010 by the then Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen OA Ihejirika to serve primarily as an interface between the Nigerian Army and the Civil Populace. It has the responsibility of underscoring the fundamentals of Civil Military Affairs as a Strategic National Institution. The Department is also charged with the introducing and transmitting the core elements of effective civil-military relations in areas of human rights, rule of law, negotiations liaison and conflict management. Click here to follow the Department of Civil Military Affair Official Website