Two weeks to Nigeria’s presidential and legislative elections, the country’s military has denied reports that its officers are planning a coup.
The Defence Headquarters Saturday dismissed the coup report as ‘malicious propaganda’ by ‘unscrupulous elements’.
The Acting Director of Defence Information, Tukur Gusau, a brigadier general, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
He added that the Armed Forces of Nigeria was dismayed that even politically exposed persons had denigrated themselves into joining the agents of destabilisation.
He said the ‘unscrupulous elements’ who shared the report claimed that some military officers met with a presidential candidate with the aim of disrupting the general elections and setting the country on fire.
According to him, the purveyors of the propaganda also indicated that a so-called Thursday meeting is plotting a coup d’etat to establish unconstitutional order.
Mr Gusau said those who made the false claims were agents of destabilisation and violence seeking to heighten tension in the polity and would be made to face the wrath of the law.
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“It needs to be stated that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military that is loyal to the constitution of the Federal Republic and will never be part of any evil plot against our democracy.
“Besides, the military remains apolitical and neutral in the current political process and will not engage in the alleged shenanigans.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria will never be part of any ignoble plot to truncate our hard-earned democracy,” he said.
Mr Gusau said the military high command would ensure that those who fabricated and spread the unfounded report were invited by appropriate law enforcement agencies to substantiate their claims.
“The general public is advised to disregard such information and go about their normal activities,” he added.
Nigeria’s last military leader left office in 1999 and the country has practised democracy since then.
The 25 February presidential election is the seventh since 1999, the longest such run since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
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