President Muhamadu Buhari has adviced officers and men of the Nigeria Army to stick to the professional ethics of the military and stay off politics. 

He said this at the Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference, where he was represented by Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, in Abuja on Monday. 

In his address, Mr President said: “While performing your constitutional roles, I urge you to remain apolitical and continue to operate within the framework of the principles of fundamental human rights and the laws of armed conflict."

Recall that the Acting Director, Directorate of Defense Media Operations (DDMO), Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko issued a press statement in mid-November, where he asked all stakeholders to disregard a purported circular said to have originated from the military authorities, warning soldiers against a planned coup. 

General Onyeuko denied the report. He pledged the Military's allegiance to the President and the Constitition of the Country. He described the said report as the work of mischief makers and their proxies. He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria is apolitical and prefers not to be drawn into partisan politics.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria remains loyal to President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and also sworn to defend our democracy as well the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria", the statement read.

Nigeria Army Scribe, Bigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, also denied the report. He said the report was a delinerate and malicious attempt to mislead the public, for ulterior motives. 

There has been a global uproar regarding the surging rate of coups in Africa in the last year. Sudan has experienced two such events, one in September which failed and the latest in which Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan dissolved the Civilian arm of a transitional Government and took over.

In Guinea, President Condé was ousted by the Army in September. In neighbouring Mali, there have been two interventions by the Army in less than a year, the most recent one happened in May. In Niger, a coup was thwarted in March, days before a Presidential inauguration.

Nigeria had an unenviable reputation for military coups in the years after independence.

There were eight coups between January, 1966 and the Gen. Sani Abacha led take-over in 1993.

The ugly trend has however been reversed since the 1999 transfers of power to a democratically elected civilian administration in Africa's most populous nation.

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