The Nigerian Army on Thursday denied alleged plans by the military to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Army said it was not true that any of its personnel was planning a forcible take-over of government in collaboration with a militant group, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force.
It said that the rumour of the alleged plan was aimed at distracting the military from its resolve to bring an end to the insurgency by the Boko Haram sect in the North Eastern part of the country.
The Army Director of Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman stated that the military had already launched an investigation to unmask the masterminds of such allegation, stressing that the force would not attempt to overthrow a democratically elected government.
It described the Niger Delta militant group as a faceless gang of economic saboteurs and restated the allegiance and loyalty of the military to the nation and the president.
According to the statement, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another campaign of calumny and distraction by faceless criminal gang of economic saboteurs that hide under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, alleging that some officers of the Nigerian Army approached them for support to overthrow our duly elected present democratic government.
“This is a baseless and most unfortunate allegation that existed in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wishes to state that this is not true and hereby distance itself from this weighty allegation. We also see this speculation as a dangerous distraction to our effort in fighting insurgency and other criminal elements in the country.”
The Army however warned those spreading the rumour about a coup to desist in their futile attempt to tarnish the image of the military.
The statement added, “We would like to state in a clear term that we are a product of democracy and a focused professional institution and would have nothing to do with such abomination and heinous crime. We wish to state further that the Nigerian Army is the greatest beneficiary of democracy and therefore cannot ever contemplate any anti-democratic misadventure, certainly not under the command of the present Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
“Rather, we see this type of dangerous speculation as a declaration of war to destabilise the present government by these unscrupulous elements. The Nigerian Army is investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it. We would like to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We would also like to reaffirm our unconditional support and obedience to civil authority