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SAY NO TO COUP IN NIGERIA: TINUBU, REPS, BALARABE, NBA VP TELL NIGERIANS

(Last Updated On: May 23, 2017)

 

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

Assembly.

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

mistaken.

“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

stated.

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

governance.

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

1999 Constitution.

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

country’s democracy.

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

till date.

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

Nigeria.

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.