A cross-section of elders in the country under the aegis of Coalition of Nigeria Elders for Peace and Good Governance (CONEPAGG) has flayed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen.Tukur Buratai’s statement warning officers of the Nigerian Army against embarking on a coup to change democratic government in the country.
They said on Saturday in Abuja Buratai’s alarm was his imaginary thought aimed at diverting Nigerians attention from the failures of the service chiefs and to blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari from sacking them.
A statement jointly signed by Engr. Zana Goni, National Coordinator; Prof. Adebola Adeboye, Coordinator South West; Dr Ugwuanyi Emeka, Coordinator South East; Sheik Ibrahim Mohammed Coordinator North West; Barrister Peter Shima, Coordinator North Central; Hajiya Zainab Bulama Coordinator, North East; and Dr Solomon Dagogo Coordinator of South South respectively.
According to them, Buratai’s warning was unnecessary since the Nigerian military has shown all allegiance not only to President Muhammadu Buhari but the entire constitutional orders in the country.
They said that his coup warning was meant to deceive the president into believing that the service chiefs were his saving grace so as to prevent any possible sack over their inabilities to secure the country against insurgents, armed bandits, kidnappers among other adversaries.
The Chief of Army Staff, had while decorating the 39 newly promoted Major Generals, said he was aware that some generals were being approached and his eyes are on them.
He vowed that the Nigerian Army will never tolerate any agent of destabilization bent on scuttling the current democratic dispensation.
“Democracy has come to stay. We will not tolerate any agent of destabilization. The years of military misadventure in politics have never carried us anywhere. It is over,” Buratai had warned.
However, the elders urged the president to ignore the service chiefs’ antics through the army boss, tasking him to go ahead to relieve them of their positions before the country is completely overrun by adversaries.
The elders also urged the National Assembly not to pass the 2021 Budget pending before it until the President implements the resolutions of the two chambers of the legislature that demanded the sack of the security chiefs.
“Buratai’s coup warning is distractive and diversionary meant to attract attention from the seat of power at a time the whole of Nigeria is calling for their removal.
“Nobody is planning any coup, as a matter of fact, Nigerians are happy with democracy. They are only fed up with insecurity and want all the service chiefs sack who despite their seeming failures, have failed to honourably resign from their offices,” they said.
They added, “While we appreciate his right and authority to warn his officers against engaging in any act inimical to the growth and sustenance of democracy in our country, we must say that Nigerians and all its security services have moved beyond coup.
“The alarm by the Chief of Army Staff is imaginary, with desperate intent to divert attention of not only the President But also Nigerians who have all seen the clear failures of the security chiefs and have all come out with a resolve that they be shown the way out immediately.”
The elders regret that: every time there is a call for removal of service chiefs,they always come up with one false story or the other basically on operation just to divert Nigerians’ attention and buy time from the Presidency.
“The president must as a matter of urgency, replace them with younger officers with the zeal and commitment to perform,” the elders said.