|Tikoitoga: Bloggers impression.|
With Mosese Tikoitoga saying "Let me tell you this, don't mess with the RFMF," one can only guess it's the second.
In an interview with the Fiji Sun published today, Fiji's land force commander makes it clear there will be no compromise and certainly no return to the barracks as recommended in the Yash Ghai draft Constitution.
Tikoitoga tells the Fiji Sun the RFMF will remain strong and 'no one will weaken it'.
Under the headline "Tikoitoga tells of attempts to weaken military", he says they are aware of moves by certain individuals, groups and political parties to weaken its strength.
His answer? “Let me tell you this, don’t mess with the RFMF."
Tikoitoga also tells the Sun he will keep engaging in the political debate about the draft Constitution despite political parties saying he's not entitled to make comments.
“As the RFMF Land Force Commander I’m entitled to air the military’s views on the Draft Constitution when and at whatever time it suits me. The people must be advised that the RFMF talks on issues.”
Tikoitoga scoffed at what he said was weak support of the three key parties - SDL, FLP and the UPP - questioning the neutrality of the Constitution Commission saying the influence of the old political parties and other groups was obvious in Ghai’s draft constitution.
He objected most to suggestions soldiers not follow orders they consider illegal and the downsizing of the military.
Tikoitoga says soldiers follow orders whether right or wrong. "Soldiers sign an oath to follow orders and they will at all times abide by it.”
He says any move to weaken the RFMF 'won’t happen' urging critics 'to come on board and move forward with the Government.'
He said: "There is no turning back."
The question now is: "How far will Tikoitoga and the armed forces go to avoid being sent back to the barracks?"