Former Kaduna State governor and National Chairman, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Mr Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, has said that poverty and insecurity ravaging the country and soldiers being slaughtered like chickens by insurgents are factors that can tempt the military to take over power.
In this interview with Sunday Sun Musa warned that the enormous supreme prize paid by the military to safeguard the country can push the soldiers to do anything. The PRP chairman who is also chairman of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) also pointed out that the situation that led to the 1966 coup was not different from the situation being experienced now in the country. Excerpt:
Looking at the current state of the nation, how do you feel?
I think if President Muhammadu Buhari does not take proactive measures against the negative state of the nation, the result will be total anarchy. Already we have bureaucratic anarchy, but it may transform into social anarchy, leading to a revolutionary takeover of the system. In other words, the present system is based on self-interest first, and public interest second, or incidental and the system will be taken over by self-interest through a constitutional revolution. The second alternative, which is public interest, can come through a peaceful constitutional revolution, and it is not impossible. You can see the relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government. Both the presidency and the legislature do not have the respect they ought to have because they have performed below expectation of Nigerians. The judiciary is just there. Nigerians have leadership qualities, but to find the match is always the problem because of the leading role of moneybag politics that has made it impossible for quality leaders to emerge. But the decay in the system will make them to emerge, and we hope if they emerge, they will bring a constitutional revolutionary change. But it is possible because of the free money available in the system and the growth and power of treasury looters. So proletarian revolution is not impossible in Nigeria.
We take into account of the reality on the ground, particularly the sufferings of the people. If we take this into account, you cannot rule out the possibility of proletarian revolution. It may not be such that happened in China, Korea, Vietnam and so on, but it may take place like the Russian revolution of 1917, which was the mixture of bourgeois, progressive and military revolution. We cannot afford this. But proletarian revolution is possible because anybody who says it is not possible in the next 10-30 years is unrealistic because the level of suffering and confusion of the people is too much. I will give you practical example: we are not satisfied with the performance of All Progressives Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Buhari. Definitely we are not satisfied because we expected Buhari and APC to do better than Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) they took over power from, which is now in the opposition. APC and Buhari are aware of what helped them to defeat the PDP at the polls in 2015. But they seem to be justifying warnings of some APC leaders who said that if the party does not do the needful it would go the way of PDP. Now that prediction of APC leaders is happening clearly and the president and APC should be aware of this and do the right thing. This negative state of the nation should not continue. If it continues, the result will be constitutional proletarian revolution.
With this negative state of the nation, many Nigerians believe that the President has failed. Do you hold the same belief?
Yes, this is a reasonable allegation. We expect much more from him because of his experience and relative credibility. Remember the case of PRP that supported Buhari in 2003, when he contested for the presidency. We gave our reason for supporting him because he was the least risk in choosing a leader in Nigeria because of his level of credibility.
Recently, General T.Y. Danjuma (retd) said Nigerians should defend themselves against Fulani herdsmen. What is your reaction to this call?
It is a reckless statement. As a leader he shouldn’t make negative statements. I know he was pained about insecurity in the country, but as a leader we should not make things worse by our comments. We contribute to make things better in spite of the bitter position of our hearts. So what he has said, I think, it was inconsistent with a responsible leader.
But it is constitutional for one to defend himself?
Even though there is freedom of speech, you have to be socially responsible. The Emir of Birnin Gwari said the same thing, calling on his people to defend themselves. Even though, it is right, but as a leader, it is socially irresponsible. As an Emir he has a greater role to play, he may be suffering in silence, but that does not justify the call for anarchy because what he and T.Y. Danjuma called for, could lead to anarchy. You as a leader, you have to suffer in silence. The Emir must have encountered some frustration in bringing peace to his domain, but that does not justify the call for anarchy. He should continue to call for the right security agencies to be stationed in Birnin Gwari to bring peace in the area.
When the military struck in 1983, some people said the socio-economic situation at the time was not as bad as what we have now thus believing that the military might stage a comeback to take over power, how do you look at that?
There is every reason for the army to come back. People, who are saying that army will not come back are only being apolitical, stupid and deceiving people. There is one element, if we are not careful, that can bring back the army. When the situation gets to the worst, and I think it is as bad as it is now, the army will soon realize that they are paying more than the civilians, more soldiers die in the process of bringing about stability. The level of unity and consciousness within the Armed Forces is greater than that of civilians. The army may come out and say, ‘Look, we cannot pay greater prize for the unity and stability of the nation because of the actions or inactions of irresponsible civilians, lets us take over power and clear the road, we cannot rely on the parliament, we cannot rely on governments as far as we are concerned, we are powerless, let’s take over power so that we can bring about normalcy. Is that not what happened in 1966? For anybody to say the army cannot come back is ignoring the level of irresponsibility by civilians.
But people are saying military rule is no longer in vogue globally?
This is stupidity of our media and our political leaders. Then factors that brought about military rule before are here again with us. Is it freedom of treasury looters that will deter the military from coming? Look, APC and PDP are accusing each other of treasury looting and their names are listed.
Some Nigerians are saying that it is not fair to release names of the alleged looters because their cases are in court. Is it proper to list their names?
That is the stupidity. The court is useless. The court should not have been allowed to talk too much about people who have not been convicted. They should be given the benefit of doubt. The APC has come out with its own list, but by the time PDP comes up with its own list, it could be greater and more serious than that of APC because APC is now in power. The unfortunate thing is that we are moving towards anarchy; be it Niger Delta and the ethnic separatists, whether you call them ACF, Ohanaeze, Afenifere; add to that list armed robbers, kidnappers and Boko Haram. Looking at the case of separatists, I agree that they have not been identified with criminal activities, but you know their actions could lead to that. So even though they have not been grouped as criminals like armed robbers, the actions of the ethnic separatists could have the same effect. If President Buhari does not watch Afenifere, Ohanaeze, ACF and IPOB, very carefully, they will bring about a worse situation than Boko Haram. If we don’t know this, let’s remember what led to the 1966 coup. So these separatist groups should be watched even though they are not involved in criminality. But they are engaged in what could lead to criminal activities. This was what led to operation “wetie” in the South West and ‘Araba’ in the North, which led to the 1966 coup. All these are the activities of separatist organizations like ACF, Afenifere, Ohanaeze and so on who are not into criminality per se, but they should be watched as much as armed robbers, insurgents and other political criminals like Niger Delta militia.
Some Nigerians said the way and manner the Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted and released in successive sequence showed that the government must have manipulated the processes to make it look real. Do you think the girls were actually abducted and released by Boko Haram?
It is not impossible. Government can do this under certain condition. Even the first abduction in Chibok, people suspected that it was a political manipulation by those who wanted to stay in power or by foreign powers, who do not want Nigeria to grow to become one of the world powers. Nigeria has all the qualities to become one of the world powers in 20 years time. But the present world powers do not want competition, particularly competition with more resourceful world power. For instance, take America, China, Russia and so on, do they have material resources to sustain powers between themselves and stop a country like Nigeria, matching their powers in 20 years time. Nigeria has everything you can think of, so it is possible that this is manipulation of the world powers to make Nigeria unstable so that Nigeria does not face its problem, to make Nigeria unable to reach the stage it can reach and compete with them. There is still imperialism in the world, but because people are involved in internal wrangling, they forget that imperialism is still there in real terms, watching and strategizing to destabilize Nigeria.