President Goodluck has secretly disbursed huge sums of money to bribe all divisions of soldiers in the Nigerian army through their G.O.Cs and commandants. The money was shared to buy their support to back the embattled ruling People’s Democratic party, PDP in the upcoming elections and a likely Interim government if the upcoming elections that are currently overwhelmingly favoring Buhari/Osinbajo deliver the expected “change” opposition victory.
This as various Nigerian civil groups are announcing rallies against the intended postponement of the upcoming February 14th presidential elections.
As international observers have already arrived Nigeria to monitor the February elections, the Jonathan government has been accused of setting up the nation for a citizen versus army [Chief] war.
Chief opposition candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari has promised to probe the military for their failures in defeating Boko Haram over the past 5 years of the Jonathan administration. This is not sitting well with the army chiefs. Likewise the opposition promising to investigate corruption in the Presidency and cabinet level of the ruling party has ruffled the president and his appointees who are accused of gross acts of embezzlement and diversion of state funds to the tune of 100+ billion dollars.
The Jonathan government has been aggressively moving to scuttle the elections which it is favored to loose. Money for the Independent Electoral Commision, INEC to print ballot papers and mobilize was delayed to the last minute to frustrate the commission’s ability to conduct the elections at the slated time.
The Nigerian army meanwhile released a press statement in which they denied a NewsRescue publication that revealed disquiet in the army over the Chief of Army, Kenneth Minimah informing and attempting to force army Generals to back the president’s ruling PDP and a proposed Interim government.
Two army Generals whose names we withheld immediately submitted their resignations from the army, protesting that the army must be apolitical and must support whichever candidate legitimately wins in the spirit of democratic fairness.
Part of the army statement by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman read:
“The latest claim is that the Chief of Army Staff (COAs) is preparing to assume the leadership of this country through an interim government should the opposition party wins the 2015 general elections.
“This is dangerous, condemnable and a great disservice, given the tremendous sacrifices of the army in support of democracy in our nation.
“This is a deliberate attempt to erode public confidence and trust in the army and will not be tolerated. The masterminds of these campaigns of calumny are advised to desist from their nefarious activities forthwith.’’
On a letter purportedly written by “Concerned Officers and Soldiers of Operation Zaman Lafiya”, the Army spokesperson said, “this is a rehash of the same issues peddled by writers of a similar petition written last year using the stolen identity of a serving military officer.’’
The statement noted that another online medium [NewsRescue] claimed that two serving Major Generals of the Army had tendered letter of resignation over alleged disagreement with the COAs during a meeting.
It said the medium neither mentioned the names of the senior officers concerned nor the time and place of the alleged meeting with the COAs.
The statement added that for the avoidance of doubt, there had been no resignation whatsoever in the army on account of disagreement with the Chief of Army Staff.
“It must be stated categorically that the army is apolitical. In the same vein, it does not tolerate any of its officers or soldiers being involved in political matters.
“In this regard, it is recalled that the COAs, while addressing the passing out parade of 71 Regular Recruits Intake at Depot Nigerian Army Zaria, recently, reiterated this.
“As you all are aware, this is an election year. I therefore urge you to read and understand the code of conduct for military personnel during elections.
“You must remain apolitical at all times and in all situations. You must also see yourselves as ambassadors of the Nigerian Army and project the image of the service positively at all times.
“To achieve this, you are expected to discharge your duties diligently, professionally and patriotically.’’
The statement said it was pertinent to restate the fact that the army remained committed and loyal to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President, who is the Commander-in-Chief.
It said the army is conscious and committed to its subordination to constituted civil authorities.
It added that “politicians and their agents and agencies should please desist from attempts to drag the army into their political issues.’’ (NAN)