- Group urges troops to remain vigilant in North-east
Paul Obi in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) thursday debunked a news report that members of Nigerian Armed Forces were colluding to hijack power from the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
An online platform had earlier in the week reported that some ambitious top government officials and members of a cabal had designed a strategy to wrest power from Osinbajo using a combination of propaganda and some military-backed action.
Reacting to the report, Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche said there was no iota of truth in the report.
He said: â€œIt is necessary to make clarifications on an ill motivated article published by the media by a group of â€˜unnamed concerned military and intelligence officersâ€™.
â€œThis is another machination of mischief makers and distractors against the military in its entirety.
â€œThe 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,â€ he stated.
Enenche further clarified that the Chief of Army Staff never raised any scare of a coup in May 2017, stating that it was a normal service administrative caution to officers and men that was issued by the army on the relationship between service personnel and civilians.
â€œThus, the contrary assertion reported is a gross and evil intended message to the general public and therefore should be disregarded.
â€œThe BBCâ€™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.
â€œIt is 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.
â€œThe book launched on the late 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 and former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, both who by every standard can never belong to any such thing as cabals.
â€œIt 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 clear lack of situation analysis capability due to ulterior motives. Hence, should be discountenanced.
â€œIt is worthy of note that the Nigerian military in the recent past has been in the fore front of the countryâ€™s foreign policy and political direction of ensuring political stability in the West African sub-region,â€ he said.
Enenche argued that the cases of Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and The Gambia are still fresh in the memories of Nigerians.
â€œIn 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.
â€œThus, it is morally, practically, professionally and ethically impossible for the contemporary Nigerian military to embark on truncating democracy in its own country. â€œMore so, members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are in tune with best global practices of governance, which is civil democracy.
â€œTherefore, the Defence Headquarters reassures 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.
â€œThe Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to carry out their constitutional roles as directed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria,â€ Enenche assured.
Meanwhile, the Coalition for Good Governance and Change thursday charged the military to maintain vigilance against Boko Haram terrorists in order to completely extinguish remnants of the terrorists from the North-east.
The charge was given after a tour of the North-east counter insurgency operation zone by a group of 50 civil society organisations under the auspices of Coalition for Change and Good and Good Governance led by Mr. Okpokwu Ogenyi.
They observed that the â€œreported attacks by Boko Haram for most part of 2017 were attempts by those that want to resurrect the defeated terror group to create Boko Haram 2.0, in pursuit of a sick agenda to keep the population terrified.
â€œThere has to be more decisiveness in going after those that continue to sponsor activities to revive terrorism in Northeastern Nigeria or any other part of the countryâ€.
The coalition also demanded for a discourse on ways to accelerate and improve on the deradicalisation of former Boko Haram members that have yielded to the superior fighting power of the military.