Military authorities have denied insinuations that it is planning to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, stressing that such report was not only baseless and misleading but a dream of those who do not wish Nigeria well.
Debunking the report, acting director of Defence Information, Brig-Gen Rabe Abubakar said in a statement yesterday that the story, which was attributed to some Niger Delta militants, was concocted to achieve cheap publicity and a complete propaganda and diversionary.
General Abubakar said the attention of the Defence Headquarters had been drawn to publication by some online media that the military intends to overthrow the civilian administration of President Buhari, but denied such allegations, noting that the entire Nigerian Armed Forces therefore had distanced itself from the story as it was not only mischievous and baseless but with the intent to heat up the polity and cause public apprehension.
The defence spokesman stated further that, “The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin wishes to assure our highly respected political leaders and the entire Nigerians that the military will continue to be apolitical and will do everything possible to defend and deepen our democratic governance which is the best, acceptable and legitimate form of government the world over.
“The Defence Headquarters restates its total subordination to civil authority and upholding the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and will continue to defend all democratic structures and will never yield to blackmail and distractions from fifth columnist. Therefore, this unfounded story should be discountenance in its entirety.”
Abubakar noted that in dealing with the myriad of security challenges across the country, the military would continue to remain focus and deploy every available resources to reposition the country’s forces to carry out their constitutional roles.
Similarly, the Nigerian Army has dismissed allegations that some of its officers had approached the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, to support them overthrow the government, describing such claim as false.
Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman in a statement yesterday described the alleged coup plot as another campaign of calumny and distraction by a faceless criminal gang of economic saboteurs.
Usman said: “This is baseless and most unfortunate allegation that exists in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wish to state that this is not true and hereby distance 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.”
The army spokesman said the army was a product of democracy and a focused professional institution, and would have nothing to do with such abomination and heinous crime, and that the army was the greatest beneficiary of democracy and therefore could not contemplate any anti-democratic misadventure, especially not under the command of the present Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
Usman noted that the army saw this type of dangerous speculation as declaration of war to destabilise the present government by these unscrupulous elements, revealing that the army was investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it.
He reiterated the military’s 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.
He also reaffirmed the army’s unconditional support and obedience to civil authority, whilst assuring Nigerians and all peace loving people that the Nigerian Army and its personnel would never be involved in such terrible misadventure.
“We wish to further add that no matter how long it takes, we would track and find out those behind these insinuations and bring them to justice,” he said.
Meanwhile, a new commander for Operation Delta Safe in Niger Delta has been appointed.
He is Rear Admiral Joseph Osa Okojie who until his present appointment was the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Training Command, Lagos.
His appointment is with immediate effect.
It would be recalled that Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta was recently scrapped and replaced with Operation Delta Safe.

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