The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has issued warning to the Nigerian military, cautioning against mirroring the actions of the Gabonese army. On Wednesday, the Gabonese army staged a peaceful coup d’état, overthrowing President Ali Bongo.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the Executive Director of MURIC, provided this counsel.
“While we frown upon the sit-tight syndrome adopted by the Bongo family in Gabon and some African countries, we strongly condemn this military coup. MURIC advises the Nigerian Army to remain apolitical and to resist the temptation to emulate the Gabonese army by staging any coup in Nigeria.”
“Any Nigerian soldier who contemplates coup in the present dispensation is doing so for selfish reasons. It is noteworthy that the Nigerian political firmament is absolutely different from that of Gabon where the Bongo dynasty has been in power for more than 50 years.
“A military coup against the current Muslim-Muslim ticket will be interpreted as a direct attack on Muslims in the country in view of the deep religious sentiment which pervaded the controversy surrounding the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Any military coup in Nigeria now will carry a religious taint. Nigeria has not recovered from the one-sided anti-North coup of 15th January, 1966 staged by Igbo soldiers and the vengeful counter-coup of July 1966 staged mainly by soldiers of Northern extraction,” Akintola said.
He said the Nigerian Army is a well trained and highly professional fighting machine and Nigerians are proud of them.
The MURIC boss noted that the Nigerian army’s hands are already full with engagements with Boko Haram, insurgents and other security threats, thus cannot afford to add political intervention to its challenges.
“The army should not bite more than it can swallow. We call on Nigerian rulers to borrow a leaf from what has happened in Gabon, Niger, Mali, etc. Good governance has become mandatory on leaders. We must alleviate poverty, hunger, and disease from our land,” Akintola said.