The Coup Scare and the Political Class

Nigerian army
Nigerian army

When Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), declared that Senator Dino Melaye was once a corruption fighter, many of us considered the revelation bizarre. To me, Melaye could be anything but a corruption fighter. The young man’s meteoric rise to fame and splendour conjures doubts and attracts queries. Like the geographer he is, the proud alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, read the askance clouds and responded by publishing an anthology of publications on corruption, Antidotes for Corruption: The Nigerian Story, apparently, to silence doubting Thomases like me. The launch of the book was well attended by the very class of people many suspect to be very corrupt. If what Melaye earned from that outing is anything to go by, I can predict offhandly that the distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has a bright future in writing.

I sincerely wish Melaye well. I pray that his was not a dramatised mockery of the war on corruption. I also pray that the euphoria of the book launch has worn out and he and his colleagues at the National Assembly now realize that there are still enemies of democracy out there who are still harbouring the odious and infernal desire to violently and forcefully wrestle the reins of the Government they are elected to administer and protect. The scare from the military class that there are some elements within its ranks whose association with civilians hints at a contemplation of a coup could not have escaped the entire National Assembly. This is, therefore, a time for positive and sober actions, and not one for clowning of any kind. This is the time for the National Assembly to utilise its number and spread to canvass for the people’s faith in democracy. It is the time for all the three arms of Government to forge an alliance for the preservation of democracy. This is certainly not the time for any individual or group to try to pull a fast one on the already deprived and starved public.

This brings me to the question of what on earth would justify the very contemplation of a truncation of this republic when this country’s development and unifying gaps are expanded and deepened by its history of coups and military rule? In other words, what in the name of the devil is stirring the venom in those who are courting an idea whose consequences include the disbandment of the country?

The hint that Northerners see that route as a way of keeping power in the case of President Muhammadu Buhari being incapable of completing his term due to illness or death is not only unfounded but ridiculous and vexatious. The North is not suffering from any political disability that should even encourage it to seek an affirmative action of a special favour. When the North lost power to the South due to the death of Umar Yar’Adua, it did not go down to its knees begging for power to be returned to it. It presented, at the polls, and stood by a candidate who did not have to rely on history to play favourites with him. He had many of the crucial elements for electoral victory — the personality and the electoral numbers that pragmatic politicians in the South could not ignore. Number for number, the North is, at this moment, a politically advantaged region and not the other way around. That slant is, therefore, way off the mark. It does not make sense. A coup will not in any way assure the North of suzerainty over the rest of the country. In any case, Northerners and those who know the North know that there is no monolithic North that can be preserved or protected from the rest of the country by a coup.

It is, therefore, my thinking that if the cry of the military is not a hoax, then the vectors of the coup must be resident in the class of politicians. It is, thus, apt for everyone out there to be vigilant and extend the whistle-blowing duty to the treasonable actions of politicians. Let every Nigerian know that the political class has no tribe, religion or region. The various tribes, nationalities, religions and regions can only be tools or vehicles with which they ride to power and riches. Politicians have not, in any way, proved or demonstrated to be better than terrorists. They do not have souls and would, therefore, care less if their ambitions lead this country to its destruction, which is why it is incumbent on the common man who has to toil before he can feed to be vigilant.

My words to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo are few and simple. Do not be distracted. You have proved to be a worthy Acting President and your profile is scaring desperate politicians. The rumours may as well be to scare you out of taking necessary decisions. You are a man of God who was chosen by the Almighty to do the job. You, thus, have no reason to hesitate to do the job. Your President is proud of you. That is why he treats you like his son. Do not disappoint him. Your success may as well be the medicine he needs for his quick recovery. Prove them wrong and shame them. Do not look to 2019. The present is all you have got for your tomorrow. Do the best with it.

Written by
Sam Kargbo
Join the discussion