Rumours of a possible military coup were rife recently and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai issued a warning to soldiers suspected of fraternizing with politicians.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) joins millions of well-meaning and patriotic citizens and groups in the country to reject any military intervention. The idea is archaic, nauseating and preposterous.
It is an open secret that advanced democracies of the world have an allergy for dictatorship.Military rule has therefore become unfashionable. Any military coup now will only turn Nigeria to a pariah state. The coup leaders will fail to get the support of foreign countries and this will definitely affect the ordinary citizen in the long run. Worse still, it may attract embargoes from Western countries.
What did we gain from military rule in the past? Apart from the short but corrective military regime of the duo of Buhari and Idiagbon, all other military juntas were a colossal waste. The military wasted over $40 billion between 1966 and 1999. They institutionalized corruption. The worst part is that the military cannot be held accountable as there are no checks and balances in military rule. They turned the educational system upside down. For example, Nigerian universities were shut down for six months under General Babangida (rtd).
Human rights abuses were prevalent in the military era and activists like Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti spent long periods in detention without trial. Free speech is an aberration under military rule. The Nigerian press was therefore a major victim of the past military rulers in Nigeria. We contend, therefore, that every day of military rule is an eternity of tyranny.
In view of the integrity test passed by the General Muhammadu Buhari administration and the ongoing war against corruption, nothing can warrant a coup unless some disgruntled elements in the army want to bring back the days of unbridled corrupt practices. Only corrupt soldiers can attempt to topple a president of proven integrity.
Islam abhors military rule. The Glorious Qur’an specifically recommends government by Shurahsystem, i.e. by consultation (Qur’an 3:159 and 42:38).
Military coup is an aberration in Islamic political thought. This is why Muslim political ideologues including Al-Jahiz the Mu’tazilite and Al-Ghazali opposed military rule. Military rule has no place in Al-Farabi’s al-Madinat al-Fadilah (The Good City) and Ibn Sina’s Ideal State. To cap the democratic edifice of Islam, Al-Mawardi contends in his Al-Ahkam Al-Sultaniyyah (i.e. Principles of Governance) that only a duly elected Imam (i.e. leader) should rule.
From the foregoing, it is only logical to conclude that military coup is haram. Therefore, any attempt to establish a military regime is an invitation to the wrath of Allah. We therefore advise the military to remain in the barracks where they truly belong, to eschew politically motivated temptations and to remain submissive to civilian authority.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)