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Abdulsalami: Military coups can’t succeed without assistance of politicians  


Abdulsalami: Military coups can’t succeed without assistance of politicians




Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military head of state, says politicians create an enabling environment for military officers to stage coups.



Following the death of Sani Abacha in June 1998, Abdulsalami was sworn in as head of state.




Abdulsalami was Nigeria’s last military leader. In 1999, he handed over power to democratically elected Olusegun Obasanjo, keeping to his word of returning the country to civilian rule.



In an interview with The Sun newspaper published on Sunday, the former head of state said military officers take advantage of the political situation before staging coups.




“You see, whatever happens, it must be the political field that allows any military man to take over. When you are in government and there is no equity and justice, certainly this brings problem,” he said.



“You have a political party and even in the political party one belongs to, there is no democracy. So, certainly, you will expect some quivers, some quarrels to come out and if they are not handled amicably, certainly, this will result to military takeover.



“Remember there is no military man that takes over without the connivance and assistance of politicians and civilians.”

Speaking on how democracy has fared in Nigeria, Abdulsalami said he has no regrets handing over to a civilian government but noted that there has been some challenges.

“You know democracy is a continuous process. You can’t say this is democracy. When you describe democracy, you are talking of government of the people, for the people and by the people,” he said.

“Yes, we are not yet there. There are some drawbacks, but compared to 1999 to today, I will say democracy has really made advances in Nigeria.”

Abdulsalami urged President Bola Tinubu to learn from mistakes of past leaders and correct them while running the country the way he deems best.