COUP D’ÉTAT: Coup d’état is the forceful takeover of government by the military. After overthrowing the legitimate government, the constitution will be suspended, the parliament will be dissolved and decree will be introduced to replace the constitution.
GENERAL CAUSES OF MILITARY INTERVENTION
i) Break down of laws and orders.
ii) Election malpractices by electoral commission officials.
iii) Declaration of unpopular candidates as winners of elections.
iv) Inordinate ambition of the military boys.
v) Chaos and socio-political unrest in the country.
vi) Invitation of the military by the politicians.
vii) Corruption on the path of the politicians.
viii) Weak political leadership.
ix) Political crises resulting from bitterness among politicians and regional governments.
x) Mutiny among the soldiers.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MILITARY REGIME
i) Preservation of the unity of the country.
ii) Creation of additional states.
iii) Raising the standard of living of Nigerians.
iv) Provision of infrastructural facilities.
v) Establishments of tertiary institutions.
vi) Massive reform of local government system to attain the status of third-tier government.
vii) Creation of new constitution.
viii) Introduction of Universal Primary Education.
ix) Return of power to the civilians.
x) Efficiency and probity in public service.
EVENTS DURING THE FIRST MILITARY REGIME (January – July, 1966)
i) The Supreme commander was the Head of State in person of Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi Ironsi.
ii) There were Supreme Military Council and Federal Executive Council. The military governors of the regions were members of the Supreme Military Council.
ii) Unitary System of government
EVENTS DURING THE SECOND MILITARY REGIME (July 1966 – July 1975)
i) The government was presided by General Yakubu Gowon.
ii) Federal system of government.
iii) Creation of twelve states in May, 1967.
iv) Attempt by the Eastern region to secede.
v) The death of Major General Ironsi.
vi) Mass killings of Igbos in the North.
vii) Civil war was waged between July, 1967 and January, 1970.
viii) The Supreme Military Council (SMC) consisted of the Head of State, Military Governors, Ministers of Justice and Attorney-General, Secretary of the Federal Military Government and Head, Federal Civil Service.
ix) National Executive Council comprised the Head of State and Ministers.
x) Fusion of the legislative and executive function.
EVENTS DURING THE THIRD MILITARY REGIME (JULY, 1975 – OCTOBER 1979)
i) The leader of the government was General Murtala Muhammed but was succeeded by General Olusegun Obasanjo.
ii) It promised to return power to the civilians.
iii) Creation of nineteen states.
iv) Provision of a new constitution.
v) The exclusion of state Military Governors from membership of the Supreme Military Council (SMC).
vi) The Military Governors were placed under the supervision of Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarter (Deputy Head of State)
vii) Gradual return of government to civilians in October, 1979.
EVENTS OF THE FOURTH MILITARY REGIME (DECEMBER 1983 – AUGUST 1985)
i) Establishment of the Supreme Military Council.
ii) National Council of States which co-ordinated law making and implementation throughout the federation.
iii) Introduction of War Against Indiscipline (WAI).
iv) Retrenchment of the Public Work Force.
v) Repayment and servicing of the country’s foreign debt.
vi) Violation of human rights and press freedom.
vii) Detention of many politicians and social critics.
EVENTS DURING BABANGIDA ERA (AUGUST 1985 – AUGUST 1993)
i) The military regime was headed by President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
ii) Introduction of the Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) as the highest law-making body.
iii) Introduction of the office of Chief of General Staff which was political in nature.
iv) The promise to return government to the civilians in October, 1992 turned out to be a ruse.
v) Corruption was unlimited.
vi) Introduction of new breed of politicians.
vii) Formation of two government, created political parties – Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC).
viii) Introduction of policies of economic reconstruction and self-reliance.
ix) Formulation of new constitution (1989 constitution).
x) Nigeria took a loan from International Monetary Fund (IMF).