Friday, 24 June 2016

…Investigation: rumoured coup plot - to overthrow Buhari

Army: No plans to overthrow Buhari

…investigation: rumoured coup plot - to overthrow Buhari

    Soldiers, police in shootout

The Nigerian Army has faulted claims by the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) that some of its officers sought the group’s support to overthrow the government. The Joint Revolutionary Congress (JRC), which is part of the larger JNDLF, had alleged of a sinister plot by some unnamed military officers to disrupt civil rule

“We are constrained to let the cat out of the bag today that President Muhammadu Buhari should be wary about the security of this country as some military men are making moves to remove him from power by instigating civil unrest in the country.

“Some top military men, through their civil agents, approached us to cause and continue the vandalism of oil and gas pipelines in the Niger Delta to serve as an excuse to take over the government from democracy to military rule in the country,” the group had said in a statement. But, the Nigerian Army, yesterday, distanced itself from the alleged plot, insisting that as beneficiaries of constitutional democracy, it could not contemplate staging a coup against the authority.

The Army, which made its position known in a statement by its spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, however, vowed to unmask those behind the “insinuations”. “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another campaign of calumny and distraction by faceless criminal gang of economic saboteurs that hide under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) alleging that some officers of the Nigerian Army approached them for support to overthrow our duly elected present democratic government.

“This is baseless and most unfortunate allegation that existed in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wish to state that this is not true and hereby distanced itself from this weighty allegation. “We also see this speculation as a dangerous distraction to our effort in fighting insurgency and other criminal elements in the country.

“The Nigerian Army would like to send a strong and an unequivocal warning to those speculating a coup by the Nigerian Army against the government to desist forthwith. We would like to state in clear terms that we are a product of democracy and a focused professional institution and would have nothing to do with such abomination and heinous crime,” the Army said.

According to the Army, the speculation amounted to a subtle declaration of war against those it called “unscrupulous elements”, with a view to destabilizing the government.

It said an investigation has since begun, to identify and punish those behind the rumour. “‘We wish to state further that the Nigerian Army is the greatest beneficiary of democracy and, therefore, cannot ever contemplate any antidemocratic misadventure, certainly not under the command of the present Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai. “Rather, we see this type of dangerous speculation as a declaration of war to destabilise the present government by these unscrupulous elements. “The Nigerian Army is investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it.

“We would like to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We would also like to reaffirm our unconditional support and obedience to civil authority.”

Third Republic governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who said that military coups are no more fashionable anywhere in the world, however, cautioned against roping the people of the South-South in a fathom coup in order to get back at them.

His words: “The atmosphere today in the world and also Nigeria is against coup making. But if anybody wants to make a coup, let him not blame the people of the Niger Delta for it because only God knows why they recently wiped out Igbos and Niger Delta people from the army.”

National Chairman of the United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, also said that military intervention in government is no longer acceptable. “I will say that the world has advanced so much that military intervention in government is no longer acceptable by the international community, even by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU). So, any such effort would make Nigeria to immediately become a pariah state and might even attract peace keepers to come and quell such intervention,” he said.

He, however, added that apart from military authorities dishing out orders on the rumour, there is the need for Buhari to initiate measure to douse tension in the country, which may been responsible for the coup’s claim.

He said: “There is no doubt that Nigeria is restive at the moment and the nature of the restiveness can breed all manner of rumour. This rumour can be perceived as the true position of things. The military should look inwards, but above all, the Commanderin- Chief should take steps to douse the tension, so that the possibility of military intervention would be ruled out.

“You will discover that in the Nigerian and African situation, those who intervene from the military in most cases are not the senior generals, but the very young officers, who are prepared to take risk. So, they are not much different from the likes of the Avengers and that is why a proactive step by the Commander-in-Chief to douse tension is the first line of action, and not the military hierarchy dishing out orders.”