Press Release By Yinka Odumakin
Afenifere is compelled to issue a timely warning to the Nigerian political class and their military fronts on the dangers of resorting to the military option as the final act in the orchestrated hysteria being created in the polity as the law of unintended consequences does not unfold until after the event.
We are issuing this warning, as we can no longer ignore the rumor that has been very thick in the air that some forces that want to abort the proposed National Conference are scheming to exploit the challenges of our democracy to cause an unconstitutional change in the polity.
All citizens of our country with a sense of history would have been able to draw a parallel between General Obasanjo’s December2 letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and a document circulated in January,1976 entitled “FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT MURTALA-A WARNING TO THE NATION”.
Gen.Murtala Muhammed was assassinated a month afterwards. Interestingly, General Obasanjo was prominent among those copied the document.
Also,in the days preceding the coup against the Alhaji Shehu Shagari government in 1983,Gen.Obasanjo was very loud in criticizing the government.Thirty years after that act of treason,Mr Max Suollin in SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE has righty captured what was happening as “coup baiting” with generous quotation of IBB’s confessions that those who staged the 1983 coup actually asked Obasanjo to come and lead the government,a request he turned down while encouraging the putsch.
” Question: “It was also said that those of you who ousted Shagari actually wanted to bring back General Obasanjo as Head of State in 1984. Is this true?”
Babangida: “It is true. But to be very fair to General Obasanjo, he rejected the offer. He said no. He said it would destroy his integrity, that he handed over to Shagari and that it is not right for him to get involved. But he (Obasanjo) said he was not stopping us from going ahead with the plot”.”(Soldiers Of Fortune,Max Siollun,Pg 14)
It was little wonder that while Gen Obasanjo issued another in the series of his infamous letters against Babaginda Military Junta in 1992,the “evil genius” quickly ran from Abuja to Otta and followed up with reshuffles in the military high commands. The same IBB is the first person Obasanjo copied his letter.
This is why we in Afenifere are not impressed with the sinister letter from the ever manipulative and evil agenda setting General who has never shown any pure motive since he started his interventions in our national affairs.
It is therefore the height of foolhardiness and or a lack of any sense of history for members of the political class to be enabling these Generals who have not been known to act in the collective interest in their infamous careers.
Have our politicians forgotten so soon what the country went through for six years when Abacha was enabled to overthrow the Shonekan Interim Government in 1993?
We do not argue that Nigeria does not have serious challenges at the moment but we refuse to accept that the solutions to our problems would come from any group of military adventures.It is a jaded option that we have been offered over the years and it has always created more problems than the ones it promises to solve.
On a more fundamental note,there is a delicate balance in the country at the moment which has made the proposed National Conference the most veritable platform to address the crises facing Nigeria and for which the nationalities are rearing to go.
To attempt to stop that process by staging a coup would amount to rushing Nigeria to a major catastrophe as any group of military adventurers may discover there is no space for them to preside over.
It is therefore in the best interest of all that all those who are possibly plotting to cause crisis in the country perish the thought and allow the National Conference to proceed seamlessly so that the people of Nigeria can proffer their own solutions to our challenges so we can emerge a united and prosperous entity from the table of brotherhood.
This is our patriotic approach to nation building, which we commend to all reasonable Nigerians.
National Publicity Secretary,