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…it’s road to anarchy, disaster; will be heavily resisted

Don’t plunge Nigeria into chaos –Ezeife
It’s a timely warning –Kwande
Democracy is the norm –Osu

Following the recent warning against military intervention in the country, prominent Nigerians, including a former governor and a serving federal lawmaker have warned that any coup attempt would be suicidal and plunge the nation into chaos. Elder-statesman and member Board of Trustee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, former governor of old Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Director, Social Communication, Catholic Arch-Diocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gariel Osu, said coup is out of fashion and it is destructive.

Kwande said the timely warning of the Chief of Army Staff to Army officials to stay off politics and related activities would help them to remain loyal to the nation and to their professional duties.

“The warning is timely coming at this time, not only to the Army alone, but to all security apparatus in Nigeria. Because we are on the roadmap of getting peace in Nigeria, but the complications have weakened the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, particular at the time of elections where you hear of negative electoral activities of security officials. “It is a known fact in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the soldiers have their defined duties.

So the Army Chief of Staff has warned them to steer clear of political activities. They should be neutral in their affairs, the constitution is very clear and their responsibility is also very clear.

So I’m happy with the warning to the Army officials,” he said. He added that “in the past you could not find the Army in politics, army officers were very committed to their duties and they never got involved in any frivolities with politicians, but the story has changed in recent times.”

Also, a member of the House of Representatives, who does not want his name in print, stated that: “A coup is not the solution to our problem, because what we have is chronic bad governance, whether we are being ruled by the APC or the PDP. We also have the problem of disregard for rule of law. If we can address those issues, there is no likelihood of any coup, because coup has gone out of fashion.

“As polarised as we are now, anybody who is trying to plan a coup is making a big blunder, because the outcome would be horrible. I can tell you that many people will resist that by pulling out their weapons and taking to the streets. “Look at Boko Haram people for instance. They put Nigerian troops to flight for many years.

So tell me, what kind of coup would any soldier plot? So Buratai did not need to warn them at all. It will be suicidal for any soldier that contemplates it. It is like soldiers coming out to plot a coup in the US.

“Egbesu boys or IPOB and MASSOB can take on any such soldiers. Look at how long they engage soldiers in various parts of the country. Look at what militants did in the Niger Delta- has the Army been able to quell it? Look at what happened in the North-East- have we been able to defeat Boko Haram, irrespective of Information Minister, Lai Mohammed’s claims?

“Fulani people are killing people on daily basis, have we been able to fish them out? Look at kidnappers. The other day, weapons loaded into containers were seized. Do you know how many of them are in circulation? Any coupist will be heavily resisted even by the Nigerians. “Whoever is contemplating coup in Nigeria now is signing his own death warrant. He will not succeed; this is not 1966, not even 1985.

These days, people import weapons, so if anyone tries a coup now he would be working for disintegration of Nigeria and such a person would never be able to govern. “The soldiers should focus on their professional duties, protecting territorial integrity of Nigeria and be the best they can be.

There are various security and intelligence problems within the country which should engage their attention than fraternising with the politicians to plot a coup. They should face that,” he said.

Dr. Ezeife said that much as he would not want people to misconstrue the warning given to soldiers by the Chief of Army Staff, to suggest that people are plotting a coup, the soldiers should limit themselves to their professional duties. He commended them for serving the nation this far, and said military coup is out of fashion in all parts of the world, warning them against taking the nation into retrogression.

Similarly, Monsignor Gabriel Osu said that: “We do not want military back in governance. It is no more fashionable anywhere in the world. Democracy is the norm.

He lamented that unfortunately, the way we operate democracy in this country may better be described as anti-masses. “We must utilise constitutional and legal means to fight the injustices and corruption that are now bedevilling us rather than calling for military intervention. I believe the worst civilian government is far better than the best military government.

This is also a wake-up call for our politicians to begin to do the right thing to avoid unnecessary blood-bath like those we experienced in the past.” Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on his part, warned Nigerian politicians against playing into the hands of potential coup plotters seeking to take advantage of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ill health.

The social critic, while speaking in Ilorin, Kwara State, also asked the Federal Government to fish out those rumoured to be planning to topple Buhari’s administration with a view to trying them for treasonable felony.

Apart from that, Falana, who delivered a lecture on “Politics, Leadership and Accountability: The Role of the People” equally called for the arrest and prosecution of the civilian collaborators of the “coup plotters “.

His words: “The enemies of democracy are desperately trying to exploit President Buhari’s health to truncate the democratic dispensation.




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