Reasons for Military Intervention in Politics

Factors Responsible for Military Intervention in Politics:


The military can intervene in the politics of any country, especially when there is growing dictatorship by the ruling party. The army can equally seize political power when the fundamental human rights are being neglected and ignored, which resulted from the abuse of the constitution by politicians.


Corruption is a canker worm plaguing deep into the fabric of our society. Many civilian leaders are corrupt to an extent of siphoning and embezzling of public funds, for their selfish aggrandizements.

This actions, therefore attracts the military which seizes power in an attempt to correct the mistakes of the civilian leaders. The army, on coming into power, tries the former civilian office holders with the aim of recovering the looted properties in their possessions.


One of the reasons or factors why the military seize political power is due to mismanagement of the economy in terms of carrying out or embarking on useless projects which do not help or promote economic development of the country.

Again, conspicuous consumption by the politicians even when the masses are suffering also attracts the military into politics of any state or country.


This means that some military officers intervene in politics with the aim or ambition of becoming Heads of State and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces as well as to get promotion quickly to either a Brigadier, Major-General.

So, leadership in order to take part in sharing the national cake is one of the foremost reasons for military intervention in politics.


This stands to mean that military coup d’état are contagious. This is so because if colonels in one country overthrow the government and seize political powers, colonels in another country will be aspired to do the same.

Therefore military coup d’état in Togo, where the first military coup d’état in Africa was staged, has attracted other military coup d’état in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra-Leone.


Foreign policy decisions or actions by political leaders may also attract the military into the administration of any country especially African countries.

 Sometimes, the political leaders can initiate foreign policy actions which involve foreign military campaigns for the armed forces.

Also the foreign policy decisions of some leaders which may be based on their selfish or personal aggrandizement, instead of benefitting the entire citizens of the country, paves the way for military intervention in politics especially the third World Countries

Ways to Prevent Military Intervention in Politics

The army in civilized countries are not eager to rule or overthrown existing democratic government, but in Africa, Asia and Latin America, they are greatly involved in politics.

The Nigeria military has ruled Nigeria for twenty years out of the thirty years after independence.

Some of the ways to prevent military intervention in Nigeria politics are:

  • Through mass mobilization of the people through political socialization and ideological orientation.
  • Ideological and political education of all ranks and files on the proper roles of the army in Nigeria.
  • Extra military functions for the army such as involvement in road constructions and researches. In countries like USA, USSR, the armies are involved in heavy engineering works especially in road building and development of modern computer technologies.
  • Good government by the politicians. The politicians are expected to show high level of commitment and accountability in their leadership to the people.
  • Electoral malpractices, rigging and corruption should be totally eradicated or reduced to the lowest level.
  • The politicians should stop encouraging the armed forces to intervene in politics when they fail election. Some of the intervention by the military where done by soldiers to help their friends who failed election.
  • Diarchy: this is the type of government in which the soldiers and civilians share power in a state. If the armies are involved in certain arm of the government, coup attempt should be reduced.
  • Promotion in the military should not be politicized as was the case before 1966 when some army officers aligned themselves to the political parties and leaders.
  • Strengthening of the police with sophisticated equipment will help the police and army intelligence to report coup attempt.

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