MetroOpinion

Need For A Truly Free Military For Political Stability (MURIC’s Full Independence Message)

Nigeria will be celebrating her 53rd independence anniversary on Tuesday, 1st October, 2013. The Federal Government has promised a low-key celebration for the event. The day has also been declared as a holiday.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) congratulates the Federal Government, all state governments and all Nigerians at home and in diaspora on this occasion. To compliment the position of the Federal Government on the need for a low-key celebration, we call for deep and sober reflection on the state of our dear nation, Nigeria.

MURIC is seriously perturbed by the recklessness of Nigerian politicians who appear to have learnt nothing from the mistakes of their predecessors. Of grave concern is the topsy-turvy in the ruling party which is capable of igniting nationwide chaos unless it is quickly arrested. Equally alarming is the crises in Rivers, Taraba and Kaduna States.

These trends are similar to the higgledy-piggledy which occurred in the old Western Region in the early sixties and which eventually culminated in Nigeria’s first military intervention on January 15, 1966. Things have not been the same since then. Of the 53 years of Nigeria’s post-independence experience, the military has ruled for 40 years.

Unfortunately it was 40 years of unabridged waste, absolute dictatorship and unfettered tyranny. Yet Nigeria of today is not free from military adventurism in politics. Keen observers and astute analysts have seen the fingers of Nigeria’s military in every pie in the political arena.

There have also been occasions when certain individuals have openly called on the army to take control of the reins of power once again.

In this regard, MURIC calls on the Federal Government to learn from the latest events in Egypt. The ignoble role played by the Egyptian military in the ousting of Morsi was orchestrated by Egypt’s military ties to Western powers. Facts have emerged that General Sissi and indeed all the top Egyptian military officers had training sessions in Western countries and that they remained in contact with those powers.

This tends to suggest that army officers who train in Western countries are constantly teleguided and monitored. Western powers who train them keep dossiers on them and can influence them to take unpatriotic actions against their own countries. The same is true about Nigeria and its army.

This constitutes a great threat to the political stability of our country as well as a smear on its genuine independence. To prevent this possibility and for Nigeria to enjoy true independence, MURIC suggests an urgent review of all foreign training and study programmes of the Nigerian army.

Instead of going to Western countries, our officers training or studying abroad should henceforth be sent to other countries like China and India. We call the attention of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Defense to the urgency of this suggestion. A stitch in time saves nine.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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