The message is simple - if you are interested in engaging in a military coup, then you are an outlaw and an enemy of the state.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has warned officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to steer clear of politics or have themselves to blame.

Buratai advised officers and men, who are apolitical, “to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.”

The army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Tuesday that the warning follows information received by Buratai that “some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons.”

“On the basis of that, the Army Chief, has warned such persons to desist from these acts.

“He also reminded them that the Nigerian Army is a thorough, professional, disciplined, loyal and apolitical institution that has clear constitutional roles and responsibilities.

“Any officer or soldier of the Nigerian Army found to be hobnobbing with such elements or engaged in unprofessional conducts such as politicking would have himself or herself to blame.”

Usman further quoted Buratai as restating that the Nigerian Army will respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.