By Gbenga Gbelee
Nigerians have been charged to be on guard and resist any attempt from any quarter,
interest or institution, to remove or topple the current democratic government in the
country by any other undemocratic means.
Former Governor of Lagos state and National Leader of the All Progressives
Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association,
Mr. Monday Ubani; and the House of Representatives gave the charge.
Also, a former governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, warned the
Nigerian military against throwing the nation into turmoil in their bid to seize power.
Speaking in Lagos on Monday (22 nd of May) at a Special Parliamentary Session
organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly, the former governor of Lagos state
and APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu warned the military not to bother
nurturing any ambition which could lure it to stage a coup, adding that such attempt
would be resisted by the Nigerian masses.
The special Parliamentary Session was part of activities outlined to mark the Lagos at
50 celebration as it also coincided with the second anniversary of the 8th Lagos State
The APC National leader was emphatic in sounding a note of caution to all Nigerians
that the current democratic governance is still at a building and consolidation stage
hence the need to guard it jealously.
Gov Tinubu was quoted as saying “Just a few days ago, we had a warning that some
people were trying to entice the military out of the barracks. I say don’t try it. I want
to add my voice to that warning. Those who think they can break the democracy so
many of us laboured and for which too many people sacrificed their lives, they are
“Nigeria has come too far for such a thing to happen. Those people behind such idea
will find no fertile ground to plant their seed in Lagos. We will not buy their bad
product; whatever they want to sell is a bad product and we are going to reject it.”
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said the state had become a shining
example and critical hub of socio-economic and political development.
“Today, we are celebrating the contributions of the Lagos State House of Assembly,
particularly the 8th Assembly in the last two years, to the true principles of democratic
governance through passage of bills that advance the principle of governance and
promotion of social welfare of the people within the ambit of the law,” the governor
Also, members of the House of Representatives asked the military to perish the
thought of returning to power in Nigeria, saying coups has no place in the country’s
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Lasun Yusuf, spoke their minds in Abuja on
Monday at a public hearing on 12 bills to amend the Electoral Act, 2010, in a bid to
strengthen democratic processes.
Hon. Yusuf is also the Chairman, House Special Ad Hoc Committee on Review of the
The committee has among others, recommended independent candidacy, financial
autonomy for local governments and state Houses of Assembly to be included in the
constitution ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Hon. Lasun Yusuf said he was in shock to hear that anybody could be contemplating
staging a coup in Nigeria after all the efforts made in the last 18 years to stabilise the
He stressed that it will be difficult for the military to come back considering the
volume of efforts which have gone into building the country’s democracy from 1999
He however expressed satisfaction with the decision of the military to send officers to
the hearing on the 12 electoral bills describing it as an indication of the military’s
support for Nigeria’s democracy.
The hearing was organised by the House Committee on Electoral and Political Party
Matters with the support of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre and the UKaid
Among the 12 bills are ‘A Bill to Amend the Electoral Act 2010 to Empower National
Tribunals and Courts to Declare Candidates who Scored the Second Highest Votes
Winner of Elections when the Tribunal or Court Finds/Holds that the Winner is
Unqualified Abinitio’; and a ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act to Increase
the Amounts Permitted as Maximum Election Expenses to be Incurred by Candidates
Standing for Elections and for Related Matters’.
The bill on election expenses seeks to increase the maximum election expenses to be
incurred by a presidential candidate from N1bn to N5bn, It increases the maximum
expenses that can be expended by a governorship candidate from N200m to N1bn.
The Speaker of the House, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, told the session that the amendments
were proposed to address problems witnessed during the 2015 polls and other
elections held thereafter.
Meanwhile, the Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Monday Ubani,
said any coup attempt would amount to returning the country to Egypt and called on
Nigerians to rise and speak against military infractions.
Mr. Ubani stated that every Nigerian with a sense of responsibility should speak at
this auspicious time against any rumour of attempt to truncate democracy in Nigeria.
Also, a former Governor of Kaduna State and leader of the Conference of Nigerian
Political Parties, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, called on Nigerians to be vigilant and ensure
that the country was not thrown into political chaos.
He said all Nigerians should be careful not to throw the country into another political
chaos stressing that the present political dispensation must be allowed to serve its
usefulness while the military must leave the political class to address every challenge
that may arise.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, last week warned some Nigerians,
who he did not name, to stop “approaching officers and soldiers for political reasons”,
a development which raised concerns in various quarters that it could be a plot to
overthrow the current political dispensation in the country.