African leaders have been urged by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to avoid coups d’état, particularly in light of problems like the COVID-19 epidemic, insecurity, and climate change.
This was said by the president during a speech he gave at a high-level UNDP event in Kenya that was held in conjunction with the fifth mid-year coordination meeting of the African Union (AU).
In addition to urging African military institutions and governments to acknowledge and accept the need for democratic renewal, Tinubu asked African leaders to uphold democracy, and the rule of law, and maintain political stability.
The president expressed regret that West Africa, despite having numerous instruments and mechanisms for promoting democracy and good governance, is leading other regions in the use of illegal means to change governments in a statement read by Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The head of state and government of Nigeria, who also serves as chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, issued a dire warning about the dangers posed to peace, security, and stability as well as the resulting poverty, displaced populations, and humanitarian problems.
“This terrible trend has only succeeded in posing a threat to the sub-region’s peace, security, and stability, and consequently to the continent of Africa, leaving behind poverty, internal displacement, and humanitarian disaster. Along the same line, this undesirable tendency has brought worsening health issues and food shortages.
Therefore, we must consciously take action to address the underlying reasons behind illegal changes and coup d’états in Africa. We as a continent are unable to go forward in realizing the objectives of both the AU Agenda 2063 for the “Africa We Want” and the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
“Africa has had six successful coups d’état and three unsuccessful ones between 2020 to the present. This increase in military coups and unlawful regime transitions disturbs our democratic processes and jeopardizes regional stability.
To preserve political stability on the continent, he stated, “I call on all African leaders at all levels to make concerted efforts in respecting the tenets of democracy and the rule of law.”
In a statement released by his spokesperson, Dele Alake, Tinubu reaffirmed that Africa has no intention of going backward on its democratic achievements and credentials, as well as its developing political culture of democracy.
“I call on all Afrocentric supranational organizations, particularly the African Union, the various Regional Economic Communities, and Regional Mechanisms, to individually and collectively adopt the Protocols on democracy and good governance, and to ensure their effective implementation,” he added.
The president reaffirmed that democracy is the ideal form of governance for Africa in the twenty-first century even if he acknowledged that it could have management and dynamics issues.
In his contrast of democratic and military governments, Tinubu asserted that democracy ensures inclusiveness, accountability, transparency, and good governance.
The ECOWAS Chairperson asked the United Nations to take a strong stand against military coups and emphasized the need to reduce the incentives for coups d’état.
“In my opinion, African leaders must deter coups d’état while addressing the difficulties brought on by the socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 epidemic and other geostrategic tragedies, like insecurity and climate change among others.
He said that the UN must be resolute and unwavering in its opposition to military takeovers.
He said that adhering to democratic values and governance is essential for long-term peace, security, and economic prosperity and that democracy and development are intertwined in accomplishing sustainable goals and the African vision.
President stated his willingness to collaborate with the UNDP and other development partners to further the cause of democracy on the African continent while serving as Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
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In addition to thanking UNDP for asking him to speak at the occasion, the president reaffirmed his commitment to addressing the problem of military coups and fostering democratic renewal throughout Africa.
“The issue of Military Coups and the need for Democratic renewal in Africa is one that I am passionate about and indeed committed, along with my colleagues, to confront, and we are prepared to change the narratives,” he added.
The UNDP’s flagship study, “Soldiers and Citizens: Military Coups and the Need for Democratic Renewal in Africa,” was released, and he praised the organization for it, saying that the military had no role in the administration of Africa in the twenty-first century.
The invitation came as a result of the Nigerian president’s stirring speech against military coups delivered on July 9 during his swearing-in as head of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, according to Jide Okeke, UNDP Regional Programme Coordinator (Africa).
He expressed his happiness that Nigeria’s dedication to democratic ideals and stability is demonstrated by President Tinubu’s attendance and involvement at the high-level UN event, reinforcing Nigeria’s leadership in Africa and the international community.
He said that the President’s statement sent a good message to the world about Nigeria’s dedication to democracy.
The African Regional Coordinator praised the UNDP flagship report as being timely in achieving Nigeria’s goal of stability for West Africa and the whole continent.
He clarified that the report contrasts the experiences of people who have lived through coups with those of nations that are transitioning to democracy by combining factual facts, literature, and first-person accounts from individuals who have experienced them.
Speaking at the event were Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambian Abroad for the Gambia, Hanna Tetteh, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, and Amb. Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security for the African Union Commission.