CHIEF of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has warned generals against coup, vowing that the Nigerian Army will never tolerate any agent of destabilization bent on scuttling the current democratic dispensation.
Buratai, who spoke, yesterday, while the Nigerian Army decorated 39 newly promoted Major Generals, said he was aware that some generals were being approached and his eyes are on them.
“Democracy has come to stay. We will not tolerate any agent of destabilization. The years of military misadventure in politics have never carried us anywhere. It is over,” he said.
Disclosing that the Army hierarchy was aware of some interests making efforts to interact with certain personnel, General Buratai expressed confidence in the discipline and loyalty of the newly decorated officers.
He charged the new generals: “Do not hobnob with politicians. At this rank of two star generals, do not lobby for appointment. If you want to lobby for appointment, lobby the Chief of Army Staff and you can only do this through hard work, discipline and loyalty.
“The crop of officers (39 Major Generals) decorated yesterday will never be dragged into any interest that is contrary to the sustenance of democracy in our nation.
“All our eyes are on you. We know there are several moves to get your attention. You must make sure that whatever you are doing, and when some persons approach you, you must act within the confines of the constitution.”
On the security challenges plaguing the nation for which the polity has been awash with calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs, Gen Buratai said: “I am glad that we held the Spiritual Warfare Seminar on Wednesday and most of the decorated generals today are graduates of the Spiritual Warfare Seminar.
“I must say that the Spiritual Warfare Seminar we had last time, helped us during the last #EndSARS protest to the extent that there was no single corpse, but some persons were seeing double at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State.”
He continued: “We will continue to protect every law abiding Nigerian anywhere in the country and we will do that in accordance with the rules of engagement and confines of the constitution.”
To officers and soldiers, the COAS said: “The next most important appointment after the Chief of Army Staff is that of the General Officers Commanding the divisions; the GOC must see himself as that repository of discipline, loyalty and regimentation. We shall work hard to ensure we improve the welfare of our troops.
Towards this end, I am considering more empowerment to the GOCs to make sure that you (GOCs) administer and motivate your formations more effectively.
“There is more work to be done in the theatres of operation but by and large, I want to say there is tremendous improvement in countering insecurity. We must maintain our new tempo that is working. I believe that in the not too distant future the new strategies will be successful.”
In his address, Guest of Honour and Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, retd, corroborated the comments of the Chief of Policy and Plans, Army, Lt. Gen LO Adeosun, who said godfatherism and lobbying for appointments and promotions was affecting the operations of the Nigerian Army.
The minister said: “We should try and see that we eliminate godfatherism. There is no need to have short cut in life. Go with the advice of hard work, loyalty and discipline so that when it comes to any promotion board, you don’t need to lobby anybody.”