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A Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has warned politicians against any conduct or utterances that could lead to the return of the military to politics.
The group, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said it was compelled to issue the warning to the political class and their military associates on the dangers of resorting to the military option to resolve the political crisis in the country.
"We are issuing this warning as we can no longer ignore the rumor that has been very thick in the air that some forces who want to abort the proposed national conference are scheming to exploit the challenges of our democracy to cause an unconstitutional change in the polity," Odumakin stated.
The warning also came against the backdrop of a letter which former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote President Goodluck Jonathan on December 2 in which he accused him of sundry misdeeds, including encouraging corruption, promoting ethno-religious division in the country and persecution of political opponents.
Drawing an inference from a similar letter written to the late former Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed in 1976, Afenifere said: "All citizens of our country with a sense of history would have been able to draw a parallel between General Obasanjo's December 2 letter to President Goodluck Jonathan and a document circulated in January, 1976 entitled "Facts to know about Murtala – a warning to the nation.
"General Muhammed was assassinated a month afterwards. Interestingly, General Obasanjo was prominent among those copied with the document.
"Also, in the days preceding the coup against the Alhaji Shehu Shagari government in 1983, General Obasanjo was very loud in criticising the government. Thirty years after that act of treason, Mr. Max Suollin in 'Soldiers of Fortune' has rightly captured what was happening as "coup baiting" with generous quotation of IBB's (General Ibrahim Babangida) confessions that those who staged the 1983 coup actually asked Obasanjo to come and lead the government, a request he turned down, while encouraging the putsch."
Odumakin quoted from the book, a question asked Babangida that “It was also said that those of you who ousted Shagari actually wanted to bring back General Obasanjo as head of state in 1984. Is this true?”
According to him, Babangida replied, saying: “It is true. But to be very fair to General Obasanjo, he rejected the offer. He said no. He said it would destroy his integrity that he handed over to Shagari and that it is not right for him to get involved. But he (Obasanjo) said he was not stopping us from going ahead with the plot.”
Describing Obasanjo's letters as "infamous", the group also noted that he issued another in the series of his letters against Babaginda military regime in 1992, and that "the evil genius quickly ran from Abuja to Ota and followed up with reshuffles in the military high commands.
"The same IBB is the first person Obasanjo copied his letter. This is why we in Afenifere are not impressed with the sinister letter from the ever-manipulative and evil agenda setting general who has never shown any pure motive since he started his interventions in our national affairs," it added.
Afenifere said it would simply amount to foolhardiness or a lack of any sense of history for politicians to be enabling the generals whom it said "have not been known to act in the collective interest in their infamous careers."