24 June 2016
The Nigerian Army has reaffirmed its allegiance and loyalty to civil authority and to the Nigerian Constitution.
It was reacting to a rumoured plan by the armed forces to topple the civilian government in Abuja and take over power.
Maj.-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, stated in Abuja on Friday that there was no iota of truth in the rumour.
He made the declaration after emerging from an emergency meeting between top army commanders and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Gen. Oyebade, who stated that the army remained apolitical, emphasised that “the issue of coup will not happen within the ranks of the army.’’
“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.
“We want to assure all our citizens that the army remains apolitical, our loyalty, allegiance to the constitutional authority of this land, the three branches of government, Mr President and Commander-in-Chief, our loyalty is unquestionable.
“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 authority.
“That has not changed and it will not change.
“We want to assure our people to be rest assured that the issue of coup will not happen within the ranks of the army and so also within the ranks of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.’’
Oyebade noted, however, that the military authority was not taking the issue lightly as it had commenced a full scale probe to unravel the mystery behind the matter.
According to him, the army is putting together resources, assets, efforts to find out where the dastardly speculation emanated from.
On other security matters, Oyebade said the army in conjunction with sister services remained unwavering in stemming the tide of terrorism in the North-East and militancy in the Niger Delta.
He said despite the challenges the military encountered in their operations in the North-East, they still remained committed to accomplishing their mission in the shortest time possible.
“You are aware that there was a reorganisation of the Niger Delta operations; the army is still very strong.
“We will continue to do everything to ensure that issues of pipeline vandalism and oil theft are severely curtailed in conjunction with our sister services – the Nigerian Navy, the Air Force, and other security agencies.
“We also did a review of our operations in the North-East; it is going reasonably well; there are challenges here and there.
“But we want to assure the nation that in no distant future we will bring it to a close, we are working very hard on that.’’
Oyebade also reiterated the army’s commitment to the armed forces rules of engagement as they concerned its internal security operations nationwide.
He assured the public and citizens in particular that the army would abide by the rules of engagement at all times.
The meeting also commended the contributions of the civilian Joint Task Force in the fight against insurgency in the North-East.
Top army commanders across the country attended the emergency meeting held at the Army Headquarters conference hall.