By Joseph Erunke
SOME elders across the country have flayed the Chief of Army Staff,Lt. General Tukur Buratai’s statement warning officers of the Nigerian Army against embarking on a coup to change democratic government in the country, saying Buratai’s alarm was his imaginary thought aimed at diverting Nigerians attention from the failures of service chiefs.
Besides, the elders said Buratai’s warning was unnecessary since the Nigerian military has shown all allegiance not only to President Muhammadu Buhari but the entire constitutional orders in the country, insisting that his coup warning was meant to deceive the president into believing that the service chiefs were his saving grace so as to prevent any possible sack over their inabilities to security the country against insurgents, armed bandits,kidnappers among other adversaries.
Recall that the Chief of Army Staff,had while decorating the 39 newly promoted Major Generals, said he was aware that some generals were being approached and his eyes are on them.
He vowed that the Nigerian Army will never tolerate any agent of destabilization bent on scuttling the current democratic dispensation.
“Democracy has come to stay. We will not tolerate any agent of destabilization. The years of military misadventure in politics have never carried us anywhere. It is over,” he had warned.
But reacting to it,the elders called on the president not to hearken to the military chiefs’ antics through the army boss, tasking him to go ahead to relief them of their positions before the country is completely overrun by adversaries.
The elders equally called on the National Assembly not to pass the 2021 Budget pending before it until the president implements the resolutions of the two chambers of the legislature that demanded the sack of the security chiefs.
In a statement,Saturday, the elders operating under the Coalition of Nigeria Elders for Peace and Good Governance (CONEPAGG),insisted that President Buhari must not look back again in sacking the service chiefs, saying the ovation was loud and clear enough for him to listen for the sack of Nigeria and its people.
Their positions were contained in a statement signed by Engr. Zana Goni, National Coordinator, Prof. Adebola Adeboye, Cordinator South West , Dr Ugwuanyi Emeka, Cordinator South East, Sheik Ibrahim Mohammed Cordinator North West, Barr. Peter Shima,as Cordinator North Central; Hajiya Zainab Bulama as Cordinator,North East and Dr Solomon Dagogo as Cordinator of South South region,respectively.
In the statement, the elders described Buratai’s coup warning as the “distractive and diversionary statement meant to attract attention from the seat of power at a time the whole Nigeria is calling for their removal.”
“Nobody is planning any coup,as a matter of fact,Nigerians are happy with democracy. They are only fade up with insecurity and all the service chiefs sack who in spite of their seeming failures,have failed to toe the path of honour and resign from their offices,” they said.
They added:”While we appreciate his right and authority to warn his officers against engaging in any act inimical to the growth and sustenance of democracy in our country, we must say that Nigerians and all its security services have moved beyond coup.”
“The alarm by the Chief of Army Staff is imaginary, with desperate intent to divert attention of not only the President But also Nigerians who have all seen the clear failures of the security chiefs and have all come out with a resolve that they be shown the way out immediately.
” We wish to state here that no matter the antics of the Buratai and his likes,Nigerians of good conscience have refused to be gullible to their antics which we consider unpatriotic to the country given the number of people dying and those harmed in one way or the order besides the unquantifiable destructions of both public and private assets.”
The elders recalled with regret that:” Every time there’s a call for removal of service chiefs will,they always come up with one big false story or the other basically on operation just to divert Nigerians’ attention,all to buy time from the Presidency.”
” But this time, this has failed. We demand the immediate sack of the service chiefs who have overstayed their welcome and also bereft of fresh ideas.
“We humbly once again, call on the president to listen to the voice of reason by sacking the service chiefs with a view not only to injecting fresh ideas into solutions to the insecurity in the country but also transform our security sector.
“The president must as a matter of urgency, replace them with younger officers with the zeal and commitment to perform.
“We reiterate our earlier call on the National Assembly not to pass the 2020 Budget until the president respects its resolution on the sack of service chiefs,” they insisted.