Nigeria: Adekanye, Falana, Others Want Military Out of Politics

Vanguard Lagos Abdulwahab Abdulah
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

A renowned expert in civil-military relations, Prof Emeritus, Bayo Adekanye, National Democratic Coalition, NADECO chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday urged Nigerians to take their destiny into their hands by chasing out military from Nigeria politics.

All of them including the first president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu and former student leader, Comrade Olusegun Mayegun agreed that the military’s impunity and incursion into the country’s polity had dragged back the wheels of the nations progress.

Speaking at the National Symposium organized by the department of the Political Science, University of Lagos, the keynote Speaker, Professor Adekanye, who dwelt on the topic: « X-raying 50 years of Military Intervention in Nigeria’s Politics » warned that except a drastic step is taken by the political leaders to address the problems facing the country, « they will wake up one day and observe that the country is gone. »

The speakers, who spoke one after the other were in unison that the incursion of the military into the country’s polity created corruption, which according to them, is putting the country into socio-economic mess.

The lead speaker, who discussed the political history of Nigeria right from the period of amalgamation to the first military coup and the present political dispensation said, without the military men who are cabals in the country, the people cannot freely chose their political leaders.

Prof Adekanye said: « What we don’t know is that the military may not be in power formally but they are still there in camera. They dictate what we do and who becomes the political leader. They ensured that the central government now becomes an obstacle to the growth of the nation, and we ended up being weakened at the regional levels. »

Analyzing the various past military administrations in Nigeria, Adekanye said Nigeria is a « paradox of parasitic state » which left nearly every Nigerians corrupt because of the chase for oil money. He argued that the military had since involved in corruption and scandal which he said is killing the country.

« The country is like a big elephant, energetic, but cannot walk because of the excess load it carries. Our leaders need to realize that things have changed. You have to think of a country where over 10 million people are unemployed. Nigerian leaders will find out one day that the country is gone. »

In his contribution, Mr Opadokun gave a history of how they (NADECO) struggle hard under the military junta to ensure that the country returns to democratic rule and how their efforts to ensure that the country become truly a democratic nation shrink.

He said the problem is that the people of the country from the beginning were held together compulsorily without been given the opportunity to decide where to belong to Nigeria or not.

Falana in his contributions, said what we have right from the time of the first military intervention was a system where the welfare of the masses of Nigeria is nothing to the rulers.

He said « what we have now is the government of the contractors where 74 percent of the state budget goes for the services of the bureaucratic. We must take Nigeria serious; we must not allow military men in civilian cloth to dictate to us. They are parasites; they sold the country’s resources to be rich. »

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