Nigerian Military Washes Hands Off Interim Govt. Plan

In a reaction to the growing speculations in the public space about purported plans to reschedule the forthcoming general elections and install an interim government headed by a military chief, the Nigerian Army has denied knowledge of any such plan.

The Nigerian Army’s acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, in a press statement addressing the speculations which had gone viral on the Internet, described the reports as ‘false and baseless allegations’ which were “calculated attempts by unpatriotic elements to divide the Nigerian Army.”

This is dangerous, condemnable and a great disservice, given the tremendous sacrifices of the army in support of democracy in our nation,” Usman stated.

Continuing, the Army spokesman said that it was “a deliberate attempt to erode public confidence and trust in the army” and advised the “masterminds of these campaigns of calumny are advised to desist from their nefarious activities forthwith.”

Reports claiming that General Kenneth Minimah, who is the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, was being prepared to assume the leadership of the nation through an interim government if the All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, should emerge winner in the coming presidential election went viral across several online media and social media sites last weekend.

The army also debunked as spurious the reports that the purported plans for the installation of an interim government had fuelled such serious disagreement within the top echelon of the army that two serving Major Generals had handed over their letters of resignation during a meeting with the army chiefs.

Affirming that there was no incident of resignation in the army on account of disagreement with the Chief of Army Staff, the Army spokesman said that the fact that neither the names of the senior officers concerned nor the time and place of the alleged meeting with the COAs was mentioned in the reports was proof of the mischievous intent of its authors.

The Army also debunked a letter purportedly written by “Concerned Officers and Soldiers of Operation Zaman Lafiya” as a case of forgery using the particulars of a serving military officer and likened it to a similar incident which had occurred in 2014.




     

     

    Reaffirming the apolitical stance of the army, the spokesman stated that the institution forbade the involvement of its officers or soldiers in political matters.

    The statement recalled the COAs’ emphasis on the need for soldiers to remain apolitical and neutral during in an address to army personnel during a recent passing out parade of 71 Regular Recruits Intake at Depot Nigerian Army at Zaria.

    Urging army personnel to read and understand the code of conduct for military personnel during elections, the Army stated that Army personnel must constantly see themselves as ambassadors of the Nigerian Army and project the image of the service positively at all times, by discharging assigned duties diligently, professionally and patriotically.

    Affirming that the army was conscious of, and committed to, its subordination to constituted civil authorities, the statement warned all politicians, their agents and agencies to desist from attempts to drag the army into their political issues, while restating the army’s commitment and loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President, as the Commander-in-Chief.

     

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