YES! NO ROOM FOR MUTINY AND DISLOYALTY By: Obasi Okpo Ojah
While the Department of State Service (DSS) recently disclosed that there are certain groups and forces bent on destabilizing Nigeria’s democracy, the Nigerian Military on the 27th of July, 2020 through the Coordinator of Defense Media Operations (DMO), Major General John Enenche said the renewed commitment of the Nigerian Military has become imperative in view of an inciting and instigating comment said to have been made by the National Chairman of the National Democratic party (NDP), Chief Chidi Chukwuanyi. The outburst of this serious allegations forms the basis of this new analysis written by Lord Obasi Okpo Ojah, a Media Consultant and Global
Development Activist. In a recent publication made available to newsmen, an opposition party chieftain of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Chief Chidi Chukuwanyi stated that “the state of corruption in the country calls for the replication of the Ghanaian experience under former President Jerry Rawlings in Nigeria”.
According to the Major General Enenche, by referring to a former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings, the politician was inadvertently calling for insurrection, adding that ” what Chidi Chukwuanyi is calling for is a combination of unpopular act of insurrection and mutiny which cannot be taken for granted by the Armed forces of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria”.
For the benefit of lay readers, the word Mutiny means a situation in which people, especially soldiers or sailors, refuse to obey the person in charge of them, and try to take control of themselves, While Disloyalty means being unfaithful to your friends, your country or the you belong to.
The resultant effect of the aforementioned in government setting is either coup d’etat or rebellion. Therefore, one rightly agrees with the DMO Coordinator Major General Enenche that such an inciting statement should not be taken for granted; and it is also pleasing to note that the military command has strongly warned Officers and Personnel against acts of disloyalty and munity because their oath of allegiance and total loyalty to constituted authority in the country cannot be compromised.
“…from the obvious retrogressive and calamitous woes witnessed by the above countries particularly, Nigeria as a result of acts of disloyalty and mutiny, the negative consequences of such acts cannot be over emphasized or quantified if it was to happen in a situation or country where the Government of the day is working tirelessly and assiduously to meet the needs and aspirations of its citizenry.”
In a retrospective journey, one cannot run away from historical effects or events where acts of disloyalty and munity had led to several coup d’etat in the Country, beginning from the toppling of the first post-independence democratic government in 1963 where the likes of the Prime Minister ABUBAKAR TAFAWA BALEWA and several regional leaders as well as opinion leaders paid the supreme price in the midst of insurrection which was led by Major Kadua Nzeogu During the Gowon era, another set of mutinous soldiers led by Colonel Emeka Ojukwu propelled a rebellion leading to the declaration of BIAFRA Republic, an act of Munity which caused a 3 year bloody civil war that was intertwined between Ojukwu on the Biafran side and General Gowon on the Nigerian side. Soon after making a NO
VICTOR, NO VANQUISHED declaration at the end of the war, General Gowon’ military regime was eventually dethroned as an act of mutiny led by General Murtala Muhammed. Again, there was soon another unsuccessful mutinous attempt of General Murtala Mohammed’ regime but which lead to his tragic death’ paving the way for his second-in-command General Olusegun Obasanjo to be sworn in as Head of State;
And in quick succession, General Obasanjo organized the 2nd republic general elections which produced Alhaji Shehu Shagari as Nigeria’s 2nd democratically elected president.
Still, it was not uhuru for perpetration of acts of mutiny as one young Major General Muhammadu Buhari ousted President Shagari on account of excessive corruption in 1983. Again, the act of disloyalty and mutiny roared its head as Buhari’s then henchman and Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) dislodged him who was on pilgrimage to Mecca in 1986.
Paradoxically, General Babangida’s regime ended up organizing the nation’s freest and fairest election which was won by Chief M.K.O Abiola, but shamelessly opted to step aside after inaugurating a phantasgomerical Interim National Government (ING) with Chief Ernest shonekan as the ceremonial head.
Finally, the truncation of Chief Ernest Shonekan’s Interim National Government (ING) by the despotic General Sani Abacha can be considered the last act of disloyalty and munity in Nigeria’s political history.
More so, apart from Nigeria, one must not forget that acts of disloyalty and mutiny have been witnessed in other countries of the world, namely; Irag, Syria, Libya, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan and most recently Mali etal.
To this end, from the obvious retrogressive and calamitous woes witnessed by the above countries particularly Nigeria as a result of acts of disloyalty and mutiny, the negative consequences of such acts cannot be over emphasized or quantified if it was to happen in a situation or country where the Government of the day is working tirelessly and assiduously to meet the needs and aspirations of its citizenry.
Therefore, the call by the DMO Coordinator, Major General Enenche that all officers and men of the Nigerian armed forces must continue to abide by the constitutional provision in section 217, sub-section 2(c) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should not be toyed with.
This clarion call translates to unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander in-Chief as well as full subordination to civil and constituted authorities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; hence there is no room for acts of mutiny and disloyalty.
This news commentary was written by lord Obasi Okpo Ojah, a media Consultant and a Global Development Activist. He can be reached via 08096630373 (SMS only)