From the Presidency on Tuesday came an alarm of a plot to topple President Muhammadu Buhari’s government by ‘disgruntled religious and political leaders.”
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) also yesterday warned: “misguided politicians who nurse the inordinate ambition to rule this country outside the battle box to banish such thought.”
On Sunday, the Department of State Services (DSS), warned: “individuals and groups against utterances and action that threaten the country’s peace and sovereignty.”
Drawing from the DSS alarm, the Presidency, in a statement by Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina, yesterday, said the intention of plot, “championed by some disgruntled religious and past political leaders, is to eventually throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.
“Further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians around the country, with the intention of convening some sort of conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed on the President, thus throwing the land into further turmoil.
“The caterwauling, in recent times, by these elements, is to prepare the grounds adequately for their ignoble intentions, which are designed to cause further grief for the country.
“The agent provocateurs hope to achieve through artifice and sleight of hands, what they failed to do through the ballot box in the 2019 elections.
“Nigerians have opted for democratic rule, and the only acceptable way to change a democratically-elected government is through elections, which hold at prescribed times in the country. Any other way is patently illegal and even treasonable. Of course, such would attract necessary consequences.
“These discredited individuals and groups are also in cahoots with external forces to cause maximum damage in their own country. But the Presidency, already vested with mandate and authority by Nigerians till 2023, pledges to keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process”, the statement said.
On Monday night in an interview on Channels television programme, 83-year-old Mr Robert Clarke (SAN) canvasses a handover by the government to the military to end insecurity and undertake ‘restructuring of the party.
The DHQ decried the call with a stern warning as it disserted itself from it.
In a statement, the military high command said: “Let it be stated categorically that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain fully committed to the present administration and all associated democratic institutions. We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the civil authority, firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as Amended. We shall continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, especially in protecting the country’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country as well as protecting of lives and properties of citizens. The military high command wishes to use this opportunity to warn misguided politicians who nurse the inordinate ambition to rule this country outside the ballot box to banish such thoughts as the military under the current leadership remain resolute in the defence of Nigeria’s democracy and its growth. We also wish to remind all military personnel that it is treasonable to even contemplate this illegality. The full wrath of the law will be brought to bear on any personnel found to collude with people having such an agenda. The current security challenges are not insurmountable. The Armed Forces of Nigeria, in partnership with other security agencies, are working assiduously to ameliorate the challenge. Nigeria will know peace again. PLEASE BE WARNED!
But the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rejected the classification of religious leaders among those plotting against the government.
The Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) called for a probe of the government’s allegation to ascertain and bring those suspected to book.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) criticized the Presidency.
It said: “The corporate existence of Nigeria is not dependent on the continued tolerance of a thoroughly incompetent government that lacks the decency of good governance”.