In a recent interview, Maduabuchi Idam, an activist lawyer based, has expressed deep concern over the prevailing hardships faced by Nigerians and offered advice to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on safeguarding the nation against potential military coups, a concern amplified by recent coups in various African countries.
Idam emphasized the importance of proactive measures to prevent military intervention, even though Nigeria’s legal framework makes such attempts punishable by death. He cited the Penal and Criminal Codes, which not only penalize coup attempts but also the mere planning and idea of carrying out such acts.
The lawyer pointed out that Nigeria has experienced over eight coups from 1966 to 1999, with leaders who succeeded in their coups surviving while those who failed were executed. However, he noted that systemic corruption, tribalism, and poor governance, which were historical reasons for military takeovers, have become even more endemic in today’s Nigeria.
Idam also commented on the politicization of the military, stating that it lacks the will, power, and moral authority to attempt a coup due to its current political alignment.
To prevent any possibility of a military coup, Idam advised President Tinubu to address tribal agitations, meet the yearnings of various ethnic groups, and learn from historical instances where tribal tensions led to military intervention. He stressed that it’s essential to settle these agitations and engage in meaningful dialogue.
Furthermore, Idam recommended a focus on the economy, as disenchantment with economic conditions could lead to civil disobedience. He emphasized that loyalty from the military might not suffice if the president does not make genuine efforts to address citizens’ concerns.
Lastly, Idam highlighted that the recent coups in African countries were driven by issues such as corruption, poor governance, and economic crises. He cautioned that Nigerians should be concerned about the nation’s situation, citing hardship and mismanagement of the economy as potential catalysts for public disenchantment and consideration of alternatives, including military intervention.
In conclusion, Idam raised the possibility of inviting foreign intervention for better governance if the current leadership fails to address the fundamental needs and aspirations of the Nigerian people. He argued that the extreme level of capitalism and wealth accumulation among privileged individuals in power have perpetuated the cycle of bad leadership, making it imperative to explore alternative solutions, including foreign governance on a social contract basis.