Army will not disobey constituted authority – Buratai

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The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it would not accept any incitement of the military against the country’s democracy and constituted authorities and urged individuals making such statements to withdraw their statements.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai made the declaration at a meeting with General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Principal Officers (PSOs) and selected Commanders at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.

Biratai reiterated that the army would not disobey orders issued by constituted authority and maintained that it would defend the nation’s democracy.

Buratai said: “It is unfortunate to hear persons who are aspiring to rule this country again inciting the army to disobedience. We have consistently stated our position in the political dispensation to remain neutral and apolitical.

“However, direct and public incitement of the Nigerian Military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated. I request such persons to withdraw this inciting statement. Let me reemphasize loud and clear, that the Nigerian Army is a professional army.

“The foundation of military professionalism is discipline and without discipline an army cannot stand. One of our core values is loyalty to constituted authority. Loyalty must be hundred per cent. I shall leave you in no doubt as to our resolve to bequeath a professionally responsive army to Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Should any officer or soldier have doubts as to his loyalty to the Nigerian State as presently constituted, such a person has up to 22 February 2019 to resign. There is no room for indiscipline or disobedience to lawful orders in the NA today.”

Buratai, who said the meeting was called to review matters arising as a result of the postponement of the general elections, said the postponement has increased apprehension in the country and the international community especially on the safety of voters and electoral materials.

The CoAS reminded the army leadership that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable, stressing that those who seek to “undermine our democracy by interfering in our electoral process must be seen as enemies of Nigeria and dealt with appropriately.

Our role is aptly captured in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and we must defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity as well as act in aid of civil authority when called upon to do so.”

He charged the commanders to work with all stakeholders, interest groups and agencies to avert any act by any individual, groups or entities that seek to undermine the country’s democratic process.

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