Nigeria’s armed forces have ignored suggestions that they should take over from President Muhammadu Buhari, who is facing mounting pressure within the nation’s worsening insecurity.
It wasn’t initially Nigeria’s armed forces have issued a statement financing Buhari, however, the latest has come after weeks of criticism from the 78-year-old former general’s failures to stem the extended security catastrophe.
From a jihadist insurgency in the northeast to herder-farmer clashes in the centre, banditry from the northwest and separatist tensions in the southeast, Buhari’s armed forces appear to be struggling to curb insecurity.
In a statement late Monday, the armed forces said they’d continue to”completely” support the government, remain politically neutral and protect Nigeria’s democracy.
“Let it be stated categorically that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain fully committed to the present administration and all associated democratic institutions,” military spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement.
Last week, lawmakers had advocated Buhari to announce a nationwide state of emergency following a month of almost daily attacks, kidnappings and killings across Africa’s most populous country.
The army statement referred especially to remarks made by Robert Clarke, a prominent attorney and social commentator.
He had 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 look for external assistance or resign.
Buhari meets safety chiefs
Buhari satisfied with his top security chiefs a week and again on Tuesday to discuss the country’s violence.
“We shall continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, especially in protecting the nation’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country in addition to the security of lives and properties of taxpayers,” the army statement said.
The military expressed the hope that the nation’s”present security challenges aren’t insurmountable.”
Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after nearly 16 decades of military rule.
Buhari, a former military commander and army ruler in the 1980s, was elected in 2015 and re-elected four decades later on a pledge to end the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
Since 2009 as it started, the jihadist uprising has killed 36,000 people and forced over two million others to flee their homes in Nigeria’s northeast alone.
The violence has also spread to neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents. (AFP)