By Chidera Eke. News/Comments, September 5, 2023.
Speaking on a telephone interview with our editor-in-Chief, Mark Orgu, on the multiple military coups in West Africa and central Africa due to the belief of failed democratic process and development, is a Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, who is also the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, has said that, it is not democracy failing, but leadership failing in action, attesting however that; at the end of it all, the most important thing to the ordinary citizen is the capacity to have a relatively good life and meeting their aspiration through good government.
“What matter to citizens is good life with the basic necessity of life, and not whether democracy or military dictatorship as people will not bother much about that” Abayomi maintains that reactions of military takeover by the citizens is a revolution of hardship and frustration.
Addressing the issue of election rigging and desperation to remain in power by politicians, which many analysts believe to be a major factor of recent military takeover, the Pro-Chancellor argued that, at first, whether there have been any election in Africa or outside Africa that the loser have ever accepted; no, because the tendency for the loser to complain of the inefficient of the democratic process and chances are there:
“While it is true that election may not be totally secured in terms of its acceptability, is also true that there are a whole lot of exaggeration of irregularities of election in Africa. But the solution is for the umpires in Africa to make election secure and credible”
Abayomi stressed further, that whatever the issue maybe, military takeover is not an option, because they are never better than civilian government.
“It is true that civilian government comes with freedom and corruption but military government is excessive corruption and a government without limits, including absence of liberty, disrespect for citizens and terrorism.”
He further stated, it is civilians that suffer most during military coups, even as most of the people are killed, not as a result of military against civilians, but as a result of military against military. Very soon, another captain in Burkina Faso will rise against the current captain. Burkina Faso have had two military coups within a short time, Mali, same. Military coup is a grievous error, but because of the terrible economic situation of bad leadership in Africa, citizens react rather than rise against the military coup. Military rule is more less a ruffian , as they see themselves as small gods that cannot be questioned and they hardly change. Only civilian government have the time to change, even if it would take longer time, but military, never.
Continuing, the activist frown at the longest serving African presidents and their change of constitution to remain in power, but argued : “If the people are enjoying dividend of democracy, nobody would be bother about longevity. So, there is the failure of leadership”. Moving forward, Abayomi, opined the need to have a code of conduct for democracy in Africa and fair review in order to establish its rules. In addition, AU needs to negotiate with the military governments to handover power to civilian in a short time, because military is just doing itself a disservice to their countries and soon, the people will be tired of their regime. In Nigeria, we had military government in the past, how long did it last, how long was it able to sustain the affection of the Nigerian people. Again, soon, things will change and the citizens in Mali, Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry will begin to revolt against the military and the best thing for them is to handover power to civilian government.
The Activist however wants African leaders to establish simple democratic standard, that will be crucial to a fair and rigidly election and then, transition according to the constitution. “President should not alter the constitution when he is there to his benefit” he concluded.
Meanwhile, a former Director, Nigerian Army legal services, Col. (Dr) Abayomi Dare rtd has said that, military takeover in some of the African countries is as a result of the failure of governance and development, even as he hinted that when you have a sit-tight leader, who doesn’t want to leave power, and want to handover to his own generation, the outcome is what we have seen in those countries of military coup but it is a wake up call for leaders in African to allow democracy to work. You can see civilians who ordinarily should revolt against the military but they are jubilating and welcoming them, because the people have suffered and had been impoverished. Col. Dare condemned the coups, while saying that, even when you have bad government, both the military and civilians, all bear the rots.
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