Military High Command on Tuesday warned officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria against mutiny, reminding them of their oath of allegiance to be totally loyal to the civil authority and protect the constitution. The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, John Enenche, a major general, gave the warning in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
The warning came a day after the State Security Service (SSS) said it had uncovered plans by some persons and groups to destabilise the country. Mr Enenche said the warning was in response to a statement credited to the National Chairman of National Democratic Party (NDP), Chidi Chukwuanyi, calling for the Ghanaian experience under Rawlings in Nigeria.
He said while the Defence Headquarters does not wish to join issues in any way, it is instructive to observe that this unguarded utterance targeted at the Nigerian Military is inciting. “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.
“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 an oath of allegiance. “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 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,” he said.
On Monday, the SSS, in a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, said some prominent personalities and socio-cultural groups had resorted to “divisive acts through inciting statements aimed at pitting individuals, groups and ethnic nationalities against another.”