Nigeria

HISTORY: BUHARI’S FIRST SPEECH AFTER THE MILITARY COUP OF 31ST DECEMBER 1983

In pursuance of the primary objective of saving our great nation from total collapse, I, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari of the Nigerian army have, after due consultation amongst the services of the armed forces, been formally invested with the authority of the Head of the Federal Military Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is with humility and a deep sense of responsibility that I accept this challenge and call to national duty.

As you must have heard in the previous announcement, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1979) has been suspended, except those sections of it which are exempted in the constitution. The change became necessary in order to put an end to the serious economic predicament and the crisis of confidence now afflicting our nation. Consequently, the Nigerian armed forces have constituted themselves into a Federal Military Government comprising of a Supreme Military Council, a National Council of States, a Federal Executive Council at the centre and State Executive Councils to be presided over by military governors in each of the states of the federation. Members of these councils will be announced soon. The last Federal Military Government drew up a programme with the aim of handing over political power to the civilians in 1979. This programme as you all know, was implemented to the letter. The 1979 constitution was promulgated.
However, little did the military realise that the political leadership of the second republic will circumvent most of the checks and balances in the constitution and bring the present state of general insecurity. The premium on political power became so exceedingly high that political contestants regarded victory at elections as a matter of life and death struggle and were determined to capture or retain power by all means. It is true that there is a worldwide economic recession.

However, in the case of Nigeria, its impact was aggravated by mismanagement. We believe the appropriate government agencies have good advice but the leadership disregarded their advice. The situation could have been avoided if the legislators were alive to their constitutional responsibilities; Instead, the legislators were preoccupied with determining their salary scales, fringe benefit and unnecessary foreign travels, et al, which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented.

As a result of our inability to cultivate financial discipline and prudent management of the economy, we have come to depend largely on internal and external borrowing to execute government projects with attendant domestic pressure and soaring external debts, thus aggravating the propensity of the outgoing civilian administration to mismanaged our financial resources. Nigeria was already condemned perpetually with the twin problem of heavy budget deficits and weak balance of payments position, with the prospect of building a virile and viable economy.

The last general election was anything but free and fair. The only political parties that could complain of election rigging are those parties that lacked the resources to rig. There is ample evidence that rigging and thuggery were relative to the resources available to the parties. This conclusively proved to us that the parties have not developed confidence in the presidential system of government on which the nation invested so much material and human resources. While corruption and indiscipline have been associated with our state of under-development, these two evils in our body politics have attained unprecedented height in the past few years. The corrupt, inept and insensitive leadership in the last four years has been the source of immorality and impropriety in our society.

Since what happens in any society is largely a reflection of the leadership of that society, we deplore corruption in all its facets. This government will not tolerate kick-backs, inflation of contracts and over-invoicing of imports etc. Nor will it condone forgery, fraud, embezzlement, misuse and abuse of office and illegal dealings in foreign exchange and smuggling. Arson has been used to cover up fraudulent acts in public institutions. I am referring to the fire incidents that gutted the P&T buildings in Lagos, the Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation, the Republic Building at Marina, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Capital Development Authority Accounts at Abuja and the NET Building. Most of these fire incidents occurred at a time when Nigerians were being apprehensive of the frequency of fraud scandals and the government incapacity to deal with them. Corruption has become so pervasive and intractable that a whole ministry has been created to stem it.

Fellow Nigerians, this indeed is the moment of truth. My colleagues and I – the Supreme Military Council, must be frank enough to acknowledge the fact that at the moment, an accurate picture of the financial position is yet to be determined. We have no doubt that the situation is bad enough. In spite of all this, every effort will be made to ensure that the difficult and degrading conditions under which we are living are eliminated. Let no one however be deceived that workers who have not received their salaries in the past eight or so months will receive such salaries within today or tomorrow or that hospitals which have been without drugs for months will be provided with enough immediately. We are determined that with the help of God we shall do our best to settle genuine payments to which government is committed, including backlog of workers’ salaries after scrutiny.

We are confident and we assure you that even in the face of the global recession, and the seemingly gloomy financial future, given prudent management of Nigeria’s existing financial resources and our determination to substantially reduce and eventually nail down rises in budgetary deficits and weak balance of payments position. The Federal Military Government will reappraise policies with a view to paying greater attention to the following areas: The economy will be given a new impetus and better sense of direction. Corrupt officials and their agents will be brought to book.

In view of the drought that affected most parts of the country, the federal government will, with the available resources, import food stuffs to supplement the shortfalls suffered in the last harvest. Our foreign policy will both be dynamic and realistic. Africa will of course continue to be the centre piece of our foreign policy. The morale and combat readiness of the armed forces will be given high priority. Officers and men with high personal and professional integrity will have nothing to fear.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria and all other holders of judiciary appointments within the federation can continue in their appointments and the judiciary shall continue to function under existing laws subject to such exceptions as may be decreed from time to time by the Federal Military Government. All holders of appointments in the civil service, the police and the National Security Organisation shall continue to exercise their functions in the normal way subject to changes that may be introduced by the Federal Military Government.

All those chairmen and members of statutory corporations, parastatals and other executive departments are hereby relieved of their appointments with immediate effect.

The Federal Military Government will maintain and strengthen existing diplomatic relations with other states and with international organisations and institutions such as the Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations and its organs, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, ECOWAS and the Commonwealth etc. The Federal Military Government will honour and respect all treaties and obligations entered into by the previous government and we hope that such nations and bodies will reciprocate this gesture by respecting our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Fellow Nigerians, finally, we have dutifully intervened to save this nation from imminent collapse. We therefore expect all Nigerians, including those who participated directly or indirectly in bringing the nation to this present predicament, to cooperate with us. This generation of Nigerians, and indeed future generations, have no country other than Nigeria. We shall remain here and salvage it together.May God bless us all. Good morning.

Posted on: Yomzie’s Blog.

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50 thoughts on “HISTORY: BUHARI’S FIRST SPEECH AFTER THE MILITARY COUP OF 31ST DECEMBER 1983

  1. I just wish nd pray Almighty Allah bring sm1 4rm d military lk buhari 2 also do d same bcs all what hapnd then is what we are witnessing 2day if not even worse.May GOD save Nigeria

  2. This is history repeating itself 28yrs after this historic speech Nig hasnt change The politicians havent changed corruption fraud embezlment massive stealing of state resources is at its peak Infact Nig is yet to rediscover itself than to make any meaningful progress

  3. the present predicament in nigeria is d exact replica of d contents of Gen. Buhari’s coup speech bt we need to strenghten our democracy now nt military intervention. Mat ALLAH SAVE US. AMEEN

  4. I was only 2 years old when This beautiful speech was delivered by the then military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari. Meanwhile, the present situation of Nigeria remains the same, it develops from bad to worse, and if care is not taken, it may soon come to worst. May Allah bring the same military like Buhari or Abacha to take over from this evils.

  5. The circumstances that warranted the intervention of the Military then, is here with us again. May God guide our leaders in the right direction. The country is indeed in pain @ the moment & yearning for urgent attention & solutions.

  6. I was 9 years old when this speech was read. This man is blessing to this nation. I miss his twin late Gen. Tunde Idiagbon. Unfortunatly Nigeirans were not; we were not ready during the last election, for change. By age 10, I was in form 1 and our teachers came to class promptly bcos u couldn’t dare court the wrath of then Military Governor Group Captain Olatinwo who would jump the fence to enter the school when ever he went round to inspect work commitment from civil servants. Teachers were sacked for not being at their duty post and not being able to give cogent reasons why. My grandfather came visiting us in Ilorin then and made the error of stopping to ease himself on the road. The recruit soldier who approached him spared him the whip bcos of his age but the he had to pay a fine of 50 Kobo and was promptly issued a reciept for it. Wow is all I can say.

  7. Indeed this speech is very much relevant with Nigeria present situation, and if care is not taking the military may take over. To me i prefer military regime to this civillian govt where anybody who have access to govt purse are doing so with thinking of others.

  8. I think the situation is similar or even worse than what led to the military take over. Democracy has taken us to a state of disrepair, while it uplifts other countries. Who’s gonna save us this time?

  9. i still don’t understand why a Nigerian (any human being for that matter) will think military takeover will be okay at this point. so, after d above ‘beautifully delivered historic speech’, what happened? did d army make this country better? did they stop corruption? did they give us good governance? d worst democracy is better than d best military govt. ( it’s even a misnomer to call it a system of govt). what we should do is to make our democracy work especially through our revolutionary votes, make our leaders accountable and make sure they don’t rest until they give us d nation of our dreams. may God help us.

    1. This beutiful speech was not allowed to be implemented due to interruption. Had it been opportunity was given for upto 4 years Nigeria would have been much better than any african countries. However looking at the present military it will be very difficult to get that combination Tunde and Buhari, but if we can people like them it will certainly reposition the country into a better society.

    2. The regime of General Buhari was truncated by IBB and his boys through the sponsorship of Late M.K.O Abiola.

      What is fundamental about Buhari is that; he is a man in whom there is no corruption. If you hear any Nigerian or International person writing against Buhari, it is because their works are evil and they dont want their deeds reveal by Buhari.

  10. Those were words from a courageous, commited & upright leader. How I wish we have some1 like him @ d helms @ this critical time. May God bless Buhari & help Nigeria.

  11. Where is Buhari? Why do we have people like Buhari for decades and our contry is going down and doomed to oblivion? May God open the eyes of Nigerians to discover Buhari and the likes, but god fathers will never allow him bcos they know he will never leave past corrupt leaders unpunished. Nigerians let us rise to this call.

    1. An honest man dont have many friends. Whether they allow General Buhari or not, while am alive or in death, my supports are for General Buhari.

      There are three ways to solve our problems;

      1. Intense Revolution
      2. A sincere Military intervention that this present corruption is so disgusting to them like General Buhari and Idiagbon period
      3. True Technocrats with focus intentions and best management practices. Making the work of Executives, Legislative and Judiciary a voluntary positions with just stipends for their expenses with a cap.

  12. I most admit that this is a mind blowing speech and represents the very problem our dear country is facing @ the moment. Perhaps, it would have been different if only General Buhari was given enough time to address the problems facing this nation before the aggravating state it has become now. May Allah save this country……..

  13. Gen M Buhari’s prediction of those years are 2days reality and it will continue till 2mor except God’s intervention.Though military take over is not the best for now.God is what we need.

    1. This country need devine intervention, we should fast and pray for almighty Allah to take care of those responsible for this situation of Nigeria today so that we will make a progress.

  14. Infact we mis people like him in d military, he was never a political officer he was a complete jungle man.this what nigerians were expecty during fuel subsidy crisis n even now

  15. I am glad wit all the possitive comments from the different tribes and religions. Its unfortunate tht Buhari was serious blackmail politically, for his high principle, boldness and courageousness. Cos surely d past corrupt leaders knw they gonna face their blunders by the law. While they scared of him he remain the pride of d teeming masses of this great nation.

  16. Whatever Buhari’s opponents may have against him, one thing is certain Buhari is a nationalist and he is devoutly Nigerian. Unfortunately, the politics of come amd chop has reduced Nigeria to a smouldering ruin and the poor people are still without a genuine leader who sincerely loves their progress.

  17. Sorry this post is so long!

    Firstly, I don’t see anything wonderful or historically nostalgic about this speech. As a finance expert, I find the speeach full of evidence of a shallow understanding of economics and policy. I therefore don’t understand the gushing outpouring of praise on the speech delivered by a Military govt that turned out to be one of the most surpressive, with the possible exception of Abacha’s regime. Peoples rights were trampled upon with impunity and freedom of speech was murdered.

    Please don’t get me wrong. I also share the idea that this particular regime was sincere about curing the ills of society at the time. They fought corruption with sincerity and over the years, their integrity remains intact. Infact, I make bold to say that I voted Buhari at the last elections and this was based ENTIRELY on my belief that corruption is the biggest problem we have today. Put someone at the helm who has the will to fight it and we stand a chance of resolving most other problems we have, even if that person doesn’t have outstanding credentials on erudition or competence in economic management. Chances are his sincerity would drive him to appoint good advisers and he will thus make good choices.

    So, my comments are not ‘antiBuhari’ in nature. I voted for him! Having cleared that however, let me state very clearly: MILITARY INTERVENTION CANNOT BE THE ANSWER!!!! The military are fighters, not politicians. They cannot do both well. Put a soldier in Aso Rock again and we will witness a more cataclysmic collapse of our economy and of the gains of the last 13 years. The loss of a mans freedom is in many respects worse than loss of his very life. I found this article through someone I follow on twitter. OccupyNigeria protests brought so many gains in the polity. It was driven by twitter, facebook, BBM and other social media channels. A military government would not have allowed all of that. The horrors and deaths suffered under various military regimes are better imagined!

    I want to enjoin us to be careful in expressing our very understandable and commonly shared frustrations. Let us consider the implications of our utterances carefully. As Kunle said in an earlier post above, the worst democracy is better than the military. Wishing for military intervention is a lazy way out of our problems. The real solution lies in us exercising our votes based on merit of contestants and not their religion or ethinicity. Its putting our current polithieves to task by making demands on them like we did with #OccupyNigeria. Its by advocacy, activism, formal lobbying, etc. We are the ones that will save Nigeria, not a gun totting trained killer!

    May God bless Nigeria and give her people the will to do what is needed!

  18. Good speech, similar to OBAMA inaugural speech
    But don’t forget planning a coup in itself is a crime against d people of FRN – I believe the military if sincere can call for good governance without living the barracks. Code word “Sincere”.

  19. Why military should not intervene now to save this country from total collapse. 100% causes of military intervention is dwelling in the country

  20. I wasn’t even born when this speech was read! But we are still facing the same problem! Does anything change in this country? Some of the corrupt officials that were usurped by Buhari are still in power today!

  21. hmm,sincerely refreshing.could buhari be a prophet?what he said some 20 something yrs ago is still pervasive in our world.how i wish Nigerians ll c the truth in this man and give him a chance democratically 2 c what he can do.oh Allah com 2 our rescue.

  22. Appearance of the truth is with light and enviable salvation. Indeed, there is a sense of dutifulness in Buhari’s speech. The indiscipline, the arson, the corruption, the embezzlement, the loans, the abuse of office, the fraud, the thuggery, the incapabilty to punish the offenders, were indications that the coup de’etat was needed and welcoming, not to talk of other currupt practices. I would have said we need this former military head of states had it not been we will not find him the same man he was in during his regime as a man with iron fist. But all the same, need people such as him presently.

  23. Appearance of the truth is with light and enviable salvation. Indeed, there is a sense of dutifulness in Buhari’s speech. The indiscipline, the arson, the corruption, the embezzlement, the loans, the abuse of office, the fraud, the thuggery, the incapabilty to punish the offenders, were indications that the coup de’etat was needed and welcoming, not to talk of other currupt practices. I would have said we need this former military head of states had it not been we will not find him the same man he was in during his regime as a man with iron fist. But all the same, we need people such as him presently.

  24. OH NIGERIA, OH NIGERIA, WHY HAS NATURE GRANTED YOU THE ODD BLESSINGS OF HAVING RAPISTS AS YOUR OFFSPRINGS? SAME DESCENDANTS DESCENDANTS OF YOUR POLITICAL RAPISTS OF OLD PLAYING OUT A SCRIPT THEIR FATHERS WROTE TO PLUNDER AND RAPE OUR FATHERLAND. GOD SAVE US.

  25. Oh Nigeria! I weep for thee!!! Buhari took over cos of the rot and Corruption that took over Shagari’s govt. Same tin is happening now!!!! The corruption stinks! Pple have resorted to selling Human parts to make a living……SMH! Nigeria is on the brink of collapse…..things have actually fallen apart…… The centre cannot hold, the elected can’t hear the cries and hues of the electorates……..

    1. Firstly, may God bless General Buhari.

      This speech can be read today without even changing as little as a single word. It holds true to the very last dot.

      If you can not see the sincerity of this man via this speech, then you have just added to the number of obstacles that need to be surmounted to making headway for a better country.

      May God help us!

  26. Good speech!……. if he was the chairman of EFCC. I think he should be made the chairman of EFCC or ICPC unaswerable to no one. But, President No! Most times, those that think they are the Messiah are not.

  27. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the ultimate section 🙂 I take care of such information a lot.
    I was looking for this certain information for a very long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  28. Oh my God! Tears! Tears!! Tears!!!, i cry for my dear country, few vagabonds in power are mismanaging the resources of 200m people, now that the predicamentis back and worse where is our way out. My God intervene and help the nigerian messia buhari. So! He is just and naturally gooooooood.

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