The Youths of Nigeria have never really known and may never know true democracy. Nigeria secured independence from British Colonial Rule on Oct 1, 1960. There was a Federal and Regional Govt inaugurated by the vacating colonial power pursuant to the 1959 Federal Elections.
In only five years and three months – January 15, 1966, the Federal and Regional Governments were overthrown in a bloody coup by disloyal Army Officers. Its been 44 Years but Nigeria is yet to figure a solution to military incursion into political leadership. Civilians have ruled for a bare eight years. The baton of leadership has been passed from one Military Dictator to another even when Nigeria went through a painful transition to democratic rule in 1999, the outcome of the first Presidential Election was the emergence of a former Military Dictator but now retired from service.
Military dictatorship was an unmitigated disaster to the country. Soldiers had no clue to governance and failed woefully in the area of conflict resolution in a multi-cultural society. Their gross incompetence in managing simple conflicts resulted in a three year civil war in which over three million Nigerians lost their lives. Thereafter they began a new era in which the motto was: destroy, pillage, plunder, rape and loot. The wealth from the natural resources of the country including petroleum was mismanaged and looted making its peoples poorer than they were at independence in 1960.
Soldiers came as liberators of the masses but turned out to be its enslavers, they professed human rights but kept a preventive detention decree (Decree 2) for 1967 to 1999, they professed unity and national integration but discriminated against and oppressed some people of the Federation. They introduced religious conflicts! The story remains largely untold because the arrowheads of the disastrous outing are yet to face trial but are still around trying to re-write history.
The worst of the bunch, a self-styled evil genius, Ibrahim Babangida, leashed untold terror on citizens introducing novel means to exterminate opposition and human rights elements. Over 120 innocent Nigerians were killed during the crisis he orchestrated by annulling Presidential Elections in 1993 – just to stay put in office. To ensure that the annulment stays permanent, the Presidential Candidate that won was eliminated in Military Custody.
By August 1993 when the diabolical phenomenon was driven out of office in disgrace, the Country was just a shadow of its former self at independence. The people were broken , the economy and all governmental institutions destroyed or corrupted, the land desolate and disguised unemployment, mass starvation and violent crimes became the order of the day. The great black hope of October 1, 1960 had become a disgrace to the race. It citizens became economic refugees scattered all over the face of the earth. It is the same today.
Ibrahim Babangida, Aliyu Gusau and Muhammadu Buhari prominent actors of the dark age of Nigerian History are now poised to hijack Nigeria’s Democracy again! Operation Barbarossa (German: Unternehmen Barbarossa) is the code name for the German Military invasion of Soviet Union during World War II. It is the largest Military campaign in World History in which the mobilized resources as well as the ultimate casualties remain the greatest in any battle anytime anywhere in the annals of war history. Barbarossa commenced on June 22,1941, at 0300 hours when over three million German troops began the surprise attack on Russia along a 2900 km (1,800m) front. In addition to the large number of troops, it also involved 600,000 motor vehicles and 750,000 horses. It opened up the Eastern Front to which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history. The Operation and the areas that fell under it became the site of some of the largest battles, deadliest atrocities, highest casualties, and most horrific conditions for Soviets and Germans alike — all of which influenced the course of both World War II and 20th century.
By the insistence of the trio to contest Presidential power, the Nigerian military is now arrayed against the Nigerian peoples in an electoral confrontation that promises to be as humongous and cataclysmic as Barbarossa in terms of casualties and other consequences. To claim that Army Generals are exercising human right as Nigerian citizens is balderdash. These are not ordinary Nigerians but Public Officers with a record of past misdeeds i.e. Mutiny/coup-plotting. After the five-year interregnum that followed Babangida’s forceful ouster, General Olusegun Obasanjo ruled as Democratic President 1999-2007. Civilians have not even ruled for 5 years! Obasanjo clinched Party Ticket with loot from his Army-General friends. Today, not a single one of Presidential candidates has anything near the tremendous amount of funds gathered by Ibrahim Babangida consisting mainly of funds looted during his 8 year reign of terror and corruption.
The analogy with Barbarossa is in the magnitude of resources and sheer momentum – Ibrahim Babangida is desperate! 2011 is likely to be the greatest test of the democratic will of a nation’s people anywhere on earth. If it took the life of 120 Nigerians to get Babangida off the Presidential seat in 1993, your guess is as good as mine how many it would take to get him back and to get him off after he gets on. Nigerians cannot be deceived twice. Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari conspired together and overthrew the legitimate democratic govt of President Shehu Shagari 1979-83 – an indelible fact of history. A fine Nigerian Army Officer Brigadier General Bako was killed in the process. Ibrahim Babangida also stabbed Buhari in the back ousting him in a palace coup (often described as treachery) in August 27, 1995. These two Nigerians attained or retained Dictatorial power killing innocent Nigerians. Buhari executed offenders based on a Decree passed after the offence. Babangida overthrew the govt of Buhari, organised kidnap of a Citizen from Britain and led the bloodiest Regime ever in Nigerian history killing civilians and soldiers alike to sustain pwer. But nemesis caught up with the Nigerian butcher of Minna when Sanni Abacha led a few Generals to drive him out of office in disgrace. He hurriedly vacated setting up an unconstitutional contraption christened “Interim Government” which Abacha dissolved with a wave of the hand.
Under current principles of International Law, the cruel acts i.e. conspiracy, mutiny, assassinations and other crimes against perpetrated by these individuals with the instrumentality of the Nigerian state are triable at the International criminal Court (ICC)
The proposed Municipal Courts/Peoples Courts may also have jurisdiction. Once commenced the tide of Barbarossa recognizes no untouchables – Presidential Candidate or not. Government may be blackmailed with fake accusations of political victimization but not in the People’s Court, Military Tribunal or Recovery of Public Property Tribunals. The validity of governmental acts is an issue separate and apart from the legality of the acts or the mode of accession to power. Time does not run against the State. The wheel of retributive justice grinds slowly but surely and the law of sowing and reaping is immutable. The facade of constitutional immunity will dissolve when confronted with the smoldering anger of the oppressed and suffering youths of Nigeria.
To add insult to the injury, ex-Dictators argue that Nigerians consented to or embraced perpetual military rule. That Nigerians. especially in Northern Nigeria are ineligible to the standard of democratic practice attainable in democracies worldwide and that only Southern Nigeria shows concerns over Military Dictatorship. The perennial insult to Nigerians that only serving or retired Members of the Armed forces are patriotic or disciplined enough for Political leadership is debunked. The dismal record of Soldiers in Government i.
e. corruption and gross incompetence is evidence that the ex-Military Dictators are not the “Messiah” Nigeria needs at this time. They should go and look for job rather than disturb Nigeria’s democracy. You do not get a second chance to make a good first impression. They have given Nigeria their best in the prime of their youth. Their best was not just inadequate but disaster for the country. A come back is a pipe dream but a bad one for Nigerians. Nigeria cannot ridicule itself before humanity by re-cycling the corrupt and cruel Military Dictators as Civilian Presidents. The annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election an subsequent assassination of the winner is the last assault on the sovereignty of the Nigerian people by its own military and a betrayal of the fatherland. The way of progress is to bring the perpetrators to book their phony candidatures notwithstanding. Nigerians cannot trust betrayers of the fatherland, period. By the time Presidential elections are concluded in January 2011, if the ex-dictators have their way, Nigeria would be under the rulership of ex-Military Dictator President, ex-Military Officer Chief Justice (although incumbent qualified on Constitutional Criteria and left without a record of coup-plotting) ex-military Officer Senate President (self-confessed coup-plotter) and ex-military officer Speaker House of Reps. Elections with such outcome would be just a sham, a travesty of democracy, a vote on the side of tyranny and voluntary enslavement – a new genre of terrorism.
History does indeed repeat itself. Hitlers Barbarossa failed; improving the fortunes of the Allies in World War II, the present siege on our Democracy by ex-dictators is not only destined for failure but will ultimately boost and affirm supremacy of the sovereign democratic wishes of the Nigerian Peoples. Nigerians will celebrate the Waterloo of the hijackers and Military apologists in 2011 and there will be jubilation in the barracks too. Therefore, Nigerian Youths (16-50) must resist tyranny, rescue Democracy and salvage the fatherland by engaging and checkmating ex-Dictators through organized RESISTANCE anywhere, anytime and by every means. Our destiny is at stake. Like the zealots of Masada or the Militia of Warsaw Ghetto, it is better to die fighting than live the life of a conquered citizenry under bruttal ex-dictators. Any Soldier who was never a coup-plotter can remove his uniform and contest Election but the future is bleak and more hardship, pain, sorrow, starvation and blood awaits Youths if any ex-Dictator comes back to power. Never Again! Viva Nigeria!