20170518

Soldiers Warned Against Plotting Coup Over Buhari's Health After Gen. Buratai’s Statement

Regional bodies, civil rights groups and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria among others, have urged military officers and others toying with the idea of a coup in Nigeria to perish the thought.

Among those that condemned the alleged plot of a military intervention are the United Kingdom Government; the Arewa Consultative Forum; the Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Afenifere, etc.
Also, two Civil-Society Organisations – Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders – condemned the alleged romance between some Nigerians and soldiers for political reasons.

In separate interviews with Punch, they declared that coups were no longer fashionable.

A statement by Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, had stated that, “This is to inform the public that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T. Y. Buratai, has received information that some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons. On the basis of that, he has warned such persons to desist from these acts.”

Although Buratai did not elaborate on the political reasons, there had been fears by some Nigerians that such hobnobbing is a bad omen and may lead to a military intervention.

Curiously also, the COAS warning came a week after a major shakeup in the Army top echelon.

Don’t turn the clock backward, says ACFThe ACF applauded the Chief of Army Staff for warning officers and men of the Nigerian Army to steer clear of politics. The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Muhammad Ibrahim, said in Kaduna that the warming was timely.

The forum’s spokesman urged Nigerians to expose those who wanted to turn the clock back.

Expose those approaching soldiers, Makarfi-led PDP, Ohanaeze tell Buratai
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo aligned with the position of the PDP factional group, asking Buratai to expose those that had approached soldiers for political reasons.

The group, however, warned against attempt, by anybody or group, to take advantage of President Muhammadu Buhari’s sickness “to take power through the back door.”

The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, said the nation deserved to know the individuals concerned.

“He (Buratai) should name those people, so that Nigerians will know who they are, and their motives.

“People should not take advantage of Mr. President’s health condition to take power through the back door. Whoever they are, they should know that any attempt to scuttle democracy in this country will be resisted by Nigerians. Military rule is no longer welcome in this country.

“But Buratai should start by naming these people; Nigerians need to know who they are so as to stop them.”

Those seeking change must follow democratic process – UKIn its reaction to Buratai’s warning, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, said the UK would continue to support democracy as the only system of government in Nigeria.

Arkwright further stated that anyone, who was seeking for change, must follow the democratic process which is election.

Don’t turn yourself to a whistle-blower, Afenifere tells COASBut Afenifere condemned the comment by Buratai on an alleged romance between the military and some soldiers, saying the comment had created fear in minds of Nigerians.

The Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, stated, “The Chief of Army Staff should not have turned himself to a whistle-blower over the matter. He has a directorate of military intelligence, it should have found out those soldiers contacted and who are contacting them, not to be blowing whistle like the EFCC.

“It is very unfortunate that such a statement is coming out from the Chief of Army Staff. The statement has not only created fear but has also indicated that something can happen at any time.”