Friday, April 02, 2004

Coup Foiled in Nigeria?

The bastards! I'm not at all surprised to see them described as "Hausa-speaking" and "muslim" - these idiots want their feudal lifestyle shoved down everyone else's throats, whatever the price.

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Authorities were investigating Nigerian army commanders Friday in connection with "serious security breaches" that some officers have privately characterized as a plot to overthrow President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Obasanjo spokeswoman Remi Oyo declined to say whether the alleged offenses constituted a coup plot, saying there is "no danger whatsoever; this president is firmly in charge."

"It is true that the intelligence community is investigating allegations of what appears to be serious breaches of security on the part of some officers and apparent civilian collaborators," Oyo told The Associated Press. She refused to elaborate.

"The truth of the matter is they remain allegations until proven," Oyo said.

Three military officers privately told The Associated Press that army intelligence officials had interrogated 28 mid-ranking army officers in connection with an alleged army plot to topple Obasanjo, whose 1999 election ended 15 years of military rule in Africa's most populous nation.

The officers were questioned Monday at the nation's military intelligence headquarters in the capital of Abuja, the three officers said. The officers, who included one of the 28 who had been interrogated, spoke on condition their names not be used.

After the questioning, officials released the suspects -- many of them Hausa-speaking, Muslim army colonels and majors from the north -- but impounded their cellphones, apparently to investigate call records, the men said.

Obasanjo, a southern Christian, has faced stiff opposition from northern Muslims who have long dominated Nigeria's military.

[............]

Army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Martin Agwai tried to stamp out the spread of what he called "dangerous" coup rumors.

"National security is so important that I don't to want to speculate," he told reporters. "I need time to consult with my officers ... It would be more dangerous if I'm the one encouraging rumors."

The Lagos daily Vanguard newspaper reported Thursday the suspected coup-plotters were believed to have sought the support of soldiers disgruntled over late or unpaid salaries as well as by "general insecurity, corruption" and alleged irregularities in recent elections.

Supporters were recruited "along religious, ethnic and geopolitical lines with intent to incite men under arms against the state," the paper said without citing sources.

Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha, the jailed former security chief to the late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha, was suspected by some officials of leading the alleged coup plot, officials privately told AP.

On Tuesday night, army officials hurriedly transferred Al-Mustapha -- who is being held on charges of murdering the wife of one of one of Abacha's chief opponents -- from a Lagos prison to a facility in the capital, Abuja. Residents heard hours of gunfire during the transfer.

Al-Mustapha's family claimed the inmate was shot in the leg during the transfer, an allegation vigorously denied by officials.

What a bunch of worthless bastards! I'm sick to death of Northern army officers with inflated ideas about their proper station in life plotting coups, under the banner of fighting "corruption." Who appointed these little shits as judge and jury over the political class anyway?

What irritates me the most about all this is that these worthless individuals are getting far better treatment than anything that they might have expected under a military regime: Obasanjo's spokesmen is still talking about "allegations until proven" where these mallams would simply have shot all the suspects out of hand straight away, were they the ones whose lives had been under threat. You'd think they'd now have a keener appreciation of how even a corrupt democratic regime is better than a military dictatorship, at least in some respects, though I find that prospect highly dubious.

I worry that a different and extremely pernicious lesson will be taken from the gentle handling these officers have been receiving thus far; my fear is that in the name of a false humanitarianism, these scum will merely be sentenced to a little jail time, leaving them the possibility of being sprung from prison later on, should yet another effort by some of their comrades succeed. No, if they're found guilty, I hope they get to face the firing squad.

Obasanjo's been discussing a drastic downsizing of the Nigerian armed forces for quite a while, and this latest incident indicates that its well past time he got round to seeing it through. Safely half of the entire army could be gotten rid of in my opinion, and it is precisely those "Hausa-speaking, muslim" officers who are most in need of cashiering; most of them are so lacking in aptitude for the soldierly duties they're supposedly being paid for that 99 percent of them wouldn't have gotten into the army to begin with, were there no regional quotas working in their favor.