The Nigerian military says it remains obedient to civilian authorities as required by the country's constitution. Photo: Nigerian DHQ

Nigeria's military has denounced calls for a coup against the government of President Bola Tinubu in the wake of a recent wave of military takeovers in the West African region.

"Call on the military to interfere in our democracy is highly unpatriotic, wicked, and an attempt to distract the Armed Forces of Nigeria from performing its constitutional responsibilities," a spokesperson for the Nigerian Defence Headquarters said in a statement on Saturday.

The military spokesperson, Brigadier General Tukur Gusau, said the armed forces will not get involved in ''any act to sabotage the hard-earned democracy in our country.''

He cited a report circulating on social media allegedly calling for a military takeover in the country because of ''welfare issues in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.'' Gusau said the ''military is happy and better under democracy.''

Complete subordination

Army officers have succeeded in overthrowing governments in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger since 2020 which experts say could have grave consequences for democratic rule in the region.

Last week, Nigeria's army chief warned military officers against insubordination to the government.

Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja urged soldiers not to interrupt democracy and instead be obedient to the civilian government.

The statement on Saturday reaffirmed the military's “complete subordination'' to President Bola Tinubu.

Neighbour's coup

The president had made sweeping changes in the military appointing new army, navy and air force chiefs soon after he was sworn into office at the end of May. He also named a new head of police.

The Nigerian security forces have been fighting a long-running battle against Boko Haram militants in the northern region, as well as armed gangs carrying out kidnapping for ransom across the country.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest democracy and biggest economy. Nigerian leader Bola Tinubu is the current head of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS which is grappling with a wave of coups.

The latest military takeover happened in Nigeria's immediate neighbour, Niger, where officers from the Presidential Guard toppled President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

TRT Afrika