Military Dissociates Self From Call To Overthrow Govt …16th Birthday: Hundreds March For Leah In UK, US …Lawyers Raise Alarm Over Threat To National Security

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Defence Headquarters

The Defence Headquarters yesterday dissociated the Armed Forces of Nigeria from the circulation of document, calling for the overthrow of the democratically elected government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued by Navy Capt. Muhammed Wabi, Deputy Director of Defence Information, the DHQ accused a group, “Nigerian Continuity and Progress’’ as being behind the document.
Wabi alleged that the document called for the setting up of an “interim government’’ in place of the elected government
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria wishes to dissociate itself from the rascality and intentions as espoused in a document being circulated by a faceless group named Nigerian Continuity and Progress calling for support of a revolution to oust the current democratically elected government and in its place establish an illegitimate interim government.
“The AFN outrightly condemns the undemocratic and demonic actions of the author of the document.
“Accordingly, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the content of the documents being circulated by NCP and equally condemned in totality, the call to derail our hard-earned democracy,’’ the statement said.
It said that the armed forces was “very mindful of its constitutional responsibilities’’ and would not be misled into any act that would undermine democracy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“The AFN remains unflinchingly loyal to the Constitution, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The statement said all relevant law enforcement agencies had been advised to unravel those behind the seditious document for appropriate actions.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people will today storm Nigeria’s Mission House in the United Kingdom and United States of America for prayer vigils as part of a global concern for the 16th birthday anniversary of Leah Sharibu, one of 110 girls abducted from their school in Dapchi by Boko Haram.
After spending 449 days in captivity, the girl would be marking her 16th birthday today.
There would be activities in Abuja, Jos, Lagos, Yola and Port Harcourt in addition to other events by Panam Music World, John Praise Foundation for Human Development and Prof. Mercy Ade-Davies International Foundation.
A statement by the UK group said: “Please join us to pray and protest from 1-1:30pm, the address is: 9 Northumberland Ave, Westminster, London WC2N 5BX. You can still speak up for Leah now.”
There would also be an event at the US Senate building on Capitol Hill today in Washington. In a related development, pupils of primary schools in Jos had a peaceful march and the same time, prayed for her safe return.
The pupils drawn from different schools called on the Federal Government to secure schools so that innocent children are not made to suffer for things they know nothing about.
Speaking at the mini rally, the President of Leah Foundation, Dr. Gloria Samdi-Puldu appealed to the Federal Government to honour its promises of freeing Leah from captivity.
In a related development, the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) has expressed dismay over the continuous downward slide of the state of security in the country.
The body noted that the security challenges were evident in various cases of killing of innocent and hapless citizens and non-citizens whose security and protection is the primary function of government.
A communique jointly issued at the end of the President-In-Council meeting of CLASFON at Aba, Abia State and signed by the National President, Arome Okwori and National Secretary, Olatunji Omole, yesterday, said, “CLASFON is saddened at the continuous downward slide of the state of security in our nation as evidenced in various cases of killing of innocent and hapless citizens and non-citizens whose security and protection is the primary function of government.
“Incidences also abound in the daily kidnap and abduction of citizens and non-citizens in most states of the federation.
“CLASFON calls on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to take seriously the responsibility of the protection of the lives and properties of all residents of Nigeria as provided by the Constitution and other relevant laws.”
Analysing the recent general election in the country, it noted, “CLASFON observes with dismay the widespread irregularities and total disregard for the rules of engagement as contained in extant laws by major stakeholders that characterised the general elections conducted recently by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).”
CLASFON urged the Federal Government to heed the call for electoral reforms with a view to giving Nigeria an electoral system that would dignify Nigeria in the comity of truly democratic nations.
“CLASFON further calls on members of the recently constituted Election Petition Tribunals at all levels who are perceived to have personal interest by reason of their personal affiliations to recuse themselves in the interest of justice, good conscience and fair play.
“CLASFON observes with grave concern the persistent failure of the government to work assiduously to facilitate the release of Leah Sharibu and other abducted school girls.
“CLASFON calls upon the Federal Government of Nigeria to leave no stone unturned to secure the release of Leah Sharibu and other girls in the custody and captivity of the Book Haram insurgents.
“CLASFON observes with dismay the flagrant disregard of the Constitution in the arrest and continued detention without charge of the traditional and community leaders of the Adara Chiefdom in Kajuru Local Area of Kaduna State.
“CLASFON calls on the governor of Kaduna State to respect the rule of law as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution in compliance with his oaths of allegiance and of office,” participants at the meeting observed.
Participants observed with dismay the neglect of the welfare of the staff of Kogi State Judiciary by the non-payment of their salaries resulting in the deterioration and near collapse of the justice system in Kogi State.
“CLASFON also observes the unconstitutional means deployed in driving Government Policy by the Kogi State governor. We view steps taken in this direction as a flagrant usurpation of the powers conferred on constitutional organ and tantamount to dictatorial despotism.
“The said action of the governor led to the strike that has shut down the courts for several months thereby denying common citizens’ access to justice. We, therefore, demand that the governor of Kogi State should follow constitutional means in driving governance since Nigeria is a constitutional democracy,” the communique explained.