The Nigerian Army has denied allegations that it was planning a coup d’état with a group, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The army said the allegation was aimed at distracting the military in its efforts at putting an end to insurgency in the north-east of Nigeria.
It added that the military was investigating the people behind the allegation, adding that the army will not make any attempt to overthrow a democratic government.
The military High Command stated that its allegiance is to the country and President Buhari.
The army, in a statement issued on Thursday by its Director of Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, described the JNDLF as a criminal gang of economic saboteurs.
The statement read in part, “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, alleging that some officers of the Nigerian Army approached them for support to overthrow our duly elected present democratic government.
“This is a baseless and most unfortunate allegation that existed in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wishes to state that this is not true and hereby distance 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 statement therefore warned those behind the coup speculation to stop spreading false and malicious information against the army.
“We would like to state in a clear term 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 Nigerian Army 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 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,” it said.