The allegation by the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, that some top Army officers are planning to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari is causing panic within the military. To underscore the seriousness with which the allegation is being taken in the military and political cycles, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Friday subpoenaed the upper echelon of the Army to an emergency meeting in Abuja.
The meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Army was attended by the General Officers Commanding (GOC) of the seven divisions of the Nigerian Army, the Principal Staff Officers and Operational Commanders across the country.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting the GOC 1 Division of the Army, Kaduna, Maj. Gen Adeniyi Oyebade said: “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 reorganization 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.”
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 reorganization of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta said that the Army would ensure effective collaboration with the sister services to stop the vandalisation of pipelines and oil theft.