On Friday, June 24, 2016, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, summoned top commanders of the service to the Army headquarters for an emergency security meeting.
This, Aproko247 gathered, was due to the recent allegation that some top officers of the military was planning to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Though the Army authorities have denied the accusation made recently by a militant group called the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, but it said it would investigate the allegation.
The group claimed some military personnel approached it to solicit support to topple the President administration.
It was learnt that Friday’s meeting, chaired by Buratai, was attended by the General Officers Commanding, GOCs, of the seven divisions of the Nigerian Army, the Principal Staff Officers and Operational Commanders across the country.
According to the GOC 1 Division of the Army, Kaduna, Maj. Gen Adeniyi Oyebade, while speaking with newsmen after the meeting, said that the Army had taken a decision long ago at the beginning of the Fourth Republic to abide by its code of conduct.
He assured Nigerians that there would be no coup in the Army and indeed the whole of the nation’s Armed Forces.
Oyebade stressed that the Army would continue to remain apolitical and would be loyal to the constitution and the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
He stated further that the decision of the service to subordinate itself to civil authority had not changed and would never change.
He insisted that the Army was determined to get to the root of the rumour that officers of the service were involved in a plot to truncate democratic governance in the country.
“Like you all know, the Chief of Army Staff summoned his top commanders across the Army for a quick meeting this morning. Essentially, the meeting was to review the security situation in the country, and to also let us know some of the reorganisation that has taken place over the last few days.
“Lastly, and most importantly, as you must have also heard over the last few days, the rumours of coup or no coup; we want to assure all our citizens that the Nigerian Army remains apolitical. Our loyalty and allegiance to the constitutional authority of this land: the three branches of government, Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief, are unquestionable.
“As far as we are concerned, we have decided long before now, since the beginning of the Fourth Republic to abide by our code of conduct and to remain subordinate to the civil authorities. That has not changed and it would not change.
“So we want to assure our people that the issue of coup would not happen within the ranks of the Army and I can say also within the ranks of the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“But of course, it is not something, we will just take lying low. We are deploying all our resources, assets, efforts to find out where this very dastardly speculation emanated from.
“But most importantly, we want to assure our people that the Nigerian Army remains steadfast and our loyalty is unquestionable to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
Oyebade also said that the meeting did a review of the ongoing campaign against the insurgency in the North East and concluded that the operation was going well and would soon be brought to a conclusion.
He said that the leadership of the Army was very comfortable with the state of the operation in spite of some challenges.
Oyebade said that the Army Chief was briefed on the state of the operation by the various commanders.
He commended the members of the Civilian JTF in the North East for the tremendous efforts they put into the fight against the insurgency and terrorism in the North East.
The GOC said that the Army would continue to give them the required support in the concerted quest to rid the country of terrorism.
Oyebade who also spoke on the reorganisation of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta said that the Army would ensure effective collaboration with the sister services to stop the vandalization of pipelines and oil theft.