Why Nigeria Has Not Experienced Military Coup Since 2017

  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former president has explained why Nigeria has not known anything called military intervention in its democratic journey since 1999.

    Obasanjo who made this known through a book titled ''Making Africa Work'', and which launched in Victoria Island, Lagos state said a coup is a treason punishable by death only if it fails, Premium Times reports.

    NAIJ.com gathered that the book was co-authored by Obasanjo and three others as Greg Mills, director of Brenthurst Foundation; Jeffrey Herbst, president of NEWSEUM and Dickie Davis, a retired major general.

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    He first ruled Nigeria as a military head of state between 1976 and 1979, later governed the nation as a democratically elected leader between 1999 and 2007.

    The former president disclosed that military interventions had major negative impact on democracy, governance and unity of Nigeria.

    According to him, ''A coup is a treason punishable by death only if it fails, and yet it puts the plotter in the State House if it succeeds.

    ''It was a destructive and destabilising practice, wasteful for the military itself, and undermining in terms of discipline, good order and military conduct.

    ''A junior officer takes a gun and looks at his political boss and senior officers through its sights, bumps them off and puts himself in the State House.

    ''He instantly becomes superior and senior to all political and military officers. Such was the situation existing in Nigeria between 1966 and 1999''.

    Obasanjo also gave an insight into how he handled the challenge when he was in office, Obasanjo saying''On assuming office as president, I decided to put an end to these incessant coups.

    ''I asked the military to submit the list of all officers who had either participated in coups in the past or benefited in the dividends of coups by being appointed to political office as governors or ministers''.

    The former president further said the measure was quite effective because if it wasn’t perfect the nation would have still experienced such incidence of coup d’etat.

    He said: ''The fact that since 1999, there has not been a coup or an attempted coup in Nigeria speaks to the effectiveness of the measures taken to put an end to the destabilizing influence of coups on the political life and dispensation of Nigeria.

    ''Before 1999, and since independence, the longest that a democratic dispensation had lasted was six years -from 1960 to 1966.

    ''It has neither been easy nor perfect, but there are improvements and evidence of learning among the political class. Any bad signs and misconduct would have to be carefully monitored''.