Reasons for military intervention in Nigerian Politics: In this article, i will extensively discuss some of the reasons for military intervention in Nigeria’s politics. If you have been stuffing the internet for a detailed article on why the military intervened in Nigeria, this is the right article for you to read.
Many factors contributed to why the military intervened in Nigeria’s politics. Some of the reasons were even perpetuated by the Colonial Masters before leaving the country in 1960.
For example, there is no doubt that regionalism, which was introduced during the regime of Sir Arthur Richard, contributed greatly to the intervention of the military in Nigeria. It was apparently the major causative factor of military intervention in Nigeria.
Looking critically at the whole activities in the first and second military coup in Nigeria, you will see that it was actually a power tussle between the regions of Nigeria. This brought dictators and tyrants into the leadership of Nigeria. The human rights of many citizens were breached and the judiciary was unable to help because of the obnoxious decrees and edits passed by the military.
Without wasting much time, let’s quickly see more of the reasons for military intervention in Nigeria’s politics. Like i said before, this article does not contain all the reasons for military intervention in Nigeria. I will only mention some of the reasons and explain them extensively.
Major Reasons for military intervention in Nigerian Politics
Below are some of the reasons for military intervention in Nigerian politics:
- Politicization of the Army
- Lack of free and fair election
- Regional and tribal based political party
- Regional difference
- Political ambition of the military
Okay! Those are some of the reasons for military intervention in Nigeria. Well, i will not just mention the reasons like that. So, if you need more detailed information and explanation of the above reasons, join me as I will explain everything about why the military frequently intervened in Nigeria’s politics.
1. Politicization of the Army
One of the major reasons for military intervention in Nigeria’s politics was the politicization of the Army. Following the independence of Nigeria, almost all the regions in Nigeria seeked to take total control of the military so as to use it as weapon over other regions. The Nigerian army was seriously politicized to the extent that appointments and promotions were based on tribe and political sentiments rather than seniority and merit.
This largely contributed to the reasons why the military intervened in Nigeria after independence. Scholars attest that the military at that time was used by the leaders of the different region of Nigeria to profit themselves or their regions alone. This was basically why military intervention in Nigeria was frequently.
2. Lack of free and fair election
After Nigeria got independence in 1960 the political system of the country was so damaged that even a free and fair election could not be conducted. In the election that brought Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa as leaders of Nigeria, there was so much corruption and doubt about the result of the election.
Accordingly, it was probably impossible to say that Nigeria would ever have a free and fair election because of the bad political system at that time. This also made the military to intervane in Nigeria’s politics. The military came under the pretext that they were trying to correct the lacunas of the poor and corrupt polical system of Nigeria.
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3. Regional and tribal based political party
There is no doubt that the political parties in Nigeria after independence equally contributed to the reason why the military intervened in Nigeria’s politics.
Political parties after independence was soo tribalistic that only members of a particular tribe was allowed to join certain political parties. The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) was majorly for the East, Action Group (AG) was majorly for the west and the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was for the north. Each of these political parties was indirectly fighting for the interest of their personal tribes/regions.
Thus, the military saw this as a reason why they should take over power and correct the problem. Regional and tribal based political parties caused so many crisis and killings in the country. Political parties opposed themselves, seeking to take total control of the country.
4. Regional difference
Aside the points I have already mentioned, regional difference also contributed to the reasons why the military intervened in Nigeria. Apparently, the Ideology and world-view of the people in the regions of Nigeria was not similar. For instance, the major reason why Aguirosi was killed in office was because of his idea of a unitary system of government, which was not supported by some regions of the country.
It is triat that for the development of any country to be steady, the masses must be driven by one Ideology. But in the case of Nigeria, that was not so. All the regions had different Ideologies that would benefit them alone. So, the military took this as another reason why they should take over power from civilian government.
Apparently, corruption was also a major causative factor for the frequent military intervention in Nigeria. The military had to take over power because the rate of corruption in Nigeria was becoming unbearable. Nigeria was ranked the most corrupt country in Africa. Politicians became so corrupt and the economy of the country was mismanaged. The wealth of the country was spent recklessly and this encouraged incessant military coups in the country.
It should be noted that in spite of the several intervention of the military, corruption did not reduce in the country. The military didn’t actually wanted to stop corruption. They just want to take power into their hands.
6. Political ambition of the military
I must not forget to mention that the military also intervened in the politics of Nigeria solely because of their political ambition. After independence, the military had the urge to take-over power from civilians, because they thought that they should be the once to rule the country since they have the responsibility to defend the territorial integrity and other core interests of the nation.
In light of this, they had to look for other reasons to justify their act of taking over power by force. In my view, the political ambition of the military was the basic reason for military intervention in Nigeria. Other reason was just used as justification for taking over power forcefully.
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In conclusion, i must state the fact that, while all these are the reasons for the frequent military intervention in Nigeria, there is a need to attack them in order to make sure that the military does not come into power again. A military government is usually not a good government, and no matter how bad the civilian government is, it is not advisable to bring in the military.
They use force, coercion and threat to control the masses. Trust me; it is not a kind of government I can wish anyone to be under. In my view, we must learn to attack the reasons for military intervention in Nigeria’s politics because that is the only way the military will find it difficult to take over the government.
Take for instance, if regionalism and tribal difference will bring the military into power, then tolerating people from with different tribes will keep the military far from Nigeria’s politics.