Vanity of military putsch – Punch Newspapers

It has been noted by a designable mind that evil prevails when good men do nothing and again that when men repeat a lie severally without it being refuted, it becomes accepted as the truth and the author will begin to convince other people to accept it.

Military rule, as it has often been said, is an aberration rather than the rule. The military leaders themselves had exhausted all the tricks in the book before they were forced out of office in several parts of the world a  few years back.

In Nigeria in particular, it took the bold and daring efforts of pro-democracy activists to chase the military away from power. This battle cost the country’s political class no small sacrifice in terms of financial, material and human resources.

We are thus deeply puzzled and mystified that there are still people in Nigeria who can openly canvas support for military rule in any part of the world, let alone in the neighbouring Niger Republic.

Let no man be deceived by the junta’s antics. Their braggadocio on coming into power is all very familiar; it’s aimed at brainwashing the people.

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This tale of African democratic leaders being Western puppets has for long lost its appeal and no longer impresses anyone; instead, it’s now nauseating and sounds repulsive. Every right-thinking human being in the whole wide world has a moral obligation to condemn the forceful removal of any democratically elected president wherever this development rears its ugly head.

In Nigeria, as in many parts of the developing world, we have tried both forms of government and cannot be fooled again as to which of the two is the preferred choice. The blind looting of the public treasury, the mismanagement of the common wealth, the gross human rights abuse leading to what is commonly referred to as military brutality, cold-blooded murder, disregard for court ruling among many several malfeasances that are prevalent under military rule, are still fresh in the memory of Nigerians.

Again, it would be recalled that the struggle for power by military officers for their selfish ends, resulted in a series of coups and counter-coups that led to the waste of lives of many young, intelligent and vibrant officers.

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It’s painful and regrettable that military apologists have failed to take cognisance of the several atrocities that were rampant during the miserable military regimes that most Third World countries came to witness in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Let all members of the old guards making a case for the junta be reminded that in most cases, with the exception of one or two, the hypocrisy of military leaders became obvious only after a short time in office. Their obsession for filthy lucre far outweighed that of their civilian counterparts.

More worrisome still is the fact that the government becomes less effective during the military regimes as could be observed in many parts of the world through the widespread and intermittent breakdown of law and order, poor working environment for public servants, paucity of quality service in public institutions, diversion of security agencies to being instrument of vengeance for the establishment, dilapidated roads and decrepit facilities, among others.

The moral in all of these is that members of the Armed Forces have been given the opportunity to prove their mettle but have demonstrated that they are not suited for public administration. They come to steal and to destroy.

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Any attempt to justify military resurgence into the political terrain, particularly the recent misadventure in  Niger Republic, flies hollow and reeks of mischief, wickedness and disloyalty to the Fatherland.

Nigeria as a sub-regional giant has a great responsibility and moral obligation to stop the madness immediately and restore sanity to that hapless country.

President Bola Tinubu, having been in the eye of the storm himself a few years back, is fully acquainted with the implications of the coupe d’état in Niger Republic and deserves all the encouragement and support from the Nigerian public to go all out and ruthlessly rid that nation of the military adventurers’ menace.

This incident has the potential to send the wrong signals to like-minded soldiers in the neighbouring countries. What goes around comes around. An African adage says that when your neighbour is eating rat and you say it doesn’t concern you, when he starts coughing at night, you will be unable to sleep yourself.

  • Akido Agenro writes from Iju-Ishaga, Lagos

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