Editorial: Handing over to the military is not the solution

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The Federal Republic of Nigeria is in dire need of appropriate liniment to heal the fractured state of the country. For this hailing country, lots of suggestions have been offered on how to close and dry up the wounds of ethnic suspicion that sprouted from the mismanaged clashes between farmers and herders; economic downturn; corruption and overall insecurity that has engulfed the country.

For the Southern Governors Forum, banning of open grazing and the restructuring of the country to reflect true federalism we claimed to practice are the required ointments. Impact News is however shocked that stakeholders in nation building would advise that the best panacea to the many challenges bedeviling the country is the invitation of the military administration into this nascent democratic process. On 2nd May, 2021, in a televised interview, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to hand over the government to the military temporarily in order to solve the security and economic dilemma facing the country.

Making reference to the 1999 constitution, Clarke also advised that the current federal structure should be reviewed and restructured to allow only the six geo-political zones. “Now there’s no gainsaying that Nigeria is on the way to collapse. Nigeria has to be changed and the only way to change it is to create a state that will make the 1999 constitution ungovernable for its existence.

“We want a state of emergency to be created in Nigeria today. As it is today, the President, who is the Commander-in-Chief has the powers to delegate all his powers to the Chief of Defence Staff. Let him now talk to the Senate, House of Reps, State Governors and House of Assembly Speakers that a state of emergency has been created in Nigeria next week which means that all Governors and legislators must go.

“Then the military will now set up what we call the six geographical zones. Let us start on that and allow military governance over these states. Reduce Nigeria to six states and I can assure you the day Nigeria is reduced to six states and there’s a state of emergency, 80 percent of the money spent on governance will return to the treasury,” he said.

As a media organization, we hold unequivocal conviction that the worst democratic government is a better replacement for the best military administration. Nigeria for over three decades of its 60 years post-independence was under military and the experience revealed that absolute power rest with the authority. The demand for military takeover in a democratic setting is tantamount to treason. Puzzling, is the fact that the call for such in discretionary step welled from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. This calls for concern and the interrogation of source of such opinion at this delicate state of the country.

However we are lightened by the quick response of the Nigeria Armed Forces that issued stern warning to its officers and men nursing such idea to discard of it and work for the democratic development of the country. It said its allegiance remains to the government and democratic advancement.

The Army in response said, “Let it be stated categorically that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remain fully committed to the present Administration and all associated democratic institutions. We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the Civil Authority, firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

“We shall continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, especially in protecting the country’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country as well as protection of lives and properties of citizens,” the armed forces assured.

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