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Go after coup mongers, FG instructs DIA

f89dee54 bello matawalle

The Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Matawalle, has directed the Defence Intelligence Agency to go after those calling for a coup in the country.

This is according to a statement on Thursday by the Director of Information, Press and Public Relations of the defence ministry, Mr Henshaw Ogubike.

Matawalle described those calling for an undemocratic change of government as agents of darkness and warned that anyone caught would not be treated lightly.

“The call for violent change of government by the military is absurd, preposterous and naive as the military has come to reality with a democratic government in Nigeria and is focused on their constitutional duty of defending the constitution.

“The propagators calling for the truncation of the constitutional government should desist from it and face the democratic reality on the ground.

“Just because criminal elements attacked a warehouse and a haulage vehicle carrying food items to other parts of the country is not enough reason for unpatriotic individuals to resort to calling for military intervention which has no place in modern realities.

“The military is highly professionalised with a good civilian-military relationship, and they are exhibiting the highest standard of professionalism with the defence of our constitution as the top priority.”

The minister urged all Nigerians to support and keep faith with the government of President Bola Tinubu in the efforts to make Nigeria great.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to defending the Constitution and upholding democracy, as well as ensuring the safety and security of the nation.

For the umpteenth time, the Nigerian Army on Tuesday dismissed fears of a possible coup in the country,

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, speaking at a seminar for the Nigerian Army officers in Abuja, stated that the Army was dedicated to upholding the Constitution.

Lagbaja said personnel of his service had accepted the democratic system of government in place in the country and had no plan to truncate it.

He 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.

•Continued on www.punchng.com

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

But Lagbaja gave the assurance that soldiers would continue to carry out their mandates as contained in the constitution.

“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,” Lagbaja said.

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 was 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 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.”

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