Debunks alleged meetings with a presidential candidate to consummate plot
*Debunks alleged meetings with a presidential candidate to consummate plot
*Insists security establishment will not plot against democratic governance
*Allegation highly irresponsible, APC campaign in panic mode, says PDP
By Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday denied that there was a coup d’etat in the offing. Also, they debunked claims that some generals met last Thursday with a presidential candidate to consummate the plot.
It said in a statement issued by the Acting Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig Gen Tukur Gusau, that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) remained loyal to the constitution and “will never be part of any evil plot against our democracy.”
In a swift reaction, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the allegation as the most reckless, and highly irresponsible, adding that it shows that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign is now in panic mode, having been dazed by the popularity of the presidential Candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
A spokesman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Femi Fani-Kayode, had in his Twitter handle, Fani-Kayode@realFFK, raised concerns about the alleged meeting between the generals and the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
“There are reports that @atiku had a secret meeting with serving military generals in Abuja on Thursday. If true, it is troubling and has implications. What was the purpose? Why would a presidential candidate have secret meetings with soldiers 14 days before the election?
“Is this meeting part of the wider agenda to disrupt the elections, destabilise the country, set us on fire, incite chaos and violence, provoke a coup d’etat, and establish a new and unconstitutional order in our beloved country under the auspices of an Interim National Government (ING)?
“Knowing that he has no chance of winning the election, is Atiku now working with some members of the cabal, a handful of treacherous and unpatriotic technocrats at CBN and in the private sector and rogue elements in the ‘deep state’ to effect this demonic hidden agenda?”, he alleged in the tweet.
But in a swift response, the Defence Headquarters said it was disheartened by the allegation.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria notes with dismay the story being peddled around by some unscrupulous elements alleging that some military officers met with a presidential candidate to disrupt the general elections and set the country on fire. The wicked and malicious propaganda indicated that a so-called Thursday meeting is plotting a coup d’etat to establish an unconstitutional order.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria is disheartened that even politically exposed persons can denigrate themselves into joining agents of destabilisation and violence in making false claims just to heighten tension in the polity,” it said.
The statement maintained that the armed forces remained professional and apolitical ahead of the general elections.
“It needs to be stated that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional military loyal to the constitution of the Federal Republic and will never be part of any evil plot against our democracy.
“Besides, the military remains apolitical and neutral in the current political process and will not engage in the alleged shenanigans. The Armed Forces of Nigeria will never be part of any ignoble plot to truncate our hard-earned democracy,” it said.
The Defence Headquarters warned that those engaged in such fabrications would be required to substantiate their claims.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria hereby warn that those who fabricate and spread unfounded misinformation will be invited by the appropriate law enforcement agencies to substantiate their claims.
“The general public is advised to disregard such information and go about their normal activities,” it said.
Meanwhile, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has described the allegation as the most reckless and highly irresponsible, adding that it shows that the APC presidential campaign is now in panic mode.
A spokesman of the campaign organisation, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement yesterday that it was unimaginable that Fani-Kayode could make such an unfounded vile comment against the person of Atiku.
He alleged that Nigerians are aware that the presidential Candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, has been stoking the fire of divisions, crisis, and riots in the country, having been confronted by the stark reality of a looming defeat.
“Atiku Abubakar has been campaigning most peacefully and speaking realistically to the aspirations of Nigerians. It is public knowledge that Atiku Abubakar was in the Kano State capital on Thursday for his Presidential Campaign rally.
“It is important for Femi Fani-Kayode to know that Nigerians are also aware that the agents of Tinubu that went to the Council of State meeting to push for the postponement of the election and orchestrate a situation that will lead to an Interim Government were disgraced out at the meeting.
“Being frustrated, we are not surprised that Tinubu will send out his lapdogs to stream the streets to make very wild and irresponsible allegations to distract our campaign.
“Nigerians from across the country are determined to vote in Atiku Abubakar as the next president of our country and will not be distracted by such baseless and silly allegations,” he added.
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