- Tips Pa Ayo Adebanjo to Lead Coalition…
- First Meeting Scheduled to Hold in Lagos…
By The New Diplomat Political Intelligence Desk
Following nation-wide concerns over series of events including recent coup scare first raised by Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, and the discovery of imported ammunitions of various designs and quantities allegedly imported into the country through Apapa Ports from Turkey as well as President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical trips to the United Kingdom(UK), the South West geo-political zone (Yoruba nation) may have commenced underground political consultations with the aim of reportedly reviving and revving up the structures of one time pro-democracy platform, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).
The New Diplomat checks revealed that the need to revive NADECO on the part of the Yoruba nation stems from fears raised by Army Chief, General Buratai to the effect that some politicians have been approaching soldiers with the intent of dabbling into the democratic political process in the country. It was gathered that following these fears, some key political actors in the South-West had approached Octogenarian leader of the Pan-Yoruba Organization, Afenifere, and one of the pillars of NADECO which waged relentless war against the regime of late Gen. Sanni Abacha over the ill-conceived annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential elections evidently won by late business Mogul, (MKO Abiola), Chief Ayo Adebanjo to lead the latest initiative aimed at keeping the military in the barracks.
It would be recalled that Chief Ayo Adebanjo, one of the original Awoists and founding fathers of modern Nigeria who fought for the nation’s independence has remained consistent in his political values for democracy, rule of law, freedom of expression, amongst others. During the Abacha regime, Pa Adebanjo, had fought together with the likes of NADECO leaders such as late Chief Anthony Enahoro, first Republic nationalist who moved the motion for Nigeria’s independence on the floor of parliament in 1953, late Senator Abraham Adesanya, late Papa Alfred Rewane, Chief C.O.Adebayo, Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, Gen Alani Akinrinade, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, former Civilian Governor of Anambra State and Harvard University educated Economist, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, then Chairman of North/South Bank, among others. Others in the vanguard of the struggle included Senator Bola Tinubu, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Labaran Maku, Gen Adeyinka Adebayo, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, amongst others.
Sources hinted that the choice of Pa Adebanjo to lead the group from the South-West is based on his high-level integrity and his respect and acceptability across the various political tendencies in Yoruba nation. ‘’He is seen as the original grand old-man of the nationalist, movement still standing from Yoruba nation and we want him to lead so that we can reach out to all the other zones in the country through a contact committee that would be set up as soon as we hold our first meeting. The idea is to nip in the bud the coup scare because with the latest information released by the Chief of Army Staff, we can’t wait to be taken for a ride again in this country’’, said the source.
The New Diplomat gathered that to this effect, a preliminary and exploratory meeting is already being scheduled to hold in Lagos next week. Though details of the meeting are still sketchy, it was learnt that it would be attended first by select political actors from the South West who are genuinely concerned about the future of democracy in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Buratai had warned Officers of the Nigerian Army to stay away from politics and maintain their constitutional role. In a Statement signed by Army Spokesman, Brig-General Sani Usman, the Army Chief had warned; ‘’This is to inform the Public that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General TY Buratai has received information that some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons. On the basis of that he has warned such persons to desist from these acts…’’
In a related development, the Nigerian Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command had intercepted on Tuesday a container full with 440 arms and ammunitions of various sizes and designs. Speaking with shock and disbelief during the seizure, the Zonal Commander of Tin Can Island Command, Monday Abue, who represented C-G Col Hameed Ali (Rtd) disclosed that the cargo was shipped from Turkey, stressing that the arrest of the container was effected following intelligence reports received by the Commanding authorities. Similar seizure had equally taken place in Lagos earlier in the year when 661 pump action rifles were seized by the NCS Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja along Mile 2-Apapa Road. All these developments may have created some level of political tension.