19th July 2024
Crime & Investigation News

Presidential Guards Brigade Placed On High Alert Over Suspicions Of Coup Plot In Nigeria; Key Brigades Under Watch As Commander Holds Emergency Meetings With Tinubu, Gbajabiamila – SaharaReporters

Presidential Guards Brigade Placed On High Alert Over Suspicions Of Coup Plot In Nigeria; Key Brigades Under Watch As Commander Holds Emergency Meetings With Tinubu, Gbajabiamila – SaharaReporters

The Presidential Guards Brigade has been put on high alert following unusual movements, leading to suspicions of a coup plot in Nigeria.

SaharaReporters exclusively learnt on Sunday that the suspicions prompted emergency meetings involving the Commander of the Presidential Guards Brigade, Col. Adebisi Onasanya, President Bola Tinubu and the Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.

“The Presidential Guards Brigade was placed on high alert after unusual armoured corps movement spurred coup suspicion.

“Last week, Col. Onasanya met with the President and Chief of Staff twice within 20 hours.

“They have also placed key brigades under watch due to planned protest,” a top Presidency source told SaharaReporters.

There has been tension in the country amid the current hardship, rising inflation and high cost of living following the removal of fuel subsidy and floating of the naira by President Tinubu’s administration.

The floating of the naira allows the market forces to determine its value. The policies have pushed up the prices of goods and services astronomically, increased the rate of inflation and worsened hardship in the country.

Last week, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, warned people calling for a coup over the current economic hardship in Nigeria to desist from such.

Musa, who said the Armed Forces would continue to protect the country’s democracy, warned that the long arms of the law would soon catch up with the proponents of coup d’état.

While fielding questions from journalists when he inaugurated the main entrance of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army and Officers Transit Accommodation in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the CDS admitted that the country was going through serious economic challenges.

He, however, insisted that having a military coup in the country was not an option.

He said the military would protect Nigeria’s democracy, as according to him, Nigerians want democracy and the country does better under democracy.

He said the military would continue to support democracy, adding that the people calling for coup d’etat “are evil people” who “don’t mean well for Nigeria”.

He warned such people to be “very careful because the law will come after them”.

According to him, everybody goes through a trying period in life.

“You can see the government putting efforts to ensure that we come out better.

“And it is when you go through difficulties and come out better you will really appreciate what it is to build a nation,” he said.

Nigeria’s naira recently crashed to a record low against the dollar on the official market.

Last week, SaharaReporters reported that the naira exchanged for N1980 to $1 on the parallel market and N1780 on the official market as the swift decline continued amid the government’s clampdown on currency speculators.

Meanwhile, there have been protests against hardship, rising inflation and high cost of living in several parts of the country following some economic policies of President Tinubu’s administration.

For instance, there have been protests in Kano, Ogun, Niger, Sokoto, Oyo and Osun states to express their displeasure with the unprecedented level of hunger in the land.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress had announced a nationwide protest scheduled for February 27 and 28, to kick against the economic challenges facing Nigerians.

The decision came after a 14-day ultimatum issued to the Nigerian Government regarding the widespread hardship.

But the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, (SAN) have urged the NLC to shelve its proposed nationwide protest.

Similarly, the Trade Union Congress has warned that the planned protest being championed by the NLC may lead to anarchy due to the tense nature of the country amid current hardship and prevailing hunger in the land.

The government warned that the NLC would be in contempt of court if the planned protest was held. But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has written to Fagbemi, noting that NLC would not be in contempt of court over its planned nationwide protest.

In the letter dated February 24, 2024, and addressed to Fagbemi, Falana said, “We submit, without any fear of contradiction, that the proposed public protest of the NLC is not contemptuous of the two ex parte orders of the National Industrial Court. In particular, the issue of contempt does not arise as the NLC has challenged the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court to entertain the substantive case.”

History Of Coups In Africa

Indeed, the African continent has seen a significant increase in coups in the last three years, with military figures carrying out takeovers in Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, Chad and Mali.

Of 492 attempted or successful coups carried out around the world since 1950, Africa has seen 220, the most of any region, with 109 of them successful, Jonathan Powell and Clayton Thyne’s data show.

Powell told VOA this is because Africa tends to have many of the conditions that are normally associated with coups.

“Coups have become increasingly limited to the poorest countries in the world, and the recent wave of coups fits into that,” he said.

Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad and Mali all had less than $22 billion in GDP in 2022, according to a World Bank estimate, while Sudan had a GDP of $52 billion. By comparison, the United States’ GDP was worth $25 trillion in 2022, ranking it the highest in the world.

Countries experiencing ongoing terrorism campaigns and insurgency are also disproportionately more likely to see coups, according to Powell, as well as those nations whose leaders lack legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens or armed forces.

Leaders of the Niger coup in July 2023, as well as those who took over the government in Burkina Faso in September 2022, cited their governments’ failure to stem a deadly Islamist insurgency in the Sahel as part of the justification for their takeovers.

Out of 54 countries on the African continent, 45 have had at least one coup attempt since 1950, according to data collected by Powell and Thyne. Narrowing the focus to only those countries that have experienced a successful takeover — one in which perpetrators hold power for at least seven days — that number drops to 37, or about two-thirds of nations on the continent.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, had a long history of coups following independence in 1960, with eight coup attempts — six of them successful.

However, since 1999, the country has transferred power through democratic elections and helped usher in greater stability in West Africa and the continent as a whole, the report noted.

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