Lazy Copy and paste journalists, get out of your comfort zones: Who overthrew Shagari Government?

Gen. Yakubu Gowon was not part of the coup that brought him in. He was a decent man. Nigerians like to play what the Yoruba people call bojuboju; they bring a figure with integrity to cover up their real intention; the real intention of politicians in uniform who have found cheap party. Many elements of them are in our partisan politics today... Col Nyiam

Our Journalists pride themselves as being professionals and one of the best in the continent, but none of them have the common sense to dig out the real Coup Plotters that overthrew Shagari and interview them in a bid to get more factual roles of Muhammed Buhari in that coup. Instead, they have been peddling beer parlour rumours that suit only the politicians and continue to sustain the engine of our national corruption.

Of more surprising is that the men who participated in all Nigerian coups from that Era till Abacha are still very much alive. Even the current Senate President who was part of the "coup system" and benefited immensely from the coup while still serving military today interest has been very quiet. The only people peddling the coup rumours are those whose facts are in newspapers, blogs and facebook status updates plus the copy and paste journalists.

yes, GMB was the Military Head of State in that period. Has anyone ever accuse Ironsi of ending the first republic? No.. the Blame is always going to Nzeogwu Kaduna and his team.

The question everyone should be asking therefore is who was the "Nzeogwu Kaduna" that overthrew Shagari government? The answer can only be found if any our activists and journalists made it a task to interview the real actors involved in that coup. Anything aside this would only be leading everyone into confusion while those men are more likely to be laughing in their sitting rooms right now, watching Nigerians argue needlessly over facts they don't possess.

Who actually overthrew Shagari Government and hence, put our democracy on the wobbling and fumbling path that had destroyed our psyche, rape our economy and entrust our destiny in hands of constitutional rogues?... Isqil Najim

Exerpt from Interview with Col. Nyiam

Col. Tony Nyiam, who was part of the failed attempt to oust the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s military government in 1990, tells WAHEED BAKARE and ALLWELL OKPI, how the Orkar coup originated and its relevance to Nigerian politics

You said what has come to be known as the Orkar coup was not a coup but an action. What is the difference between the two?
I said it was a pro-democracy action to stop a situation where there would have been perpetual diarchy in Nigeria, where politicians in uniform would have put a system in place for them to rule forever. I’m talking about a system similar to what the Arab uprising dismantled in Egypt.
But a more senior military officer, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, referred to it as a coup.
It is because in our setting we misuse words. And because we are used to misusing words, we believe even words that are not really the truth. A military coup would be a coup against an elected government. Our action was not against an elected government. In fact, it’s the responsibility of a military officer to rise up against anybody who takes over power from an elected government, which the government we took action against did. The government we took action against, which was part of the Muhammadu Buhari to Ibrahim Babangida regime, had usurped power from the elected government of Shehu Shagari. If there is a coup that overthrows an elected government, it is the duty of a military officer to do a counter-coup to restore democracy.
Would you have done the same thing if Buhari had remained in power to that time?
If we had seen the same indications during Buhari’s time, the plan by the military to perpetuate itself, we would have done that. But Buhari wasn’t of that kind of mould.
There is the argument that we don’t need to have another conference since we have representatives at the National Assembly.
It is the most ignorant assumption. Why do I say it is ignorant? With all the political scientists we have in our midst, people forget that what we are practising is what we call indirect democracy. What do I mean? The proprietary right over people’s sovereignty is delegated to people we elect to make laws for us. When it comes to making constitutional reforms or constitution making, you go to what is called direct democracy. Direct democracy means direct voting by the people in the form of a referendum and that is why the universal practice is that a constitution making process that does not go through a constituent assembly, whose decisions are approved by a referendum, is null and void. We see the examples. Look at South Sudan; it’s creation resulted from a referendum. How is it that Nigerians do not understand that for a constitution to be legitimate, it has to be driven by the people, and the people are usually represented by a constituent assembly? And this constituent assembly is usually made up of non-partisan politicians, because partisan politicians are only concerned with  the next election. They are not concerned about posterity or long-term issues in the country. So, constitution which outlives people and a generation should be driven by civil society, collection of every nationality in the country and clerics. I would cite an example. My second home is in Scotland and in Scotland those who drove for the national conference were the clerics of the Church of Scotland, they were at the forefront. We also saw it in Ireland. Britain has the oldest parliament in the world, why are they allowing a constituent assembly to go ahead, while there are parliaments? It is only in Nigeria that such argument is raised because of the ignorance of the difference between direct and indirect democracy. That’s why I have tried to do an aide-memoir to aid constitution- making. There are certain basic principles of constitution-making, which if we do not follow,  would be like building a house on quicksand.
You once said soldiers could be recruited for a coup without their knowledge. How is that possible?
Yes, there are many instances. You might want to verify this from Gen. Buhari, he was not the initiator of that coup that brought him in as Head of State, it was Gen. Ibrahim Bako and Babangida that initiated it. But because they wanted a credible figure as a face, he was brought in. He did not know the genesis of that coup. He was not quite aware of the original idea behind the coup and that was why when he decided to make a change, he was forced to step aside. So, if this could happen to a whole Gen. Buhari, who was supposedly the leader of a coup, it shows how many soldiers can be brought in that way.
Does that mean overthrowing Shagari’s government was IBB’s idea?
It was the idea of late Gen. Bako and IBB. Buhari was only brought in because they needed a face with integrity.
Can you give other instances?
Gen. Yakubu Gowon was not part of the coup that brought him in. He was a decent man. Nigerians like to play what the Yoruba people call bojuboju; they bring a figure with integrity to cover up their real intention; the real intention of politicians in uniform who have found cheap party. Many elements of them are in our partisan politics today.
That means such heads of states were under the control of the coup plotters that installed them.
Obviously. And these people are still the reason why we are not allowed to have a proper census, they are still the ones ensuring that we don’t have a conference as well as a free and fair election because if you give the people their rights to choose who to governs them, you have freed them and these oligarchs don’t want that.

Interview Source: The Punch 


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