From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the coup attempt in Turkey by a group of rebel army officers and men, which resulted in the death of many people.
The president, who said he was saddened by the event, congratulated President Tayyip Erdogan for thwarting the coup attempt.
Buhari praised the courage and immediate response of ordinary citizens of Turkey who defied guns and tanks and forced the rebel soldiers to abandon their mad quest for power.
President Buhari, who called on the President of Turkey to pursue reconciliation, according to a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, offered Nigeria’s support to the government and people of Turkey in their trying times.
He also called on all to resist the destabilisation of democratic countries through coups d’état in the 21st century.
“The removal of a democratic government by force is no longer acceptable. Violence can never solve any problem, but only complicates them and sets back the progress of democratic societies.
“Democracy provides peaceful options of changing governments through the ballot box. The ballot box doesn’t require violence to remove any government perceived to have lost its popularity and public support. Despite its limitations, democracy is still better and more durable than a violent change of government.”
Similarly, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) condemned the foiled coup and described military putsch as old-fashioned everywhere in the world.
A section of the Turkish armed forces calling itself “Peace at Home Movement,” last Friday attempted a change of government that claimed over 265 lives (including 161 government forces and civilians) and substantial collateral damage.
The officers cited the need to “reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedom, the rule of law and general security that was damaged” as reason for the putsch.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, NLC said “we are, therefore, one with the Turkish Prime Minister, Binaldi Yildrim, when he said, “the government elected by the people remains in charge…the government will only go when the people say so”.