By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff yesterday summoned his principal officers, General Officers Commanding (GOCs), field and commanding officers to an emergency meeting over the prevailing security situation in the country, especially the rumoured coup threat and Niger Delta militancy.
Buratai after brief introduction on the aim and purpose of the meeting yesterday at the Army Headquarters (AHQ), Abuja, entered into a closed- door session that lasted for an hour.
“This is an impromptu meeting in view of the security challenges and we have to come together to rob minds on how we can handle the situation,” he said.
After the meeting, the GOC 1 Division, Nigerian Army Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, informed the media about the outcome.
Oyebade who spoke in company with the GOC 82 Division Enugu, Major-General, Ibrahim Attahiru, and GOC 7 Division, Maiduguri, Brigadier-General Victor Ezugwu, said that one of the issues discussed was the rumoured coup d’tat against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
He assured that the Nigerian army was completely loyal to the constituted authority and committed to upholding the country’s democracy and constitution.
He said: “The Chief of Army Staff summoned his top commanders across the Army for a quick meeting this morning (yesterday). Essentially, the meeting was to review the security situation in the country and to also let us know some of the reorganisation that had taken place over the last few days.
“You must have also heard in the last few days the rumours of coup or no coup. We want to assure all our citizens that the Army remains apolitical, our loyalty, allegiance to the constitutional authority of this land, the three branches of government, Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief, our loyalty is unquestionable.
“We have decided long before now, since the beginning of the fourth Republic, to abide by our code of conduct and to remain subordinate to the civil authority, that has not changed and it will not change.”
Speaking further, Oyebade said that the military was not taking the threat lightly and would ensure that the truth about the rumoured overthrow of government is unraveled.
“We want to assure our people that they should be assured that the issue of coup will not happen within the ranks of the Army and so also within the ranks of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“But of course, it is not something that we will just take lightly; we are putting all resources, assets and efforts to find out where this very dastardly speculation emanated from. But most importantly, we want to assure our people that the Nigerian Army remains steadfast and our loyalty is unquestionable to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he remarked.
The GOC said the Nigerian Army authority also discussed how to respond to the security situation in the Niger Delta, including the restructuring of operational formations.
He said that Operation Pulo Shield was changed to Operation Delta Safe and restructured to ensure strong response against militancy, criminality and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
The GOC said that the Army top Command “also did a review of the operation in the North East”, adding that “it is going reasonably well”.
He noted: “There are challenges here and there but we want to assure the nation that in no distant future, we will bring the operation to a close; we are working very hard on that.”