The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has called on the concerned public to disregard alleged warning and note of caution by a group of unnamed “concerned military and intelligence officers”, to Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
This is coming against the backdrop of uncertainty being generated by the long medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari in London, United Kingdom (UK) and fear of possible military coup.
But the Director Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. John Enenche, has dismissed the allegations, describing the publication as evil motivated and distractive.
Reacting to the publication titled; “Concerned Military Officers Caution Acting President Osinbajo”, Enenche in a release in Abuja Thursday said the publication “by all intent is ultimately aimed at undermining the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards tackling the security challenges in the Country and particularly that of the North East. It should be disregarded as an unfounded and absolute disinformation.”
He also debunked as untrue certain allegations raised in the said publication, saying, It is therefore pertinent to clarify that:
a. The Chief of Army Staff never raised any scare of a coup in May 2017, rather it was a normal service administrative caution to officers and men, that was issued by the Army on relationship between service personnel and civilians. Thus, the contrary assertion reported is a gross and evil intended message to the general public and therefore should be disregarded.
b. The BBC’s Hard Talk with the Chief of Army Staff during his official visit to the United Kingdom was never arranged by any group or cabal as reported. It is a normal media practice to interact with principals of organisations on topical issues at such opportunities, which was what happened. It was not for any image burnishing as maliciously purported. Hence, it should be ignored.
c. The book launched on Brigadier General Zakaria Maimalari in Abuja on 3 July 2017 was attended by notable senior citizens of Nigeria among others, including; former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo , both, who by every standard can never belong to any such thing as Cabals. It was not a cover for any power take over as wickedly portrayed not minding the presence of key patriotic elder statesmen and leaders at the event. This shows a clear lack of situation analysis capability due to the ulterior motive. Hence, should be discountenanced.
The Defence spokesman said the Nigerian Military in the recent past has been in the forefront of the Country’s foreign policy and political direction of ensuring political stability in the West African Sub-Region, citing the cases of Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and The Gambia.
“In the Gambia, the Armed Forces of Nigeria took the lead in the military coalition to ensure that the will of Gambians was achieved and democracy sustained. Thus, it is morally, practically, professionally and ethically impossible for the contemporary Nigerian Military to embark on truncating democracy in its own Country. More so, members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are in tune with best global practices of governance, which is a civil democracy.
“Therefore, the Defence Headquarters re-assures all Nigerians of the unalloyed loyalty of the Military to the Commander-in-Chief and total subordination to political and constituted civil authorities in the Country. The Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to carry out its constitutional roles as directed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” he added.