Military Dismisses Rumours Of Coup D’etat, Pledges To Defend Democracy

Alex-Badeh2The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has dismissed rumours in some quarters of a possible coup d’etat, affirming the commitment of the Nigerian military to the defence of the nation’s democracy.

He said that the rumours were untenable and stressed that “the military is an arm of democracy”.

Air Chief Marshal Badeh’s comments were contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the National Orientation Agency, Mr Paul Odenyi, released on Wednesday after a meeting between the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Mike Omeri, and the Air Chief.

The meeting held at Badeh’s  office was for the formal presentation of the Nigerian Centenary Flag to the Nigerian military.

After he received the flag, he gave an order for the immediate hoisting of the Centenary Flag in military formations across the country.

According to Badeh, the military as a professional group “has no option but to love Nigeria” and do those things that will ensure security and protection of lives within the nation.

Air Chief Marshal Badeh, who expressed surprise at the rumours, was emphatic that democracy had come to stay and that the military had no intention of truncating democracy.

“Why should anyone be thinking in negative fashion? Tell them we will not do it. Those rumouring coups must be living elsewhere and not in Nigeria. The Armed Forces are defenders of democracy. We are an arm of democracy, so how can an arm of democracy work against the democracy that we are part of?” the CDS asked.

“Do the Right Thing”

The Defence Chief commended the NOA for “living up to expectation” in its activities as typified by the Centenary Flag produced by the Agency, which he described as unique and of standard, as well as the coordination of the National Information Centre (NIC).

He expressed support for the Agency’s programmes and policies, including the renaming of the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) Brigade of the Agency to Community Support Brigade (CSB) and the Word Waste Bin initiative, urging the NOA to step up the ante in mobilizing Nigerians.

Mr Omeri had disclosed the Agency’s plan to soon launch a security awareness campaign tagged “Do the Right Thing: Know Your Neighbour”.

He said the campaign was, among other things, to complement efforts of the Armed Forces and also ensure return to that age old and celebrated value of being our brother’s keepers.

Presenting the nation’s Centenary Flag to the Defence Chief, the NOA Director General said the flag was symbolic of the nation’s history and heritage which it seeks to pass on to future generations of Nigerians.

He expressed the gratitude of the NOA for the support and commitment of the Defence Headquarters towards the National Information Centre, noting that such was a clear statement of the Armed Forces’ dedication to the speedy resolution of the security issues confronting the nation at the moment.

Omeri made a call for a day to be set aside by Nigerians to celebrate the Nigerian Armed Forces for their courage, professionalism and patriotism, pointing out that Nigerians owed the military a debt of gratitude for its selfless sacrifice for the nation.