The Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has condemned the recent spate of military coups in Africa, saying it is a setback for democracy on the continent.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the political parties that made up the caucus include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Labour Party (LP); New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP); Africa Democratic Congress (ADC); Young People’s Party (YPP); All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
In a statement issued by the Leader of the Caucus, Hon Kingsley Chinda, the lawmakers said the coups are a result of bad governance, inordinate ambitions, and a disconnect between leaders and citizens.
Chinda said the coups are also a warning sign of likely dangers ahead if African leaders do not do the right thing.
He urged African leaders to pursue good governance and enthrone the rule of law, saying this is the only way to stop military interventions in democratic governance.
The Minority Caucus also condemned any plans by the African Union, United Nations, or any other global association to use force or coercion to restore democratic governance in Africa.
The lawmakers said the use of force would only worsen the situation and make it more difficult to achieve peace and stability.
They called on all African leaders to work together to address the root causes of the coups, such as bad governance and poverty.
THE STATEMENT READS:
“It is extremely sad, deeply worrisome, and pathetically shameful that the continent, in the past few years, has witnessed a sudden rise in military coups in some countries, thereby rolling back the gains of the democratic struggles for the return to civil rule of the late 1980s and 1990s.
“It is totally condemnable that in the past decade, military putsch has taken place in Sudan, Mali, Tunisia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger Republic, and now Gabon.
“That these countries are in the Western, Northern, and Central regions of Africa, which represents more than half of the entire continent, calls for serious concerns and debilitating worries.”
“Confronted with the pains and miseries foisted by these sit-tight leaders on hapless citizens, who have been going through years and decades of bad governance, colossal economic hardship, serial social deprivation, deep-rooted poverty, deliberate intimidation, and corrosive lack, military interventions of any guise will not only be welcomed but celebrated by citizens of these countries.
“Fact is, having suffered long and painful years of total neglect by their Leaders through official insensitivity, deliberate class segregation, enforcement of inimical political and economic programmes, and other negative decisions and actions, sadly, the sound of martial music has become a welcome relief and friend for citizens.”
“The now-frequent coups on the continent are also adduced to the sit-tight obnoxious desires of some of these Leaders, who continuously manipulate and compromise the system to achieve their egoistic and undemocratic ambitions,” he noted.
“Revolutions begin with seemingly innocuous incidents, but things spiral out of hand before anyone realizes it. Recall how the French Revolution and Arab Spring began.
“With the vagaries of personal and national challenges that have bedeviled many countries, any ambitious group of military officers is likely to leverage on the negative situations and foist themselves on the people.
“The precarious situation and numerous challenges that stifled meaningful growth and development in countries that are witnessing military governance calls for urgent and immediate intervention by other frontline African Leaders, African Union, United Nations, and relevant global bodies.
“However, it is imperative to state in clear terms that using and deploying brute force and aggression in whatever guise is not the solution to the problems at hand. While the Caucus condemns in entirety any plans by either the AU, UN, or any global association to use force or coercion in restoring democratic governance in Gabon, Niger Republic, or any other country in Africa, we urge all Leaders in Africa to pursue and enthrone good governance.
“This is the only panacea towards arresting and stopping unnecessary military interruptions in constitutional democracy across the continent. This is long overdue and absolutely necessary.
“When Leaders in Africa begin to meet the expectations of people through selfless service, resourceful and responsive delivery of good governance, adherence to the rule of law, and protection of persons and properties, military incursions will definitely take the back seat,” Hon Chinda said.