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COUP CALLS: “We All Want Democracy”- Army Chief

Army

The Chief of Army Staff,  Lt. Gen.  Taoreed Lagbaja, on Tuesday, said personnel of his service had accepted the democratic system of government in place in the country and had no plan to truncate it.

Lagbaja described personnel of the Nigerian Army under his leadership as agents of democracy.

His statement comes in the wake of a series of coup allegations against the military.

The allegations were fuelled by the forceful takeover of power by the military in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic.

Despite these allegations, the military has consistently refuted such claims on various occasions.

Speaking at a seminar for the Nigerian Army officers in Abuja, Lagbaja stated that the Army was dedicated to upholding the Constitution.

The Army Chief gave the assurance that soldiers would continue to carry out their mandates as contained in the constitution.

He said,  “Permit me to seize this opportunity to reiterate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Army, has come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance. We are, therefore, agents of democracy and have no desire to truncate it.

“The Nigerian Army will continue to defend our constitution and not suspend it for whatever reason. It is the duty of our elected leaders to lead while the military does its job as enshrined in our constitution. Nigerian Army personnel must therefore remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties.”

In February, the  Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, said those calling for coup d’etat were enemies of Nigeria, saying the law would catch up with them.

The military had earlier revealed that there were pressure from certain unnamed quarters for a takeover of government following the lingering insecurity in the country.

But Musa said the Armed Forces was on top of its game and would continue to do the needful in protecting democracy in the country.

He said this while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after he inaugurated the main entrance of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army and Officers Transit Accommodation, both at the Division Headquarters in Port Harcourt.

The CDS said, “Whoever is making that call (coup) does not love Nigeria. We want to make it very clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are here to protect democracy.

“We all want democracy and we do better under democracy. And so we will continue to support democracy. And any of those ones that are calling for anything other than democracy are evil people and I think they don’t mean well for Nigeria.

“They should be very careful because the law will come after them. We can see that with democracy, a lot of things are happening in Nigeria. Yes, we are going through trying periods, I mean in life, nothing is hundred per cent.”