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Military says suggestion of Rawlings example in Nigeria “unguided,” “inciting and instigative,” restates total loyalty to President, full subordination to civil authorities

The Nigerian Armed Forces on Monday restated that it is “totally loyal to the President Commander in-Chief and fully subordinated to the civil authorities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” saying that its officers and other ranks cannot be drawn into any unconstitutional acts.

The Nigerian Armed Forces was reacting to a publication on Sunday titled “Nigeria Needs a Rawlings Now – NDP” in which the national chairman of National Democratic Party (NDP), Chidi Chukwuanyi, advocated the replication in Nigeria of the mass execution of top Ghanaians leaders for corruption when former President, Jerry Rawlings organized his coup.

The Nigerian military says the statement is “unguided” as it is “inciting and instigative.”

Coordinator, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General John Enenche, said in a statement on Monday that “What Chidi Chukwuanyi is calling for is a combination of unpopular acts of insurrection and mutiny, which cannot be taken for granted by the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”

According to the statement signed by Enenche: “The attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to a newspaper publication in the Sunday Tribune of 26 July 2020 captioned “Nigeria Needs a Rawlings Now – NDP”. In this publication, the national chairman of National Democratic Party (NDP), Chidi Chukwuanyi, “says the state of corruption in the country calls for the replication of the Ghanian experience under former President Jerry Rawlings in Nigeria.”

“While the Defence Headquarters does not wish to join issues in anyway, it is instructive to observe that this unguided utterance targeted at the Nigerian Military is inciting and instigative.

“Consequently, I am directed by the High Command of the Nigerian Military to let the general public know and remind personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria;

“That all officers and men of the Nigerian Military swore to an oath of allegiance to be totally loyal to the civil authority of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and protect the constitution. This translates to unalloyed loyalty to the President Commander in Chief and full subordination to the civil authorities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“That all officers and men of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are to continue to abide by the constitutional provision, in Section 217 sub section 2 (c) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, “To suppress insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore order”. Any act to the contrary is unconstitutional.

“That all officers and men of the Nigerian Military are further reminded of offences contained in Armed Forces Act CAP A 20, The laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, which include among others; Mutiny in Sections 52 and 53, which if committed are punishable.

“I am to further directed to state clearly and unequivocally that the Nigerian Military is a force that is in consonance with all global best practices and cannot be misguided by any individual or group. And for the avoidance of doubt, the Armed Forces of Nigeria is totally loyal to the President Commander in-Chief and fully subordinated to the civil authorities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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