UK, Ohanaeze, PDP warn soldiers against coup

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Nigerian army

The United Kingdom, Regional bodies, the Peoples Democratic Party, civil rights groups  have asked military officers toying with the idea of a coup in Nigeria to perish the thought.

This is coming days after the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, warned of undue interactions between Army officers and politicians.

“The British Government believes that democracy is absolutely critical in Nigeria. There is a democratic process here; there are elections. If you are not happy with your leaders, then you should change your leadership process through your leaders and through elections.

“That is exactly what happened in 2015 and it is what the British Government will expect to happen in Nigeria. So, our position is very clear; we stand for democracy, we stand for the democratic process and we stand for change, if that is what the people of Nigeria want.

“It has to be a choice that the people make and not a choice that is imposed upon them,” the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, said on Wednesday.

On its part, Afenifere condemned the comment by Buratai on an alleged romance between the military and some soldiers, saying the comment had created fear in minds of Nigeria that coup might occur at anytime.

The Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, stated that the COAS should not have made that statement but should have dealt with his men, who were found guilty of hobnobbing with politicians.

Odumakin stated, “The Chief of Army Staff should not have turned himself to a whistle-blower over the matter. He has a directorate of military intelligence, it should have found out those soldiers contacted and who are contacting them, not to be blowing whistle like the EFCC.

“It is very unfortunate that such a statement is coming out from the Chief of Army Staff. The statement has not only created fear but has also indicated that something can happen at any time.

The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, however, urged Buratai to expose politicians who were approaching soldiers for political reasons.

The National Publicity Secretary of the committee, Dayo Adeyeye, said “He should come out more openly and tell Nigerians what is actually happening. What exactly is the nature of the contact politicians are making with the soldiers? We would like to know the nature of the contact and who and who are making the contact.

“It is only reasonable that he exposes those involved. What are those politicians making these contacts asking for? The truth is that as a nation, we cannot go back to Egypt, because democracy is our Promised Land.”

Also commenting, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo warned against attempt, by anybody or group, to take advantage of President Muhammadu Buhari’s sickness “to take power through the back door.”

The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke to one of our correspondents, said the nation deserved to know the individuals concerned.

“He (Buratai) should name those people, so that Nigerians will know who they are, and their motives.

“People should not take advantage of Mr. President’s health condition to take power through the back door.

“Whoever they are, they should know that any attempt to scuttle democracy in this country will be resisted by Nigerians. Military rule is no longer welcome in this country.

“But Buratai should start by naming these people; Nigerians need to know who they are so as to stop them.”

 

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