Nigeria’s army vows support for Buhari amid calls to resign
The Nigerian army expressed its support for President Muhammadu Buhari , denying any possibility of a coup against him. Buhari has been chastised from all sides for his failure to curb insecurity in the country..
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is torn apart by a jihadist insurgency in the northeast, criminal gangs carrying out mass kidnappings in the northwest, and separatists attacking security forces in the southeast.
In a statement issued late Monday night, the Nigerian armed forces said they would continue to support the government despite the poor security situation and sustained criticism of Buhari, a 78-year-old former general.
In a statement, army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said, “We categorically announce that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain totally committed to the new administration as well as all the democratic institutions affiliated with it.”.
“We will continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the civilian authority, firmly loyal to the president, commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as amended,” the military spokesman added.
Parliament requested that the president declare a state of emergency last week.
At the same time, a flurry of declarations from parliamentarians, local governors, and even Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka urged President Buhari to keep the violence under control.
“Our nation is at war. Those who have proven themselves weak and incapable must learn to swallow their pride and seek help,” Soyinka urged.
The President’s security record has also been attacked by a leading Catholic cleric, who has urged him to resign or face impeachment. The presidency went after him right away.
President Buhari met with his top security chiefs last week and again on Tuesday to discuss the violence rocking the country.
“We will continue to carry out our constitutional responsibilities in a professional manner,” the military spokesman added, “especially in the protection of the country’s democracy, the defense of the country’s territorial integrity, and the protection of citizens’ lives and property.”.
In addition, the army hoped that the “current security challenges are not insurmountable”.
Buhari, a former coup general in the 1980s, was elected in 2015 on a promise to crush the jihadist rebellion in the northeast, which has killed 36,000 people and displaced two million.
However, six years later, Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (Iswap) still control large rural areas and strategic roads, where they are growing attacks and kidnappings of soldiers, civilians, and NGO personnel.
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