Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When politicians are inconvenient, take away their power

When military leaders replace government officials it's usually called a coup (coup d'etat). What do we call it if the military leaders "suspend" some of the political officials? Can you explain why this would not be considered the rule of law?

Military Wants Three Govs Suspended
The Security Council Meeting scheduled for Wednesday would consider suspending the governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, with a view to imposing total emergency rule…

According to a top ranking officer in the military, the security chiefs had indicted some top politicians and elite in the Northeast, for sabotaging the ongoing operations against the insurgents and wanted the governors and Houses of Assembly in the affected states suspended while the operations lasted.

"The politicians and elite, including the governors in those states, are working against our programme; their unguarded utterances are daring the insurgents. They seem to have known the agenda of the insurgents and they are always ready to defend them. For example, whenever these criminals attack, killing innocent people, these politicians would blame us and whenever we are able to locate their hideouts and smoke them out, they would be out accusing us of killing innocent Nigerians. This is why some of us are of the opinion that suspending them while the emergency rule lasts is the best option," the officer said…

"These politicians are making our job difficult, you don't even know on whose side they are. But from all indications, they are not supporting our operations. One of the governors the other time said the insurgents were better armed than our troops. Just this weekend, I was reading the rubbish [Governor] Nyako was saying, accusing the military of being responsible for the killings being done by those criminals.

"I don't blame Governor Nyako for saying all that rubbish. If those governors had been suspended from office, as was the practice during the Obasanjo era; most of the problems we are facing in those states are coming from the governors there. They are contributing more to the problems we are facing."…

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