By: Ademola Adegboruwa
Recent months have proven over and over again that Nigerians cannot afford to be complacent in how they protect our democracy; our very future and the wellbeing of future generations depend on it. It will be catastrophic if we are lulled into a false sense of security simply on account of our democracy having exceeded all the other times – first, second and third republics – when our democracy was truncated.
To avoid the past experience being repeated we must be wary enough to address the problems that aborted democracy in this country in the past. It is okay to be paranoid in this instance since it is apparently the better approach. We must for once stop expecting that creases and rumples in the polity would smoothen themselves out. They will not! They will simply fray to the point of causing a tear and by them we would be compelled to apply stitches.
Nigeria’s detractors are not relenting. They have no plans to. They have sponsored terrorists’ insurgency to destabilize Nigeria with their expectation that it would spell the end of democracy. They failed. They resorted to propping up secessionists and separatists, people that opted to see problems where opportunities abound. This failed too. A change in tactics has now seen them turning attention to the military.
There have been sufficient reports of ambitious politicians in congress with rogue elements in the military with the sole intent of carrying out a coup. The object, from the telling, is to upset the present order where an able deputy is executing the mandate of his boss. They have reportedly pitched ethnic goodies to the service personnel they want to recruit to set the nation back.
If what we heard about this desperate band did not daze us, talks of a “Plan B” should get every freedom loving Nigerian to assemble a protest kit; they will push us to again fight for our freedom if we do not first truncate their own coup plot with timely warnings that Nigerians, the world and humanity would not allow them sound the death knell for participatory governance.
A news site chronicled the said “Plan B” and it read more like something from an horror show, that kind of end-of-the-world Armageddon that is more in keeping with Hollywood blow’em up movies. Fighter jets and helicopter gunships that should be fighting whatever remains of Boko Haram terrorists would be rather be turned on military formations that refused to be part of the coup. Senior politicians would be arrested. Of course, being that neither Nigerians nor the world would stand for a putsch, the plotters after an initial stand-off would then bring in their politician allies as compromise and these will in turn grant hurried pardon to their criminal partners.
But they got it wrong. Nigeria has moved from that waypoint where people get rewarded for bad behaviour. No one involved in the plot will go unpunished. In fact, as things stand, anyone connected with the plot is already in trouble, even if the plot is only at its initial stage.
Nigerians have news for the coupists. They should go watch the footage of those that attempted that most recently in Turkey. Getting arrested would feel like a five star hotel stay since angry Nigerians would most likely lay their hands on anyone trying to truncate our democracy. What they will get will be nothing short of the instant judgment meted out to bandits, ritual killers and kidnappers. The crowd would likely redesign the architecture of their faces before handing them over stand formal trial.
When it comes to trial, offenders must remind themselves that there will be no leniency, no extenuating circumstances, no state pardon and no mercy. They are going to get served what they requested and that is a promise that the everyday Nigerian will easily repeat to the would be coup plotters. It is something that anyone that has attempted a coup in past five years anywhere in the world will testify to. Plotting to overthrow a legitimate government, irrespective of the circumstances have grave consequences and there will be nowhere to run or hide once found out.
Those that have been contacted by politicians can therefore save whatever is left of their skin by telling Nigerians who has contacted them what specific demands have been made of them. The affected Air Force personnel must therefore chose their side wisely before an investigation that will surely come indicts them. By then it will be too late to distance themselves from the desperate politicians.
Adegboruwa contributed this article from No3 Saadatu Street, Oregun, Lagos.
By: Ademola Adegboruwa