On Wednesday, a militant group, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), claimed that some senior military officers were scheming to overthrow the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through a coup d’état.
The militant group, said military officers behind the coup plot, were planning to instigate civil unrest as part of their strategies to actualise the scheme.
In an electronic statement, the militants alleged that top military officers involved in the scheme have already approached its leaders with an appeal to continue with the ongoing attacks on oil installation.
The JNDLF claimed that the “coup plotters” said they wanted to use sustained attacks on oil facilities as a genuine reason to take over the government.
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“We are constraint to let the cat out of the bag today that President Mohammadu Buhari should be wary about the security of this country as some military men are making move to remove him from power by instigating civil unrest in the country.
“Some top military men through their civil agents approached us to cause and continue the vandalization of the oil and gas pipelines in the Niger delta region so as to use as an excuse to take over the government from democracy to military rule in the country.
“We said no as such plan will not work and not in conformity with our genuine desire of agitation. The military want to disgrace him now and let him quickly look into the issues and make pronouncement for his administration to be in peace.
“Let president analyze certain memo from the military concerning Niger Delta region before taking action or otherwise the military will use that as a platform to remove him. We know the issue of Niger Delta is political and we preferred political solution to resolve it but if the president refused.”
The militants further advised the President to adopt holistic approach in resolving the problems of the Niger Delta.
Among other issues mentioned in their statement, they named the ongoing corruption probes in the military as one of the reasons why like minds had gathered to plot the removal of the President adding that most military officers behind the scheme were above the ranks of major-generals.
The statement was signed by ‘General’ Torunanaowei Latei (Creek Network Coordinator); ‘General’ Agbakakuro Owei-Tauro (Pipeline Bleeding Expert); ‘General’ Akotebe Darikoro (Commander, General Duties) and ‘General’ Pulokiri Ebikade (Intelligence Bureau).
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In a swift reaction, the Nigerian Military has however debunked the militants allegations of military officers conceiving a coup, calling it an act of mischief makers and economic saboteurs.
In the statement issued early Thursday by Acting Director Army Public Relations, the Nigerian Army said it is investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it. Read the full statement below:
“WARNING TO MISCHIEF MAKERS: NOBODY IS PLANNING ANY COUP
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another campaign of calumny and distraction by faceless criminal gang of economic saboteurs that hide under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) alleging that some officers of the Nigerian Army approached them for support to overthrow our duly elected present democratic government.
“This is baseless and most unfortunate allegation that existed in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wish to state that this is not true and hereby distanced itself from this weighty allegation.
“We also see this speculation as a dangerous distraction to our effort in fighting insurgency and other criminal elements in the country.
“The Nigerian Army would like to send a strong and an unequivocal warning to those speculating a coup by the Nigerian Army (NA) against the Government to desist forthwith. We would like state in clear terms that that we are a product of democracy and a focused professional institution and would have nothing to do with such abomination and heinous crime.
“We wish to state further that the NA is the greatest beneficiary of democracy and therefore cannot ever contemplate any anti-democratic misadventure, certainly not under the command of the present Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai. Rather, we see this type of dangerous speculation as a declaration of war to destabilise the present government by these unscrupulous elements.
“The Nigerian Army is investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it.
“We would like to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We would also like to reaffirm our unconditional support and obedience to civil authority.
“We wish to further assure Nigerians and indeed all peace loving people that the Nigerian Army and indeed its personnel will never be involved in such terrible misadventure.
“We wish to further add that no matter how long it takes, we would track and find out those behind these insinuations and bring them to justice.
“Thank you for your kind cooperation.
“Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman
“Acting Director Army Public Relations.”