Thursday, December 9, 2021

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Army denies plot to overthrow Buhari

Nigeria’s armed forces have dismissed suggestions that they should take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, who is under mounting pressure to quit over the country’s worsening insecurity.

The statement comes after weeks of heavy criticism of Buhari’s failures to stem the protracted security crisis bedeviling the country.

From a jihadist insurgency in the northeast to herder-farmer clashes in the north-central, banditry in the northwest, and separatist tensions in the southeast and south-west, the country seems to be on the brink.

But in a statement late Monday, the armed forces said they would continue to “fully” support the government, remain politically neutral and protect Nigeria’s democracy.

“Let it be stated categorically that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain fully committed to the present administration and all associated democratic institutions,” army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said in the statement.

“We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the civil authority, firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as amended,” it said.

Last week, lawmakers had urged Buhari to declare a nationwide state of emergency after a month of almost daily attacks, kidnappings and killings.

The military statement referred explicitly to comments made by Robert Clarke (SAN), a prominent lawyer and social commentator.

He had said the country was on the brink of collapse and suggested the political leadership hand power to the military so that the security forces could be restructured.

But the military insisted they shall “continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, especially in protecting the country’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country as well as protection of lives and properties of citizens.”

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