Monday, August 11, 2014

Nigerians Have Never Known 10 Years of Peace Since Independence Day

Photo Credit: Nigeia's heads of state and presidents since 1960 to 2014.SUFIANIMAFOTO

Do you know that Nigerians have never known ten years of peace since the independence of Nigeria from British colonial rule on October 1, 1960.

Six years after independence, there was the first coup in January 1966 led by politically naive young Igbo soldiers under Majors Emmanuel Ifeajuna and Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, followed by the counter-coup of 1966 by Northern military officers and the genocide of the Igbos in the north. The genocide precipitated Nigeria into a bloody civil war between the Igbo nation of Biafra led by Lt Colonel Emeka Ojukwu and the rest of Federal Republic of Nigeria led by Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon.

The Biafran-Nigerian civil war from 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970 caused the deaths of over 100, 000 soldiers on both warring sides and over two million civilian casualties.

Fiver years after the war, another coup on 29 July 1975, led by Brigadier-General Murtala Mohammed disrupted the peace in Nigeria and followed by a counter coup on February 13, 1976 led by Lt. Col Buka Suka Dimka. Mohammed was assassinated in that aborted coup.

Then the new head of state Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo ruled from February 13, 1976 to October 1, 1979 when he handed over to Alhaji Shehu Shagari as the elected President of Nigeria. But in 1984, Major-Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon toppled the administration of Shagari in a military coup. Then on August 27, 1985, their military junta was overthrown by Gen.Ibrahim Babangida and other members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC). And Babangida became the longest military head of state of Nigeria until the June 12 crisis of 1993 caused his downfall and he was forced out of office on August 27, 1993. He handed over to the interim administration of Chief Ernest Shonekan. But after only three months, General Sani Abacha took over the government on November 17, 1993. He faced the June 12 crisis caused by the annulment of the June 12 presidential election won by Chief M. K. O. Abiola and later arrested and detained the political leader. Gen. Abacha ruled until he passed on mysteriously on June 8, 1998, followed by the equally mysterious death of Chief Abiola on July 7, 1998.

General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar (rtd.) took over power as President of Nigeria from June 9, 1998 until May 29, 1999 when he handed over to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo after a successful presidential election he won as the presidential candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). And since May 29, 1999 to date, the crises plaguing Nigerians have increased and worsened with more political assassinations than all the previous governments since independence and also the worst political riots with the emergence of the terrifying Boko Haram insurgency and rampaging Hausa Fulani herdsmen attacking and killing over 5,000 people so far, including police and military officers. From former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (16 August 1951 – 5 May 2010) and to his successor President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Nigerians have been living with nightmares that many of them think they are in the biblical Tribulation and the PDP government has failed to give them the assurance of good governance and peace. And only God can save them since their government has failed them.

Nigerians need new leaders who will be nation builders and not title chasers.

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