United Kingdom has warned Nigeria over the planning or execution of a coup by soldiers as a way of changing government, insisting that they will not support such undemocratic process.
Based on reports, some soldiers were being approached by politicians on how to carry out a coup.
Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai’s warned the soldiers not to mix with politicians.
The army chief warned all officers and soldiers interested in politics to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.
“Any officer or soldier of Nigerian Army found to be hobnobbing with such elements or engaged in unprofessional conducts such as politicking would have himself or herself to blame.”
Based on The Punch reports, UK government warned against a military change of government, insisting democratic processes should be the only method of selecting leaders.
On Wednesday,18th of May 2017, Mr. Paul Arkwright who is the British High Commissioner to Nigeria stated that leadership must be about choices.
“The British Government believes that democracy is absolutely critical in Nigeria. There is a democratic process here; there are elections. If you are not happy with your leaders, then you should change your leadership process through your leaders and through elections.”
“That is exactly what happened in 2015 and it is what the British Government will expect to happen in Nigeria. So, our position is very clear; we stand for democracy, we stand for the democratic process and we stand for change, if that is what the people of Nigeria want.”
“It has to be a choice that the people make and not a choice that is imposed upon them.”
The Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the People Democratic Party asked the army chief to name the politicians and soldiers that were planning to overthrow the government.
“He should come out more openly and tell Nigerians what is actually happening. What exactly is the nature of the contact politicians are making with the soldiers? We would like to know the nature of the contact and who and who are making the contact. “
“It is only reasonable that he exposes those involved. What are those politicians making these contacts asking for? The truth is that as a nation, we cannot go back to Egypt, because democracy is our Promised Land.”