Military officers with divided loyalty were yesterday ordered to resign
. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai said such officers should quit not later than today.
Gen. Buratai spoke as the Army renewed its pledge to constituted authority, stressing that it will not disobey orders. Besides, it vowed to deal with “those who seek to undermine our democracy by interfering in our electoral process”.
Gen. Buratai, at a meeting with General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) and selected Commanders at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, cautioned politicians against making inciting statements.
The COAS spoke against the backdrop of the remarks by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and National Chairman Uche Secondus at the PDP 84th National Executive Council meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The party leaders counselled the military not to obey President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that ballot box snatchers be severely dealt with as part of measures to sanitise the electoral process.
Gen. Buratai said: “It is unfortunate to hear persons who are aspiring to rule this country again inciting the army to disobedience. We have consistently stated our position in the political dispensation to remain neutral and apolitical.
“However, direct and public incitement of the military against democracy and constituted civil authority will not be tolerated. I request such persons to withdraw this inciting statement. Let me reemphasize loud and clear, that the Nigerian Army is a professional army.
“The foundation of military professionalism is discipline and without discipline an army cannot stand. One of our core values is loyalty to constituted authority. Loyalty must be hundred per cent. I shall leave you in no doubt as to our resolve to bequeath a professionally responsive army to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“Should any officer or soldier have doubts as to his loyalty to the Nigerian State as presently constituted, such a person has up to February 22, 2019 to resign. There is no room for indiscipline or disobedience to lawful orders in the NA today.”