IT is surprising that Nigerians have remained aloof to the sobering confession by retired Brigadier-General Sani Usman Kukasheka that he and former Army Chief, retired Lt-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau, were asked by undisclosed unpatriotic elements to topple former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010.
Kukasheka, who made this confession at a public lecture, named a former General Officer Commanding, GOC, 3 Armoured Division, Major-General Olakunle Akinyemi, as a witness to how “people” at the 44 Reference Hospital, Kaduna, were asking when the “announcement” was going to be made. Incidentally, Danbazau was present at the lecture. He did not refute Kukasheka’s claim.
When President Yar’ Adua took ill and was taken to a foreign hospital in December 2009, he did not transfer power to his Deputy, Jonathan. This created a protracted power vacuum and an impasse which prompted Nigerians to prevail on the Senate, led by David Mark, to declare a “doctrine of necessity” and transfer executive power to Jonathan.
Some Northerners were agitating for another Northerner to unconstitutionally replace Yar’ Adua because he had only spent about 30 months of the North’s supposed eight years after the South had taken its turn under the rotational arrangement. The call for a military coup showed how reckless, sectional, selfish and unpatriotic some Nigerians can be when it comes to power. It also shows the disdain they have for our democracy and the need for it to grow away from its military past, whereby Nigeria it can only be ruled through the Constitution.
It is shocking that this confession barely received mention in the main media. Given the sacrifices that the media, the civil society community and democracy activists undergo to get military regimes out, this disclosure should have received a much greater attention than it did. It would, at least, warn off potentially ambitious officers that such an adventure will not be tolerated.
Military coups, as a rule, are sectional power grabs. We must not allow them anymore, especially now that jihadists are no longer hiding their intention to take over the country. It will be recalled that hawkish officials have been appointees of the present administration, and under them, the killings by herdsmen militants in indigenous communities of the Middle Belt and South were officially given the misnomer of “farmers-herders clashes”; an indication of the state tolerance of their “conquest” crimes.
We call on the National Assembly to set up a joint committee to probe this reported call for the toppling of an elected government. Such people should be identified and treated according to the law. People must pay a price for threatening our civil order.
Though we commend them for resisting such a call they should be asked to tell us more about it.