African Press Association

Fresh coup fears grip Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) -THE Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has denied reports it was planning a coup against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari has been out of the country for weeks because of illness.
NAF disregarded the media reports of a coup as “mischievous.”
“NAF considers it most ridiculous that anyone in his/her right senses,
especially in the 21st century, could still be fixated on the possibility
of effecting a change in government in Nigeria in any way other than the ballot box,” said spokesman, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya.
He said NAF was a highly professional and apolitical service focused on ensuring the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as facilitating a
safe and secure environment for citizens.
Adesanya recalled Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba
Abubakar, last month pledged loyalty to Buhari, who is also the
Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
“It is therefore inconceivable that the same NAF would be involved in any way in any attempt to dismantle the political structure in Nigeria.”
Fears of a coup have gripped Nigeria after army officials alleged some
politicians had approached officer to stage a coup against Buhari.
Buhari has been out of the country on medical leave.
His deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, is heading the country in Buhari’s absence and is in line to succeed him.
The majority Muslims in the ruling All Progressives Congress is alleged to be against the ascension of Osinbajo, a Christian.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of over 180 million, has a sordid history of military coups. Buhari staged one in the 1980s but was elected in democratic elections in 2015.

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