Invit­ing the mil­i­tary to re­take po­lit­i­cal power?

Sunday Trust - - VIEWPOINT - With Mon­ima Dam­inabo email: monidams@ya­ 0805 9252424 (sms only)

With sev­eral code-named mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions presently launched across the country, and each aimed at main­tain­ing peace, law and or­der in one lo­ca­tion and region or the other as the case may be, many Nige­ri­ans are be­gin­ning to won­der over who actually runs the country - the elected civil­ian po­ten­tates or sol­diers. For while the elected po­lit­i­cal lead­ers are en­sconced in the op­u­lence and pomp of their gilded and for­bid­ding gov­ern­ment houses as well as sundry of­fi­cial res­i­dences, the lot of keeping the country in­tact and run­ning, may have been aban­doned to the se­cu­rity agen­cies with the mil­i­tary leav­ing the bar­racks to take the lead. For in­stance, there is the ‘Op­er­a­tion Lafiya Dole’ un­der which aus­pices the Boko Haram in­sur­gency in the North East of the country is con­tained. Then came the ‘Op­er­a­tion Delta Shield’ which has been re­placed by ‘Op­er­a­tion Delta Safe’ per­haps for want of a more palat­able name. Oth­ers in­clude the now trend­ing ‘Op­er­a­tion Python Dance 11” for the South East zone - so named as its fore­run­ner ‘Op­er­a­tion Python Dance 1’ was held last year. Al­ready the mil­i­tary is plan­ning to make ‘Op­er­a­tion Python Dance’ an an­nual rou­tine in the zone, os­ten­si­bly as a re­sponse to ex­pected fu­ture flash­points from there. Also in the se­quence is the forth­com­ing ‘Op­er­a­tion Croc­o­dile Smile’ for the same Niger Delta and is in­tended for con­sol­i­dat­ing the gains of the mil­i­tary in the des­ig­nated area.

Mean­while the de­ploy­ment of these mil­i­tary as­sets have been it re­mains a mat­ter of deep con­cern cir­cles bor­der on com­par­isons met with strin­gent up­roar from for all who wish this country well, be­tween the present state of af­fairs both po­lit­i­cal and opin­ion lead­ers that it re­quires a rash of mil­i­tary in the country un­der civil rule and call­ing for their with­drawal on de­ploy­ments around her ter­ri­tory the typ­i­cal sit­u­a­tion un­der mil­i­tary the ba­sis of recorded sor­did to keep it in­tact and run­ning, dic­ta­tor­ship, with many un­able to out­comes from clashes be­tween more so dur­ing a demo­cratic make a dis­tinc­tion be­tween the the de­ployed mil­i­tary and host dis­pen­sa­tion whereby gov­er­nance two. While some Nige­ri­ans may civil­ian com­mu­ni­ties. In­deed, should be con­ducted as pre­scribed still be con­soled by the generic as ev­i­dence abounds, hardly is by a Con­sti­tu­tion and there­fore ar­gu­ment that the best mil­i­tary there any mil­i­tary de­ploy­ment in law and or­der. Adopt­ing a cause dic­ta­tor­ship is worse than the any part of the country with­out and ef­fect cal­cu­lus to model the worst civil­ian mis­rule, some other cor­re­spond­ing cases of civil­ian po­lit­i­cal pro­cesses of the country, opin­ion cir­cles see such ar­gu­ment ca­su­al­ties. For in­stance, while the would be wrong to con­tend that as hol­low, and eas­ily jus­tify their ‘Op­er­a­tion Lafiya Dole’ in the the mil­i­tary de­ploy­ments are a po­si­tion with the glar­ing in­stances North East has its own mea­sure of con­se­quence of fail­ure of the civil of bla­tant abuse of power by the col­lat­eral con­se­quences in terms au­thor­i­ties to avert sit­u­a­tions that “elected” civil­ian au­thor­i­ties. of un­in­tended civil­ian ca­su­al­ties, would at­tract the former into The re­turn of democ­racy on so it is with the other op­er­a­tions. rel­e­vance? Put suc­cinctly is the 1999 was in­tended to launch the Hence it is in­dis­putable that the civil­ians that are wit­tingly and country into a new dis­pen­sa­tion de­ploy­ment of mil­i­tary forces into otherwise invit­ing the mil­i­tary into of good gov­er­nance, given the civil­ian host com­mu­ni­ties of­ten action to quell prob­lems that are sense of loss which most Nige­ri­ans at­tracts avoid­able and painful cre­ated by the acts of com­mis­sion shared after decades of suf­fo­cat­ing con­se­quences. and omis­sion of the former? mil­i­tary rule. The le­git­i­mate

Yet the point should not be With the ben­e­fit of his­tor­i­cal ex­pec­ta­tions of Nige­ri­ans were missed that the forces are not in­sights, it would seem that around the con­duct of gov­er­nance de­ployed for a jam­boree. Rather once more the com­ple­ment of away from the in­con­ti­nences of they are mo­bilised to ad­dress cir­cum­stances as­so­ci­ated with the past, which fea­tured some sit­u­a­tions of anomy which if left se­rial fail­ure of civil rule are mak­ing bet­ter for­got­ten po­lit­i­cal out­rages. unchecked would not only threaten the quest for al­ter­na­tives to the Rather than such ex­pec­ta­tions but may even com­pro­mise the present po­lit­i­cal or­der, think­able. ma­te­ri­al­iz­ing, the country is country’s sovereignty. This is why Al­ready ran­dom mus­ings in sev­eral wit­ness­ing a resur­gence of the While some Nige­ri­ans may still be con­soled by the generic ar­gu­ment that the best mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship is worse than the worst civil­ian mis­rule, some other opin­ion cir­cles see such ar­gu­ment as hol­low, and eas­ily jus­tify their po­si­tion with the glar­ing in­stances of bla­tant abuse of power by the

“elected” civil­ian au­thor­i­ties very ten­den­cies that crip­pled its as­cen­dancy into a vi­able democ­racy that pro­vided good gov­er­nance for its cit­i­zenry.

As is eas­ily re­called, it was exactly the play­out of cir­cum­stances of po­lit­i­cal in­tol­er­ance and in­trigues that are sim­i­lar to the present state of af­fairs that trig­gered the cat­a­clysmic turn of events in the early 1960s which snow-balled into the pro­longed crises and even­tual in­ter­ven­tion of the mil­i­tary through the se­ries of coup in­ci­dents. His­tory records that it was the power-show be­tween the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship of sec­tions of the country that were mis-managed and de­fied res­o­lu­tion by the Nigeria Po­lice, and thus at­tracted the de­ploy­ment of the mil­i­tary. One thing led to an­other un­til first batch of mil­i­tary coupists would cite the crises as the alibi for their in­ter­ven­tion in gov­er­nance. The even­tual re­sult of that en­ter­prise is there for all to see, in­clud­ing the blame shar­ing as­pect.

In the light of the fore­go­ing there­fore, it needs not be em­pha­sized that with the ex­pan­sion of the thresh­old of mil­i­tary de­ploy­ments for keeping peace in var­i­ous parts of the country, civil author­ity is grad­u­ally los­ing grip of gov­er­nance, thereby paving the way for its own down­fall, as was the case in the early sixties. For to con­tend that mil­i­tary takeover of power in Nigeria, is in all prac­ti­cal sense wish­ful think­ing. Only good gov­er­nance as shall be by con­sen­sus is the an­ti­dote for coups in Nigeria, and so far that is not on ground.

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