Coup: Publish names of dismissed senior military officers, HURIWA tells DHQ 

Nigerian Army

Buhari Support Group Wants Ekweremadu To Withdraw Statement

A pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) to publish the names of those senior military officers who were quasi-political and honourably eased out from service.

Speaking with The Guardian in Abuja, yesterday, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the caution by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was to political office holders to abide by the constitutional provisions in the discharge of their duties to Nigerians.

He said the military was being economical with the truth to claim that it does not have politically-sensitive officers in its ranks, because ideally, every human being has political inclination inherent in him or her.

Onwubiko said: “The reaction of the spokesman of the Defence Headquarters that the military harbours no such persons with political ambitions or that all politically-minded officers have been purged is totally not correct.

“Before, all the coup plots that happened in the past were instigated not necessarily by politically-ambitious politicians, but because if crass misgovernace, abuse of office and total disregard for the principle of rule of law by the politicians and corruption of those civilians in government.

“These anti-democratic tendencies, like attacks against political opponents and the loss of credibility and legitimacy in the estimation of the majority of the citizenry that usually motivate some elements in the military to revolt against constituted authority through the execution of coup plots.

“All the negative indices of civilian dictatorship, nepotism, crass opportunism, theft of public funds and cronyism are fully operational in the various departments of government all across Nigeria, and these are the same negative tendencies that made military incursions into politics very attractive and because majority of the citizenry are fed up with the rot and systemic dys-functionality that have overtaken the national life of Nigeria, the people may be prepared to welcome military intervention in Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that last year, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, raised the alarm that some soldiers were beginning to manifest political interests and warned all soldiers to respect their professional codes of conduct.

“If the spokesman of the Defence Headquarters has now made the claim that those politically-conscious officers have been purged, then he has to proceed to name them in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.

“Was he referring to some of the southern officers mostly and a few northern minority officers who were sacked because they were alleged to have refused to aid the election rigging in 2015 in favour of the then opposition APC or what?

“Was he referring to the 38 officers retired and who are in the National Industrial Court (NIC) seeking legal redress?

“Politicians must play the game by the rule, because military coup can still happen, just like what happened in Egypt that unseated the Moslem Brothers or even Zimbabwe, which saw the exit of 94-year-old civilian dictator, Robert Mugabe,” HURIWA said.

Meanwhile, the Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) has asked Ekweremadu to withdraw the coup statement he made on the floor of the Senate and apologise to Nigerians for that “most unfortunate statement.”

BMSG, in a press statement in Abuja, yesterday, signed by its Coordinator, Austin Braimoh, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, said it was disturbed that a senator would make such a statement, saying: “His reference to a coup plot in this dispensation is highly disappointing and clearly appears as an instigation. Definitely his intention while making this comment is suspicious and unpatriotic.

“As a lawmaker and second-in-command at the nation’s highest law-making body, we expect Ekweremadu to always exercise restraint in his utterances to uphold the virtues required of his high office.

“As someone occupying a high office in the country, it is expected that the stability and progress of the country will be uppermost in his mind.”

The group called on Ekweremadu and the Senate as a whole to emulate the qualities of President Muhammadu Buhari, who not only encourages separation of powers, but also continues to promote democracy in the country in all his actions.

“We make bold to say that if indeed the country’s democracy is under threat, as Ekweremadu tried to make us believe, then it is an indictment on him, as one of the leaders of the Senate, and he should stop passing the buck.”

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