The Nigerian military has been cautioned by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) not to imitate the Gabonese army, which ousted President Ali Bongo on Wednesday in a bloodless coup.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, executive director of MURIC, offered the council in a statement on Wednesday.
“We firmly oppose this military coup, even while we disapprove of the sit-tight attitude used by the Bongo family in Gabon and certain other African nations. The Nigerian Army is advised by MURIC to maintain its apolitical stance and to avoid the temptation to stage a coup as the Gabonese army did.
Any soldier from Nigeria who considers a coup during the current administration is doing so out of self-interest. Notably, the political landscape in Nigeria is very different from that in Gabon, where the Bongo dynasty has ruled for more than 50 years.
Given the strong religious undertones that characterized the debate over the Muslim-Muslim ticket, a military coup against the present Muslim-Muslim ticket would be perceived as a direct attack on Muslims in the nation.
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Any military takeover in Nigeria today will be marred by religious prejudice. “Nigeria has not yet recovered from the vindictive counter-revolution of July 1966, which was mostly carried out by troops of Northern extraction, and the one-sided anti-North coup of January 1966, which was staged by Igbo soldiers.
He claimed that Nigerians are proud of the Nigerian Army, calling it a highly skilled and professional combat force.
The head of MURIC emphasized that the Nigerian army already had its hands full dealing with Boko Haram, rebels, and other security issues and could not afford to add political meddling to its difficulties.
“The army shouldn’t attempt to swallow more than it can chew. We urge the leaders of Nigeria to take a cue from what has occurred in places like Gabon, Niger, Mali, etc. For leaders, good governance has become a requirement. Akintola stated, “We must eradicate poverty, starvation, and sickness from our nation.