There is no coup plot or any plan whatsoever to derail the present democratic governance, the military said yesterday.
It expressed their unalloyed loyalty to the constitution and President Muhammadu Buhari as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces would not derail from protecting the nation’s democracy and would completely surbordinate themselves to civil rule, the military said.
The Director of Defence Information at the Defence Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, at a news conference in Abuja, said the clarification became necessary following the comments credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and the reactions the comment generated across the country and at the international level.
He said : “What I am telling you on behalf of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is that nobody should be afraid of any coup. The Armed Forces is totally loyal to the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, and in complete subordination to civil authority.
“At all levels of commands, we are out there, including our troops, and we will remain focussed and conscious about the oath of allegiance that we have taken and guided by the constitution of this country. So, that is my remark to you, to build on that and then reassure the general public that there is nothing like coup; nothing like that would ever be supported or encouraged.
“If there is a sign of anything like that, then there are instances and guiding rules and regulations and procedures, which we normally follow, and we want to assure Nigerians that we are not in a different world, on our own. We know what is happenning all over the whole world, our armed forces , and crop of officers and men we have are modern. We are in tune with the best international practice of governance and that is democracy, democracy, democracy.”
Maj.-Gen. Enenche who was flanked at the briefing by Army spokesman Brig.-Gen Sani Usman and the representative of Navy spokesperson, Commander Edward Yeibo, said the statement credited to the Army chief about relationships between some civilians and army personnel was routine, to ensure conformity with ethics of the military in all ramifications.
The Defence spokesperson said: “ Professionally, it is a command responsibility to caution officers and men on routine basis to conform to the ethics of the military in all ramifications, which includes interactions and exchange of visits, among others. This command responsibility is exercised right from the highest echelon, such as the office of the Service Chiefs down to the lowest levels of command. Hence, the caution from the Army in this case .
“ Secondly, administratively, officers and men are regularly cautioned to exercise command and control by Appropriate Superior Authorities through commanders at various levels. This is to prevent members of the armed forces from derailing from their core focus of total dedication to their oath of allegiance. Thus, it is a usual practice in military administration.
”However, it is pertinent to state that if there are signs of actions that point to likely breaches of military code of conduct, as it were, cautions or warnings are issued with possible investigations following. Thus, in the present situation, the Armed Forces and the Army in particular has employed the due process to ensure that officers and men remain committed to performing their constitutional roles. As such, the mention of coup plots from some quarters are assertions which are not confirmed.
“At this juncture, let me assure all Nigerians and lovers of this country that the Armed Forces is and will remain totally loyal to the Commander-ln-Chief (C-in-C) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in complete subordination to civil rule.
“Furthermore, all fears about a coup should be allayed as the contemporary Nigerian Military is abreast with the best international practices in governance, which is democracy. In this regard, the military high and other levels of command will continue to ensure effective training and administration, to ensure that the armed Forces of Nigeria, retain its place of pride amongst the military globally.”
He dismissed as untrue the allegations that soldiers were unduly attached to some politicians, saying “only the Minister of Defence and the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces have soldiers attached to them”.
Maj. Gen Enenche cautioned Nigerians against jumping into conclusions on certain issues, insisting that administrative procedures which require time, would have to be explored.
He said the armed forces were concerned about the interception and proliferation of arms at the nation’s borders and ports, adding that they are working alongside other security agencies and committees established by the government to arrest the situation.
On the renewed efforts of insurgents and recent bomb explosions by the Boko Haram group, Maj.-Gen. Enenche described those involved as diehard insurgents who refused to be de-radicalised, adding that such groups blow up themselves when they are about to be apprehended by security forces.
He that within a short period, the armed forces would clear the Northeast of such insurgent groups.
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