Coup Plot: Again, Speaker Dogara Raises Alarm Over Deployment Of Soldiers To 36 States

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has again raised alarm over the deployment of soldiers to the 36 states of Nigeria.

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A pro-democracy group, Society for Good Governance (SGG) had last week raised alarm over the decision by the military authorities to deploy soldiers to the states in what it described as “solidarity march for democracy and the constitution”, wondering if the deployment was not a prelude to a military take over of government.
Speaking in Abuja, at a “Capacity/Interactive Needs Assessment Workshop of Security Sector Related Committees in the House of Representatives, Dogara questioned the deployment of soldiers in peacetime.
“It is worrisome that Nigeria is effectively permanently in a state of emergency as the Armed Forces are deployed in more than 28 states of the federation in peacetime.
“The Armed Forces have virtually taken over routine police work in Nigeria. They are no longer acting in aid of civil authorities but have become the civil authorities.
“Section 217 of the constitution spells out the duties and responsibilities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, which include defending Nigeria from external aggression; maintaining Nigeria’s territorial integrity; and securing our borders from violation from land, sea or air; suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President,” he said.
Dogara expressed surprise that military personnel had virtually taken over the duties of the police.
He also reminded the military of the need to use funds allocated to it judiciously and for the purpose they were allocated.
“Related to the constitutional powers of the National Assembly to appropriate funds and thereby allocate funds for security, is the power to ensure that such monies or funds appropriated are used in a transparent and accountable manner and for the purpose for which they have been given.
“The National Assembly’s powers of legislative oversight cannot therefore be over-emphasised,” he told the session.
On the rising security concerns in the country, Dogara the National Assembly would be alive to its responsibilities.
“This past experience which saw a powerful military exercise absolute control and authority over the machinery of government has translated to the current challenge of getting these institutions to subject themselves to legislative scrutiny.
“The often seen consequence of this is inadequate and inefficient delivery of security to citizens, as well as lack of accountability and transparency as they relate to security expenditure.
“The House has consequently, recently amended the Public Procurement Act to make the Armed Forces more accountable in procurement matters,” he said.
He cited Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which Dogara said defined the duties of the Armed Forces, contrary to what they were seen doing these days in many states of the federation.
Dogara stated, “It is worrisome that Nigeria is effectively permanently in a state of emergency as the Armed Forces are deployed in more than 28 states of the federation in peacetime.
“The Armed Forces have virtually taken over routine police work in Nigeria. They are no longer acting in aid of civil authorities but have become the civil authorities.
“Section 217 of the constitution spells out the duties and responsibilities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, which include defending Nigeria from external aggression; maintaining Nigeria’s territorial integrity; and securing our borders from violation from land, sea or air; suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President.”
It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff recently raised alarm over what he said was the infiltration of the military by politicians seeking to influence military officers to effect a change of government.
“Related to the constitutional powers of the National Assembly to appropriate funds and thereby allocate funds for security, is the power to ensure that such monies or funds appropriated are used in a transparent and accountable manner and for the purpose for which they have been given.
“The National Assembly’s powers of legislative oversight cannot therefore be over-emphasised,” he told the session.
On the rising security concerns in the country, Dogara pledged the readiness of the House to provide legislative support to the executive to confront the problem.
The Speaker added, “This past experience which saw a powerful military exercise absolute control and authority over the machinery of government has translated to the current challenge of getting these institutions to subject themselves to legislative scrutiny.
“The often seen consequence of this is inadequate and inefficient delivery of security to citizens, as well as lack of accountability and transparency as they relate to security expenditure.
“The House has consequently, recently amended the Public Procurement Act to make the Armed Forces more accountable in procurement matters.”
The pro-democracy group had Friday, in a statement, queried the extention of the tenure of service chiefs which expired July 1, 2017. It noted that “at a time rumours of coup are all over the place which was confirmed by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai to the effect that some politicians were infiltrating the military with a view to influencing his officers to topple the government, the march across the 36 states is very suspicious.
“More suspicious is the sudden extension of the tenure of service chiefs, who are due to retire by July 1. What is the extension of the service chiefs for? Are there not other officers who are eminently qualified to take over from the retiring officers?
“The Nigerian Airforce in reaction to a publication accusing the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar of involvement in a coup plot, recently issued a statement saying it had no such involvement in any any plan to effect an unconstitutional change of government while maintaining that the training was in reaction to plans by terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, to bomb air bases in the country.

“After that statement, the United Kingdom began a retraining of the Nigerian Airforce personnel, another curious training exercise”, the statement said.
SGG further recalled that “The Nzeogwu coup of 1966 started as a military exercise called operation Damisa, IBB’s coup was planned during a military exercise in the South East. The March for the defence of the constitution and democracy smells like a coup plot especially when there are genuine agitations for the restructuring of the federation of Nigeria”.
“If there is a coup plot in order to quench the raging calls for restructuring, it would definitely be dead on arrival as the citizenry will not be cowed by any section of the country to continue to live under Hobbes’ state of nature- where live is short and brutish. We are calling on Nigerians to be alert to this grand design by a minority seeking to subjugate the 170 million people”, the statement said.
The Defence Headquarters said the exercise tagged “Together we are” would be conducted across the country and the slogan would be “Together we are: Protecting lives and property, ensuring unity and progress, supporting democracy, upholding the Constitution, and defending national interests”.
Enenche did not disclose the routes of the solidarity march for what he called security reasons.
“The physical fitness of members of the Security and Response Agencies is germaine to the effectiveness of its members, especially in the face of contemporary security challenges in the Country. In the same vein, group interaction through an exercise such as route march is an enhancer of espirit de corps and harmony among members of the Security and Response Agencies.”
“It is in view of these, that a Route March Exercise titled “TOGETHER WE ARE” is to be conducted on quarterly basis involving the Military, Para Military and Security Responses Agencies in Nigeria. The slogan for the Exercise is: ”TOGETHER WE ARE ”
a. Protecting Lives and Property. b. Ensuring Unity and Progress. c. Supporting Democracy. d. Upholding the Constitution. e. Defending National Interests.
“Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long Live the Security Agencies.
” The maiden “TOGETHER WE ARE” route march exercise will take place across the Nation on 1st July 2017. The general public is hereby notified that there will be movement of troops and other security agencies in the course of this exercise.
” Your cooperation and understanding is highly solicited. Be rest assured that; Together we, as members of the Security and Response Agencies in Nigeria are always there to; Protect Lives and Property; Ensure Unity and Progress, Support Democracy, Uphold the Constitution and Defend our National interests. ”




2 COMMENTS

  1. Just two days ago I worried that having all military commanders assemble in Abuja for a so called strategy mind bursting exercise was similar to Nzeogwu’s military exercises before the 1966 coup. Speaker Dogara now appears to be o my side worrying about military presence in 36 states of the nation in contravention of section 217 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
    I still shout out:: Caesar Beware; e tutu Brute!!
    WE SEE WHAT THE ORDINARY PEOPLE DO NOT RECOGNIZE EVEN IF THEY SEE IT.
    Nze CA

  2. If Buhari dies they will throw Osinbanjo out from the window and nothing will be heard about RESTRUCTURING or any agitation for anything or against anything for a long time to come. The occupation of Nigeria has been completed by the unseen hand of natural evolution. Think about that.
    Nze CA

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