A statement issued by the military on Sunday said that it would not hesitate to respond severely with any individual or organisation that seeks to destroy its reputation or drag it into partisan political debate.
It also said that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain apolitical, while cautioning that “all mischief-makers and their proxies should refrain from using the military in their activities.”
This was said by Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, in a statement made in Abuja, while refuting a story that claimed Defence Headquarters had cautioned politicians and officers against a coup.
Onyeuko said that the publication, which appeared online, is the product of mischief makers and enemies of the state, and that it is a purposeful and premeditated effort to deceive the general public with the goal of sowing discord in the polity, according to Onyeuko.
According to him, the publication was modified with the goal of disseminating false information on a prior statement published in May 2021 by Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, who is now the current army spokesman, who was then the Director Defence Information.
“The Military High Command today advises all mischief-makers and their proxies not to involve the military in their engagements,” according to a portion of the statement.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria maintain its apolitical stance and will not hesitate to act forcefully with any individual or group of individuals who seek to damage their reputation or drag them into party politics.”
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria remain faithful to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and have vowed to preserve our democracy as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement said.
Earlier, the army’s spokesperson had also expressed disapproval of the publication, claiming that it was full of “outrageous falsehoods” and “fabrications.”
His claim is that the only reason “this terribly unprofessional and plainly irresponsible story” is gaining any attention is because the fraudulent comment was attributed to him, which he believes is unjustified.
“It’s possible that the writers of the article are the only news reporters who are unaware that an army spokesperson does not speak on behalf of Defense Headquarters.”
To be clear and to avoid confusion, we would like to note that the Director, Army Public Relations did not make any public statements on the subject topic at any point throughout the investigation.
It is, as a result, a fabrication of their imagination that did not in any way originate from Nwachukwu, according to the army spokesperson.