Coup, in whose interest?
Sir: I am no military strategist and expert. I am only an observer that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Though I love the military. I grew up in the barracks enough to know that there are no bad soldiers but very bad officers. Nigeria’s finest military officers have had cause to attend The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, United States Military Academy -West Point and Mons Officer Cadet School – Aldershot for military trainings but most who became military-political officers via coup never lived up to the values instilled in them in these world class institutions mentioned above. They even destroyed the mores of the military. We saw Colonels in Nigeria who were military governors, shook hands with Generals. Hands I must say, extended by these Colonels. Generals toadied up to Colonels in power.
We are here today, thanks to them. So when people celebrate a rumoured coup, I ask for whose interests? The first successful coup in tropical Africa happened in Congo-Kinshasha now DRC, Togo and Dahomey now Benin Republic. Sixteen countries in Africa overthrew their governments upon gaining independence from their colonial masters. How are these countries today? Any dramatic change? Latin America suffered 56 successful coups between 1935-64. Twenty of these were in the states – Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela. I must ask, how is Venezuela now? Hugo Chavez made trillions of dollars in oil sales but today Venezuela can’t buy drugs and food.
Corruption had been touted by coupist as reasons for staging coup in Nigeria, others mentioned endemic violence and the falling standard of living.
No need dwelling on the ills of corruption, militancy, Boko Haram, nativism, kidnapping, zealotry, and the disillusionment with the educated elite. But is the armed services in Nigeria any better, as history has shown?
And so what will happen in Nigeria? A coup will ban political activity, federal and state parliaments would be dissolved with immediate effect, the civil servants will rejoice, they loathe politicians who do not understand policies like soldiers, and scramble for positions in military governments. Then they will go plundering state resources with their military collaborators. The military, having had its fill, would unban politicians and parties. Then we would start another circuitous political drama with same politicians who wouldn’t grow up. We, the bloody civilians with no money will continually suffer.
Simon Abah, Port Harcourt.