Friday, February 19, 2010
NIGER MILITARY CALLS JONATHAN'S BLUFF, TOPPLES GOVERNMENT!
Less than 48 hours after Nigeria's Acting President and Chairman of ECOWAS, Jonathan Goodluck declared that it is finished for military adventurists in government in ECOWAS West Africa countries, the military in Niger dared him and toppled the government of President Mamadou Tandja in Niamey! Whether this declaration will be a simple bluster or an action-backed promise lies in the womb of time as Icheoku and the world wait to see what happens next? Jonathan Goodluck while addressing the 37th Summit of ECOWAS heads of states and governments in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, condemned 'the undemocratic efforts by some elements at carrying out illegal political changes in the sub-region; warning that henceforth, the West African sub-region would no longer tolerate any acts of political mis-adventure by such adventurist juntas? But unbeknowst to Jonathan and other delegates gathered, while he spoke and warned, the adventurists in uniform in neighboring Niger were rehearsing the final stages of their coup which eventually toppled the government of Mamadou Tadja 48 hours later. Icheoku asks, what does Jonathan plan to do now about this political misadventure in Niger or will he wait and watch as his "stern warning" is flouted with impunity in Niamey? It is a popular rule of the thumb that if you must shoot, shoot, don't talk; and if you point the gun be prepared to fire the hammer, otherwise your words will lose its weight and people will take you less seriously. But what options are, seriously speaking, available to Jonathan's ECOWAS in view of the now unfolding political misadventure of the military in Niger Republic - condemn them; boycott them; sanction them or invade them to restore democracy in Niger? Icheoku says, whatever action Jonathan Goodluck and his ECOWAS decide to take, must be very bold and decisive; and meant to derive home the point that his warning against illegal political adventurism must be taken seriously and not to be flaunted; and that it is really time-over for military adventurism in ECOWAS West Africa countries. Anything short is a no brainier and will be unproductive. Therefore, Icheoku recommends that ECOWAS forces immediately invade Niamey to restore democracy there. Nothing short of an outright invasion will send the required sufficient message meant to serve as a deterrent, since sanctions and boycott or suspension have not worked elsewhere they were applied like in Guinea, Madagascar and Tandja's Niger? Jonathan should give the junta in Niamey 48 hours to quit and follow it up with contingents of soldiers flown into Niamey with express mandate to confront any anti-democratic forces therein, wrestle power from those usurpers and restore democracy. Admitted that former President Mamadou Tandja invited the military putsch, when he drank the power cool-aid which many African leaders usually drink while in office and refuse to yield power, when he unilaterally elongated his term in office against Niger's constitutional provisions; but the political establishment would have been allowed to resolve it instead? In other words, it is this constitutional illegality of former President Mamadou Tandja that provoked the coup; but we are not sure whether the fact that an illegality of a military coup which confronted an illegality of a budding civilian dictatorship cancels out the illegality? Is such double negatives enough to legitimize the coup and make it acceptable, since it could be argued that the Niger Republic military was only fighting in defense of the democracy in Niger Republic? The right question needing an immediate answer is, would the coup have taken place were it not for the greed and attempted power-grab of former President Tandja, who embarked on an illegality of making himself a life president like the rest of other African despicable 'perpetual' leaders including Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Moummar Ghaddafi? So, the middle of the road solution to Niamey's political limbo would be for the military to leave together with former president Tandja; and allow the speaker of the House of Representative or the Chief Justice to be sworn in as interim president, with express mandate to conduct a fresh election within a reasonable short time. Former President Mamadou Tandja should in addition to his removal from office be banned from politics for life, for attempting to hijack democracy and destroy Niger Republic. The former government in Niger Republic without President Mamadou Tandja, should be restored immediately; and the Squadron Leader Salou Djibo led Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy commended for their patriotic duties but asked to return to the barracks forthwith. Elections can be conducted within the next six months by an interim government in order to allow democracy to continue to flourish; but any attempt to tolerate the coupists no matter for how short a period of time will spell doom for democracy in ECOWAS West Africa countries, as it will encourage other waiting-in-the-wing adventurists in other countries to follow suit. The message to the Niger Republic military adventurists should be thanks, but no, thanks! Olusegun Obasanjo bravely once stopped a military coup in Fernadapoo and Principe when he escorted their deposed president back to the country and restored his government. So Jonathan, now is the time to prove that you are a good student of Obasanjo's political bravado? Regrettably, those soldiers in Niger Republic did not learn any lesson from their Nigerian counterparts on how to patiently wait out the political establishment, to resolve whatever "tense political situation" that existed, which they created? At least they had a president who is well and functioning, but Nigeria's own president abandoned his office for over 78 days without any formal notice of his whereabout, yet the rebranded and now well disciplined Nigerian military waited patiently until the politicians resolved to empower the vice president as Acting President; thereby taking out the fire from the furnace of an over-heated polity. On a hindsight, Icheoku says, may be the military in Niger would have killed President Mamadou Tandja for his inordinate ambition to truncate democracy arbitrarily, instead of capturing him and impliedly allowing him another shot at someday in the future of screwing up democracy again in Niger. Just finish the animal off and send a strong message that such clever-by-half elongation of office as Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo once contemplated with his third term bid, will be resisted and punished drastically. Finally, as the world awaits the responsive action of ECOWAS to the development in Niamey, Icheoku asks, when the newly constituted Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy will restore democracy in Niger? If not, will Acting President Jonathan Ebele Goodluck of Nigeria going to put his word where his mouth is by denying the military adventures the bounties of their coup or just chicken out on grounds that Niger is a suspended member of ECOWAS and therefore cannot benefit from his new mantra? Just let us know Mister ECOWAS chairman whether you are going to invade Niger to restore democracy there or ginger sanction or whatever you intend to do; but remember that your address at ECOWAS 37th Summit is seating in judgment of you at this time.