Nigeria army dismisses suggestions of takeover from Buhari

Nigeria’s armed forces have ignored suggestions that they need to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, who is facing mounting pressure over the country’s worsening insecurity.

It wasn’t initially Nigeria’s armed forces have issued a statement financing Buhari, however, the newest has come after weeks of criticism of their 78-year-old former general’s failures to stem the extended safety catastrophe.

From a jihadist insurgency in the northeast to herder-farmer clashes at the center, banditry from the shore and separatist tensions in the southeast, Buhari’s armed forces appear to be fighting to suppress unhappiness.

In a statement late Monday, the armed forces said they’d continue to”completely” support the government, remain politically neutral and safeguard Nigeria’s democracy.

“Let it be stated categorically that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain completely committed to the current administration and all related democratic institutions,” army spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement.

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“We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the civil jurisdiction, firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as amended,” it stated.

Last week, lawmakers had advocated Buhari to declare a nationwide state of emergency after a month of almost daily attacks, kidnappings and killings across Africa’s most populous country.

The military statement referred especially to comments made by Robert Clarke, a prominent lawyer and social commentator.

He’d said the country was on the edge of collapse and implied that the governmental leadership hand power to the military so that the security forces could be restructured.

Opposition figures such as Bukola Saraki and Nobel winner and playwright Wole Soyinka also have urged Buhari to seek outside assistance or resign.

Buhari meets safety chiefs

Buhari satisfied with his top security chiefs last week and on Tuesday to discuss the country’s violence.

“We will continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, particularly in protecting the country’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country as well as security of properties and lives of citizens,” the military statement said.

The army expressed the expectation that the country’s”current security challenges aren’t insurmountable.”

Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after almost 16 decades of military rule.

Buhari, a former military commander and military ruler in the 1980s, was first elected in 2015 and re-elected four decades later on a pledge to end the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

Instead of abate, the Islamist rebellion has persisted using a Boko Haram splinter faction, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), becoming the dominant jihadist force.

Since 2009 when it started, the jihadist uprising has killed 36,000 people and compelled more than two million other people to flee their homes in Nigeria’s northeast alone. (AFP)

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