Ignore Ekweremadu’s Coup Comment – Defence HQ

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Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters has urged Nigerians to disregard the apprehension created in a statement by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, which suggested that the military could take over the government

It will be recalled that Ekweremadu, on the floor of the Senate, had stated that “the problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over. Let us not joke with our democracy; that is the issue.”

However, in a statement signed by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen John Agim, the defence headquarters assured the international community, democratic institutions and the public of the unalloyed loyalty of the Armed Forces to the President and Commander-in-Chief.

It noted that the comments of Senator Ekweremadu may appear cautionary and sincere in the atmosphere of discourse but insisted that it was derogatory to the Army and by extension to the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“The Defence Headquarters wishes to respond to a comment by the Deputy President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu on Wednesday 7 March 2018, regarding the Nigerian Military, while contributing to a debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Ahmed Ogembe, representing Kogi Central,” the statement read.

“In his comments among others, the Distinguished Deputy President of the Senate stated: ‘The problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over. Let us not joke with our democracy; that is the issue’.

“This statement may appear cautionary and sincere in the atmosphere of discourse, it is however derogatory to the Army used in the expression and by extension to the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“The statement in the true sense has the capacity to denigrate the Nigerian Military in every ramification, including its loyalty to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the confidence of the general public to defend Nigeria’s democracy.

“In the light of this; the Defence Headquarters wishes to state clearly that, the Nigerian Military has come of age and is in tune with best international military practices of complete and total subordination to democratic governance.

“In this regard, it is worthy to remind the general public about some key measures, among others, that guaranteed the present sustainable status of politically unambitious members of the Armed Forces:

“Shortly, after the transition from a military to a democratically elected government in 1999, officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, who were quasi-political, were honourably eased out of service. This was done to avoid indoctrination of other officers in the Military in order to enable the democratic government commence a re-professionalisation process of the Armed Forces.

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