The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has warned the Nigerian military not to emulate the Gabonese army that ousted President Ali Bongo in a coup d’etat on Wednesday.
Note that the family of Bongo has been ruling the central African nation for 56 years.
Reacting to the development on Wednesday, MURIC’s Executive Director, Ishaq Akintola, who implored men of the Nigerian Army to stay apolitical, urged them to shrug off the temptation of following in the footsteps of their Gabonese counterpart.
He added that a coup in Nigeria would be seen as an attack on Muslims.
“While we frown upon the sit-tight syndrome adopted by the Bongo family in Gabon and some African countries, we strongly condemn this military coup. MURIC advises the Nigerian Army to remain apolitical and to resist the temptation to emulate the Gabonese army by staging any coup in Nigeria.
“Any Nigerian soldier who contemplates coup in the present dispensation is doing so for selfish reasons. It is noteworthy that the Nigerian political firmament is absolutely different from that of Gabon where the Bongo dynasty has been in power for more than 50 years.
“A military coup against the current Muslim-Muslim ticket will be interpreted as a direct attack on Muslims in the country in view of the deep religious sentiment which pervaded the controversy surrounding the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Any military coup in Nigeria now will carry a religious taint. Nigeria has not recovered from the one-sided anti-North coup of 15th January, 1966 staged by Igbo soldiers and the vengeful counter-coup of July 1966 staged mainly by soldiers of Northern extraction,” Akintola said in a statement.
The MURIC boss however noted that the Army’s hands are already full with engagements with Boko Haram, insurgents and other security threats, thus cannot afford to add political intervention to its challenges.
“The army should not bite more than it can swallow. We call on Nigerian rulers to borrow a leaf from what has happened in Gabon, Niger, Mali, etc. Good governance has become mandatory on leaders. We must alleviate poverty, hunger, and disease from our land,” Akintola added.