Lagos@50: We’ll Resist Any Coup Attempt, Tinubu Vows, As Gov. Ambode Hails Lawmakers
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday warned that any coup d’etat in Nigeria would be vehemently resisted, and called on members of the military not to attempt one.
The call followed a recent statement by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, that some military officers were hobnobbing with politicians ostensibly to overthrow the democratically-elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at a special parliamentary session organized by the Lagos State House of Assembly to mark the Lagos@50 celebrations and the second anniversary of the 8th Assembly, Tinubu advised those behind any attempt to truncate the democracy which Nigerians fought hard for to abandon such an idea in their best interest.
In a statement distributed by Chief Press Secretary to the the Lagos State Governor, Habib Aruna, the former Governor of Lagos State described Nigerian democracy as the “precious thing” Nigerians have, despite its imperfection.
“We must sweat hard yet think wisely if we are to keep it,” he said. “There will always be some people who want to undermine democracy. These people gain more from the government in the dark.”
Referring specifically to the warning that some people were trying to entice the military out of the barracks, he said, “Those who think they can break the democracy so many of us labored and for which too many people died, sacrificed their lives, they are surely mistaken.
“Nigeria has come too far for such a thing to happen. Those people behind such an idea will find no fertile ground to plant their seed in Lagos. We will not buy their bad product; whatever they want to sell is a bad product and we are going to reject it. We tell them, move away from here because Lagos State will resist it, Lagos State is saying move away from it, don’t think about it, we are all staying together to grow our democracy.”
Of the Lagos@50 celebrations, Tinubu said the achievements of the last five decades called for celebration, but that that it was important to emphasize the need to create more opportunities for the people.
“We also have realized that we need to do more in order to create more opportunities, better education, improved housing and more jobs for many of our people so that all can witness the full blossom of growth and prosperity,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said Lagos has, since its creation, been a shining example and critical hub of socio-economic and political development, adding that the harmonious relationship between the three arms of government in Nigeria which is reflected in the governance model of Lagos State promoted the interest and welfare of the people.
“Today, we are celebrating the contributions of the Lagos State House of Assembly, particularly the 8th Assembly in the last two years, to the true principles of democratic governance through passage of bills that advance the principle of governance and promotion of social welfare of the people within the ambits of the Law.
“It is on record that military incursion into governance has always made the legislature its first victim by suspending the constitution with all powers against the wishes of our people. Therefore, the Legislature can be said to be the most exposed in governance model in the current democratic dispensation, if we have to give its true meaning and relevance in a representative government,” he said.
Governor Ambode added that in spite of this checkered history, the 1st to 8th Assemblies of the Lagos State House of Assembly have been the benchmark for assessing legislative business in governance of the Nigerian State, stressing that the 8th Assembly in particular has been highly responsive and innovative in fulfilling its constitutional obligations and meeting the aspirations of our people for the dividends of democracy.
“Over the years, the legislative arm of government in Lagos State has been a shining beacon of democratic independence and responsiveness,” he said. “It has never shirked its assigned role or responsibility even in the face of provocation. It has continuously engaged the electorate in the process of making laws through interactive engagements and contributions to the making of Laws.”
The governor said that the synergy between the three arms of government, particularly the Executive and Legislature has become the benchmark of the democratic process in Nigeria, adding that as Lagos celebrates its Golden Jubilee, it has laid the building blocks for the next 50 years.
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode with APC leader Bola Tinubu at the Lagos@50 celebrations
Sahara Reporters, New York