Nigerian military unveils new plan to retain power

AN INDEFINITE extension of military rule and the installation of a hand-picked civilian interim government are the key elements of President Ibrahim Babangida's plan to deal with Nigeria's worst political crisis in a decade.

Human rights groups rejected the move. One top official of the Campaign for Democracy, Olisa Abgakoba, called yesterday for non-violent protests and urged Western governments to consider wide-ranging sanctions, including a boycott on Nigerian oil, to pressurise the military regime to hand over power to Chief Moshood Abiola, winner of the aborted 12 June presidential elections.

Gen Babangida announced the interim government proposal on Saturday after meeting officials of Nigeria's two-army backed parties, the National Republican Convention (NRC) and the Social Democrats (SDP), whose presidential candidate was Chief Abiola.

The military's proposal to hold fresh elections on 14 August was untenable, Mr Abgakoba said.

The composition of the new administration and its tenure are to be decided by a committee headed by Vice-President Augustus Aikhomu and comprising officials of the two parties and senior military and security officers, including the intelligence chief, Brig-Gen Halilu Akilu, the National Security Adviser, Lt-Gen Aliyu Mohammed, and Brig John Shagaya, commander of the 1st Mechanised Division in Kaduna.

The plan would effectively replace the largely powerless seven-month-old civilian 'transition council' with the new interim government on 27 August, the date the military had promised to hand over power to an elected civilian administration. The interim government's brief would be to oversee local elections in December and later a new round of presidential polls. Real power would remain with the ruling National Defence and Security Council (NDSC).

'We should . . . see the interim government as a consensus arrangement for concluding the transitional agenda of this administration, which was disrupted by the imperative need to nullify the 12 June presidential elections,' Gen Babangida said. 'The option of an interim national government should be seen for what it is. It is an interim measure and must to that extent be seen as part of the overall conception of the transitional agenda of this administration.'

Chief Abiola had previously rejected an interim government, claiming that it would 'be a hostage to the military establishment'. A faction of his SDP headed by General Shehu Musa Yar'Adua, the former chief of staff, has supported the interim government plan.

Human rights groups described the move as evidence that Gen Babangida was carrying out a 'hidden agenda' to retain military rule.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?