Let’s tell coup mongers the gospel yruth 

Recently, the federal government, through the Ministry of Defence, directed the intelligence community, specifically the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA, to go after coup mongers who have been clamouring for military takeover.

The Minister of State for Defence, Mohammed Bello Matawalle, who issued the directive through the Director of Information, Press, and Public Relations of the ministry, Henshaw Ogubike, described those calling for an undemocratic change of government as agents of darkness and mischievous enterprise.

Recall that in February, the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, also said that those calling for coup d’etat were enemies of Nigeria, saying the law would catch up with them.

This followed the disclosure by the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, that it is being pressured from certain unnamed quarters for a takeover of the government following the lingering insecurity in the country.

But Musa said the Armed Forces was on top of its game and would continue to do the needful in protecting democracy in the country. He described coup as an inappropriate way of attaining power.

As such, he reiterated the continuous military support and commitment towards safeguarding and deepening democratic governance in Nigeria.

“We want to make it clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are here to protect democracy; we all want democracy; we do better during democracy, and so the armed forces will continue to support democracy,” said Gen. Musa.

While dousing the tension, the military chief stated that the government had initiated actionable measures to address the array of challenges facing Nigerians. 

Instead of calling for a military takeover, he emphasised that all citizens should rally behind the government to resolve the present circumstances. “It is when you go through difficulties and come out of them better that you will truly appreciate what it is to build a nation. The country is going through a trying period, but I can assure Nigerians that the situation will get better,” General Musa stated:.

Also on his part, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, said personnel of the Nigerian Army, NA, had accepted the democratic system of government in place in the country and had no plan to truncate it.

Lagbaja described the personnel of the Army under his leadership as agents of democracy. He gave the assurance that soldiers would continue to carry out their mandates as contained in the constitution.

In his words, the Army chief said, “Let me reiterate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian Army, have come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance. We are, therefore, agents of democracy and have no desire to truncate it.

“The Nigerian Army will continue to defend our constitution and not suspend it for whatever reason. It is the duty of our elected leaders to lead while the military does its job as enshrined in our constitution. Nigerian Army personnel must therefore remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties.”

Meanwhile, it is pertinent to note that any call for violent change of government by the military is absurd, preposterous, and naive, as the military has come to reality with a democratic government in Nigeria and is focused on their constitutional mandate of safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country against any threats.

Therefore, it is high time those propagating the idea of truncating the constitutional government desisted from it and face democratic reality on the ground as a means of legitimate leadership.

It is undeniable that the current economic hardship is incredibly frustrating. People are looking for solutions, and some may believe a military takeover is the answer. But let’s be clear: military rule may not be the path to a better Nigeria.

The economic problems we face are complex and would not be solved by a just military takeover. As such, we need well-thought-out solutions, not a forceful power grab. Citizens should therefore be demanding better output from elected officials, not calling for the military to step in. Hold them accountable for creating an economic plan that benefits all Nigerians.

There are better ways to address our challenges. We need strong institutions, a free press, and a vibrant civil society to hold our leaders accountable. We need to work together, through democratic means, to build a better future for Nigeria.

Focusing on peaceful demonstrations, holding leaders accountable for their actions, and supporting and strengthening civil society organisations that promote democracy and good governance will go a long way towards providing solutions to our difficulties.

It is time to work together for a more democratic and prosperous future. Together, we can build a better Nigeria.

Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi, an NDA research student, is the author of “National Security Strategies: A Young Writer’s Perspective.” Email: [email protected]