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The Failed Coup In Turkey And Lessons For Nigeria

The failure of the military coup in Turkey is a good reminder of the
power of the people to  keep democracy at all cost. Watching  the
unfolding  events  and the failure of the coup plotters to usurp
power, one wonders what the implication and lesson will be for
Turkey and the world in general .  Today,  military coups have been
seen as a misnomer and an abrasion to the much respected democratic
process. Since our world has become a  global village, it is
important to note that  events in Turkey is not  restricted to
Turkey alone. It influences  the nooks and crannies of  the world in
general.

Turkey has experienced a lot of  friction and tension in the
administration of president Erdogan. For a long time president Erdogan has
been criticized as being dictatorial, authoritarian and  undermining the
rule of law . He has also been accused of  circumventing the military.
This must have led to the dissatisfaction of some factions  of the
military to his government. If this coup had succeeded, there is no doubt
it would have given  credence to the military in other developing
countries( particularly in Nigeria) that the era of  disrupting  the
democratic process is back again.

With the exception of the coup in Egypt  about two years ago, there have
not been any  major military coup reported in  Africa. This shows that
countries of Africa are either learning the intricacies  of democratic
process or many of the sit tight authoritarian leaders have mastered the
act of staying put in governance under the guess of democracy.

Interesting to learn that the incidence of coups have been slowing down
in Africa. This must have been from the realization on the part of
military officers that military  coups have  been anachronistic  and
unacceptable to the democratic system.

For  the Nigerian population and military, the failure of this coup in
Turkey should be a good lesson . The administration of president Buhari
should put in place effective mechanism of addressing the fears of many
sections of the Nigerian polity. His administration has so far been
observed as favoring only one section of the Nigerian population( the
north) in all federal appointments. It leaves one wondering what happens
to the constitutional enshrined provision of federal character in all
appointment. The sacking and retirement of many  southern military
officers calls  for concern.  His inability to address the allegation
that the Nigerian chief of army staff General  Tukur Buratai massively
enriched himself by purchasing plush homes in the United Arab Emirates is
scary.  The list goes on and on and president Buhari  has remained numb on
these issues. These are the  issues that bring the dreaded division in any
society and any military.

We hope  that the era of military takeover is over in Nigeria . However,
effective  good leadership ( that listens to the populace) is the panacea
to repelling any  disruption in the democratic  process through military
coups .

The Nigerian military should be aware that the era of military coup is
over. The military should be made aware that there is no reason to
forcefully remove a democratically elected government irrespective of
the level of dislike they have on that democratically elected government.
The due process of democratic governance must be made to run its course.
Governments are removed by elections and that is the due process of
change in a democracy.

The Nigerian people must also  learn that power belong to the people. It
is exhilarating to watch the people of Turkey( listen to the call of
their president ) by going out on the streets to demonstrate and put an
end to this military coup. The people showed that  ordinary  people  are
mightier than the  gun welding soldiers.  Nigeria cannot relapse back to
the last three decades when military coup and instability was the norm.
Remember  General Buhari was part of that  old norm. The young democracy
must be given room to thrive and grow.

Kennedy Kelechi Halams, Ph.D.

Dr Halams is a faculty of International Business at City University in
Seattle Washington.

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