Men's Roundtable: Coup rumours and the Nigerian reality

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The Men's Roundtable

The statement by top politicians that Nigerians would resist any coup attempt by the Military is dividing opinions.

When the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai revealed that some politicians have been approaching top Army officers and soldiers for​ ​political reasons, Nigerians were taken aback with many suggesting such meetings could be the harbinger for a coup plot.

There was further apprehension when, a few days later, the COAS caused a shake-up in the military with some top Army officers redeployed. The coup alarm had already been flown and Nigerians really do have cause to worry over an impending putsch.


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No one can blame Nigerians for this apprehension seeing that most of the woes of the country emanated from the military that ruled the country for a long period and only took individual sacrifices, blood and tears to free the country from them.

I remember vividly as a young secondary school student in 1992 and living in the Shadawanka Military Barracks in Bauchi State where my father served, when the late Major Gideon Orkar and his co-travellers tried to overthrow then Military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.


The tension was so thick a blunt knife could cut through it. We lived in fear as gunshots took over the air. The coup which was staged in far away Lagos State resonated all over the country and those of us that lived in the barracks had an extra dose of fear because one did not know where a flying bullet could come from.

The transition from Gen. Babangida to the evil dictator Gen. Sani Abacha was the darkest period in Nigeria's history as many were killed, jailed or sent on exile just for criticizing the government.

It was in the Military era that Nigeria heard of things like letter bombs which claimed the likes of fearless journalists Dele Giwa and Bagauda Kaltho for daring to stand up to the government.

Nigerians lived in fear as the soldiers had a field day, ruling by decrees and stamping heavily on any opposing voice.

Many Nigerians who had the love of the country at heart went underground and with the formation of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), the likes of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the late Gani Fawehinmi, late Pa Alfred Rewane, Ayo Opadokun, Alao Aka-Basorun, Abubakar Umar, Ndubuisi Kanu, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Frank Kokori, Anthony Enahoro and many others laid their lives on the line for us to have the democracy we now enjoy today.


And since the advent of democracy in 1999, Nigeria has wobbled from one failure to the other with successive governments not laying the foundations for a truly democratic rule.

The 16 years the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled the country is seen by many as a colossal failure as they not only destroyed the nation but succeeded in taking us a hundred years back into the dark days.

Instead of improving the lives of Nigerians and taking the nation to the echelon of the world's greatest going by our vast natural and human resources, they were only interested in feathering their nests.

The best vocation in Nigeria became politics where one can go in, steal so much money that even his fourth generation would not finish. And then they would steal more, further plunging the nation into an abyss that we have not been able to come out of.

Corruption is the order of the day and while President Muhammadu Buhari is doing his best to tackle the hydra-headed monster, some of his closest allies are not helping matters one bit.

All they keep doing is play the ostrich, blame previous regimes for the woes of the nation and their inability to achieve anything.

In the past two years that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been in power, one would have thought they would do something different going by their now infamous mantra of change but what do we see?


It is just the same misguided politicians who are only concerned with what they can get from our collective wealth.

The only change we see in their change mantra is the deepening recession, economic meltdown, loss of jobs, massive suicide, deteriorating structures and the same politicians who destroyed Nigeria in the era of the PDP moving en masse to the APC and being welcomed with open arms.

Now with the coup rumours, many politicians have come out to condemn it in its entirety with Tinubu saying Nigerians will resist such moves with all their might.

But have they really checked the pulse of Nigerians to see if they will be willing to make the sacrifice again after knowing that their efforts to free the country before have been frittered away by a privileged few?

Do they know what Nigerians are going through in the past two years that they blindly believe they will come out to shout the soldiers down in the event of a coup?

Do they know how many Nigerians could be secretly wishing the military to intervene after seeing their breadwinners lose their jobs, their relations committing suicide because they could not make ends meet?


How many of their children will leave their Ivy league schools in Europe to come home to participate in the resistance?

Do they know how Nigerians feel at the moment because of the hunger and poverty in the land while the politicians live like lords of the manor?

When the National Assembly keep increasing their budgets, buy exotic cars, fly to Europe for medical treatments while Nigerians die because they could not get medical treatment in the hospitals that have now become mere clinics, how do they think the suffering masses will come out to face the barrels of the guns?

Serving Senator will post photos of expensive cars, waste money on frivolity and keep telling Nigerians to bear with the government while the masses suffer in silence, do they think such down trodden people will be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

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This piece is in no way endorsing a coup or anything that would destroy our hard earned democracy but the point being made here is a call to the politicians not to take Nigerians for granted and believe they will troop to the streets to lay down their lives if anything happens.


In the words of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, 'the worst civilian rule is better than the best military dictatorship,' but this is not the best our politicians have given us.

A word is enough for the wise.

from - Gist

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