Insecurity: Nigerian Army Says It Won’t Overthrow Buhari
Nigeria’s military has warned local politicians to desist from incitement and pledged it would not overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari, whose government has come under criticism over growing insecurity in the country.
From a jihadist insurgency in the northeast to herder-farmer clashes in the centre, banditry in the northwest and separatist tensions in the southeast, Buhari’s armed forces appear to be struggling to curb insecurity.
However, the country’s military, while reacting to agitation by some secessionists and opposition figures to topple the government, has pledged its loyalty to Mr. Buhari, a former army general. Such a coup, if it happened, would effectively end civilian rule that was restored in 1999 after prolonged military rule.
In a statement issued by Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the military said it has no intention of taking over power again in Nigeria. This, it says, is because it believes that despite tough times, democracy is the way to go and militarism is no longer fashionable.
The army also warned politicians nursing ambitions of ruling Nigeria outside the ballot box, saying it would continue to defend the country’s democracy.
“We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the Civil Authority, firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as Amended…We shall continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, especially in protecting the country’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country as well as protection of lives and properties of citizens,” the statement said in part.
“We also wish to remind all military personnel that it is treasonable to even contemplate this illegality. The full wrath of the law will be brought to bear on any personnel found to collude with people having such agenda.”