12 March 2018

Nigeria: Govt Workers Vow to Resist 'Military Takeover'

Photo: The Guardian

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria at the weekend warned that it would resist any illegal and undemocratic takeover of the government in Nigeria.

The group said it was disturbed by some subtle insinuations from some quarters that the military would venture into the politics of the country.

The labour group cautioned those mooting the idea to desist from throwing Nigeria into anarchy.

The labour group's position came on the heels of comments made last week by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, during a debate on the floor of the Senate, in respect of the political crises in parts of the country.

Mr. Ekweremadu had said, "The problem in Nigeria is that our democracy is receding. Who says army cannot take over? Let us not joke with our democracy, that is the issue".

In a reaction, the Defense Headquarters said Nigerians should ignore Mr. Ekweremadu because the military had no intention to take over government.

Reacting to the criticism that trailed his comments, Mr. Ekweremadu denied calling for military intervention in the country.

Speaking at the 74th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) Executive Committee dinner, hosted by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, in the state capital, Yenagoa, at the weekend, he stated that his comments on the floor of the Senate "unambiguously in defence of democracy", were either being twisted or misconstrued by some persons.

But in a statement issued in Lagos, ASCSN president, Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Bashir Lawal, said that any takeover of government by the military again would take the country 50 years backward.

"It is common knowledge that since the military toppled the democratically elected government of Sir Tafawa Balewa in 1966, suspended the 1963 Federal Constitution and imposed a unitary system of government, the country's growth has been stunted," the statement read in part.

"We are also aware that all democracies in the world including that of the United States of America, Canada, Europe, etc, are not perfect but are still evolving and being improved upon.

"The shortcomings being experienced in building democratic institutions in Nigeria were not peculiar and that with time, some of the flaws would be rectified.

"Thus, under no circumstances should individuals, no matter how highly placed, should begin to hint of military takeover of government in Nigeria.This is because most of the social dislocations we experience today, such as corruption, deterioration of power supply, collapse of railway, basterdization of the education system, destruction of the Civil Service, etc, were exacerbated by military dictators."

The labour movement therefore vowed to protect the nation's democracy.


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