By Tunde Adetunji, Abuja
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has distanced itself from the recent alleged coup plot in the country, saying the rumour linking its personnel with some desperate politicians to seize power was the handiwork of mischief makers.
The Air Force asked those contemplating coup in the 21st Century, to realise that such act was unfashionable in the democratic world.
In a statement issued on Thursday, in Abuja, through its Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, said the service was not part of the alleged coup plot, stressing that its allegiance is fully to the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to a mischievous allegation by an online media organization of the NAF’s involvement in the planning of a purported coup d’état to take over the reins of government.
“The NAF considers it most ridiculous that anyone in his/her right senses, especially in the Twenty First Century, could still be fixated on the possibility of effecting a change in government in Nigeria in any way other than through the ballot box.
“It would be recalled that the Chief of the Air Staff,Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar had on 18 May 2017, while commissioning new residential accommodation for personnel at NAF Base,Bill Clinton Drive Abuja, emphatically pledged the loyalty of the NAF to the President and Commander-in-Chief as well as to the Nigerian Constitution.
“It is imperative to state that the earlier stance of the NAF on the unfortunate coup rumours has not changed.
“The NAF is a highly professional and apolitical Service that is focused on ensuring the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as facilitating a safe and secure environment for Nigerians to prosper while conducting their legal businesses.
“The strong belief of the NAF in democratic values was also demonstrated during the recent Gambian crisis.
“The NAF was the first and only air force that ensured the will of Gambians was not subverted by promptly deploying its fighter aircraft, in addition to its transport aircraft to airlift needed troops and logistics, in readiness to preserve the country’s democracy, in line with the Federal Government’s directives.
“It is therefore inconceivable that the same NAF would be involved in any way in any attempt to dismantle the political structure in Nigeria.
“It appears some individuals with unknown intentions are bent on further spreading the malicious misinformation and hence, the need for the NAF to react.
“The Chief of the Air Staff would like to assure Nigerians as a whole of the unalloyed loyalty of all NAF personnel to the President and Commander-In-Chief as well as to the Government of Nigeria as democratically constituted.
“We therefore appeal to those peddling these false stories to cease, as they are constituting a source of distraction to NAF personnel, who are sacrificing on a daily basis to ensure the security of Nigeria.”