Lagos residents will resist military coup, Tinubu vows

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (left); Director, Kenya School of Law, Nairobi, Prof. Patrick loch Otieno Lumumba; Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane; APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu and Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, during the Special Parliamentary Session to celebrate Lagos at 50, at the state House of Assembly complex, Alausa, Ikeja…yesterday

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stated yesterday that residents of Lagos would resist any coup or any such undemocratic action. He maintained that Lagos State would not provide a fertile ground for a coup.

At a special parliamentary session organised by the state House of Assembly to mark the 50th anniversary of Lagos , the former governor noted that Nigeria has gone too far democratically to allow anti-democratic forces into governance. He, therefore, advised those behind the clandestine move for a coup to perish the idea in their interest.

Tinubu is among the politicians still standing, who went great lengths to battle the military following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and caused the dawn of this democracy in 1999. His statement yesterday is a clear indication that a section of the political class may find the courage to resist any unconstitutional means by the military to terminate Nigeria’s Fourth Republic.

The politician was apparently reacting to a recent remark by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, insinuating that he had received “information that some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons.”

The army chief had cautioned the promoters of the devious act against politicising the military just as he warned officers and soldiers “interested in politics to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.”

According to Tinubu, coup plotters would not get ready supporters, because a lot of people sustained injuries and sacrificed their lives for the country to have its democracy.

Tinubu said: “But amid the celebration, I would be remiss if I failed to sound a caution to us all. This precious thing called democracy that we are now trying to perfect is not guaranteed to us. We must sweat hard yet think wisely if we are to keep it. There will always be some people who want to undermine democracy.  These people gain more from government in the dark and by the few than in government in the light and by the many.  Just a few days ago we heard a warning that some people were trying to entice the military out of the barracks.

“I want to add my voice to that warning. Those who think they can break the democracy for which so many laboured and which too many sacrificed limb and life, are sorely mistaken. Nigeria has come too far for such a thing.

“You people will find no fertile ground to plant your weeds in Lagos.  We will not buy the sad product you are selling. Move on from here I say! Move on from here Lagos says!  Move away from it, don’t think about it, we say!”

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for the 2015 election in the state, Jimi Agbaje, urged caution over the coup scare. According to him, there is the need to allow the citizens get used to democracy and whatever challenges that are confronting the country, as they could be surmounted with time.

He cautioned those nursing such an ambition of a coup to desist in the interest of peace, progress and unity of the country. “There is no need for any military intervention or unconstitutional government for now since our democracy has fledged for 18 years and we are coping,” Agbaje submitted.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode maintained that the eighth assembly has been the benchmark for other legislative houses nationwide, saying it has been responsible and innovative in the discharge of its duties.

The governor submitted that the success story of Lagos would be incomplete without the contribution of the leaders and members of the assembly, past and present.

Meanwhile, the governor has pledged to continue the infrastructural development of the state and sustain its sobriquet as Centre of Excellence.

At a thanksgiving service with 50 prayer points, organised by the government in conjunction with the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, Ikeja, Ambode, represented by former Deputy Governor Femi Pedro, submitted that in spite of the various challenges confronting the state, there was cause to give thanks to God for her onward movement.

State CAN chairman, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, held that the service was imperative in view of God’s goodness to the state. He was optimistic that the recession in the country would not last as long as Nigerians fully return to the Creator.

Also yesterday, the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development Adebowale Akinsanya, said the Fourth Mainland Bridge project was being held back by lack of investors.

Akinsanya, who also supervises the Ministry of Works Infrastructure, made the disclosure while giving the ministry’s scorecard in the last 12 months to mark the second year in office of the current administration in the state.

Besides, the Nigeria Union of Journalists is alarmed by rumours about a planned coup d’état. It warns that Nigerians would resist any attempt to change this government through any other means that is not democratic.

In a statement, NUJ President Waheed Odusile said : “Despite the difficulties being faced by the nation, there have been some significant improvements in certain aspects of our endeavors. However, we wish to note that such security threats in the North East and other parts of the country, must be tackled decisively if at all Nigerians will enjoy the benefits of democratic governance. Daily, the nation is being confronted by the socio-political and economic implications of an unstable country. We therefore call on the aggrieved members of the political class whose stock in trade is mischief not to rock the boat by attempting to derail this democratic dispensation.

The NUJ cautions that it will be counterproductive for some political interest groups to capitalize on the current situation in the country as caused by recession to push for a personal agenda. We call on all and sundry to support  government, to focus on the economic reintegration of the country rather than the uncalled for quest for a change of government through violent undemocratic means. Nigerians have sacrificed enough and it is only through concerted efforts and cooperation of all can the nation achieve sustainable peace and development.”



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