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March 5, 2024

‘We’re agents of democracy’, Army Chief dismisses coup allegations

How Nigeria can manage conflicts, prevent insurections without Military - Lagbaja

Lagbaja

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, says the military has no desire to truncate the country’s democratic system.

By Ayobami Okerinde

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, says the military has no desire to truncate the country’s democratic system.

His statement comes amidst a series of coup allegations against the military.

The Army Chief assured that the personnel would continue to fulfil their mandates as outlined in the constitution.

During a seminar for Nigerian Army officers in Abuja, Lagbaja affirmed the Army’s commitment to upholding the Constitution.

His words: “Permit me to seize this opportunity to reiterate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Army, has come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance.

“We are therefore agents of democracy and have no desire to truncate it. The Nigerian Army will continue to defend our constitution and not suspend it for whatever reason.

“It is the duty of our elected leaders to lead while the military does its job as enshrined in our constitution. Nigerian Army personnel must therefore remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties.”

Coup Allegations

In February, the Defence Headquarters dismissed allegations that the Presidential Guards Brigade had been put on high alert following suspicious movements around the seat of power, indicating fears of a coup plot.

Recall that there has been a forcible seizure of power by the military in Mali, Burkina Faso, and the Niger Republic, and subsequent withdrawal of the countries from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the last four years.

The statement partly reads: “The Defence Headquarters wishes to categorically state that the allegation is totally false.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Guards Brigade has been statutorily assigned the responsibility of protecting the seat of power (The Presidency) and by extension the Federal Capital Territory and its environs. 

“Hence, it is to be noted that the Guards Brigade has always been on high alert in order to effectively executive its assigned tasks.

“It will be recalled that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa had in various fora reiterated the unalloyed commitment of members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to the protection and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria.

“Therefore, the Defence Headquarters strongly condemn this unsubstantiated assertion which is just a figment of imagination of the publisher and enjoins members of the public to disregard it.”