“What the AU and ECOWAS need to do, is to address the problems why military coups in this 21st century has continued in regards to democracy fading out gradually. In that way, solutions can arise. It is my holistic view that any further threat or force by AU, ECOWAS will throw Africa into another dangerous war zone”-Orgu..
Until I read some of the problems that ensued the Nigerian government before the January 15, 1967 military coup, as narrated by the late Major Adewale Ademoyega in his book, ‘Why We struck’, gave instance of political desperation and failure of leadership, which has continued in Africa and other part of the world. But first, it is good we recognise the lost of patriotism in various democratic dispensation by most African leaders towards building nationhood, part of the reasons various military coup has succeeded in West Africa.
Truly, Nigeria as a country is a product of military junta, which Major Ademoyega remined us in his book: “ We believe that our immediate step would be to correct the worst anomaly of the 1957 Constitution, by breaking down the country into smaller units or states. In another words, the four regions which existed till January 15, 1966, were to die instantly and on their dead bodies were to emerge fourteen states, each of which would be conterminous with two of the former twenty-six provinces of the federation, except Sokoto and Oyo State…”
Thus, their ideology was to create a mass political movement that will bring about democratic socialism devoid of economic robbery, corruption, visionism, and sabotage, even as it is widely acknowledged that, military rule is an aberration. But what do we call democracy of subversion, where the will of the people and expectations are threw into the dustbin by political leaders. Like Colonel Abayomi Dare retd, would say, no military coup has ever succeeded without the input of civilians. That is the truth. All military coups are product of civilian inclusive plan.
The recent coup in Niger Republic is what many west African countries should worry about, as failure of leadership will continue to give rooms for more junta. Niger is a country of 27,202,843 population as estimated by the United Nations, and with natural resources of uranium, coal, gold, iron ore, tin, phosphates, petroleum, molybdenum, salt, and gypsum. Interestingly, it has some of the largest uranium reserves in the world. With these, the country’s leadership have not lived up to the expectation of the populace, rather corruption, insecurity, poverty and bad leadership has enveloped the country. France 24 News has reported that General Abdourahamane Tiani’s military takeover of the country, as televised last week Friday, two days after the country’s President, Mohamed Bazoum was detained by members of his own guard, gave reasons that the country is deteriorating into insecurity situation in the Sahel country, and further accused the deposed president of leading Niger into harsh reality, pile of dead, displaced humiliation and frustration.
Almost same reason given by the military coup plotters that took place in Burkina Faso on September 30, 2022, where President Paul-Henri Damiba was ousted in the country’s second coup in a year, as army Captain Ibrahim Traore, (35 years of old) took charge, dissolved the transitional government and suspended the constitution, as reported by Aljazeera, and further alleged that Damiba promised to improve the security situation in the country, which became worst under his government, leading to more uprising. Damiba came to power by coup on January 24, 2022. He was a lieutenant Colonel, appointed to oversee security in Burkina Faso’s capital, and later overthrew President Roch Kabore after heavy gunfights in Ouagadougou. Same reason he overthrew Kabore after six months in power of leadership failure, also happened to him.
It could be recalled that the country has had its own share of violence ascribed to rebel fighters allied to both al-Qaeda and the ISIL (ISIS) group, killing thousands of people and further displacing two million. What about Col. Mamady Doumbouya junta against Guinea’s interim President Alpha Condé after it was reported that the deposed president had strong faith in the Colonel, as the country remained in a political turbulence. BBC had reported that, on September 5, 2021, Col. Doumbouya, who is now 43 years, a former French Legionnaire seized power from the 83 years president Conde, ( now 85), cited, rampant corruption, disregard for human rights and economic mismanagement
In the case of Mali, the country had been known for junta due to what the coup plotters described as incompetency from the judiciary and executive. For instance, as reported by the Africanarguments.com, that Mali’s very first president, Modibo Keita, was deposed in a coup in 1968. Mali’s second president, Moussa Traoré, met the same fate in 1991. A period of relative political stability followed, until Amani Toumani Touré (known as ATT) was ousted too in 2012. Eight years later, IBK has left office the same way. The report further itemized that the coup plotters are all French and American trainees: “It is no surprise then that 2020 recent coup leaders are all former trainees of either American or French capacity building programmes. For instance, the Pentagon has confirmed that Colonel Assimi Goita, who headed the coup against IBK, participated in various US army programmes”
So far, four countries are under military rule in West Africa because democracy has failed. The ingredients of democracy is the rule of law and protection of citizens, has not been realistic, and indeed, the rascality of democratically elected leaders have become more harmful to the citizens. A very golden opportunity for military to sympathise and take over power. What happened in Niger republic with her citizens supporting the coup is a testimony of the lack of trust the people had on the deposed president Bazoum. If the issue of poverty, corruption, insecurity, unemployment, accountability are not addressed with sincere practicable leadership development and welfare, Africa, especially military controlled zones in ECOWAS maybe largely turn into military rule, and that will potent great danger for our continent.
Yes, the citizens are fed up, feel cheated, as their democratic freedom to to a better life seems thwarted. Like Malcolm X once noted: You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you’ll do anything to get your freedom; then you will get it” The military guys have gotten what they want, but what future will their country give the citizens; no one can vividly tell. Few days ago, another coup was foiled in Sierra Leone where some top-ranking soldiers, suspected to be planning violent attacks on citizens were arrested, even as the country’s police said that intelligence regarding the activities of certain individuals, including senior military officers, working to undermine the peace and tranquility of the state will be thoroughly investigated. So, we are in the season of coup. The next country, no one can tell.
In view of this, there is no need for ECOWAS to threaten war with the already controlled zone of plotters, who are now military presidents of their countries. What the AU and ECOWAS need to do, is to address the problems why military coups in this 21st century has continued in regards to democracy fading out gradually. In that way, solutions can arise. It is my holistic view that any further threat or force by AU, ECOWAS will throw Africa into another dangerous war zone.
Orgu, is the Editor-in-Chief, Afrikanwatch Network, Lagos (email@example.com)
For your interview on national issues, or article, commentary or event coverage. View our services and profile by clicking about Afrikanwatch Network and Service.+2348028592006, +2349126686480: Email us @: firstname.lastname@example.org.