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Niger coup: Lawyer urges ECOWAS, AU to address underlining causes

A legal practitioner, Jide Ologun, has called the Economic Community Of West African States and the African Union to create a mechanism that would ensure good governance by member nations to address recurring coups in Africa.


The former Chairman, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Ikeja Branch, in a letter to ECOWAS and AU on Monday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, lamented the level of poverty and corruption pervading African continent.


The lawyer, while speaking on the recent military coups, and the recent in military take over in Niger that ousted democratically elected government, said ECOWAS and AU must rise up to address the underlining causes.


He said that the coupists’ adamancy and threats by ECOWAS as well as the move to ratify military option to restore democratic order in Niger though appreciated, would not prevent a reoccurrence.


According to him, with the recent cases of military coup in Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali and others, the regional and sub-regional unions must be introspective in addressing the challenge of bad governance in Africa.


He said, “This comes down to the reality that even in the midst of wealthy resources, the citizens are poor because the junta will always give a narrative about corruption and throwing the people into poverty.


“The challenge now to ECOWAS and AU is that while appreciating the intervention, would it not be better to have a proactive mechanism that ensure African leaders walk their talk.


“It would be better if the regional and sub regional unions put up a mechanism to ensure leaders in this continent engage the resources within their domains to benefit the citizens.


“Such mechanism must also ensure creation of an atmosphere of prosperity for the people where there can be justice, equity, fairness and sense of belonging.


“So, rather than being reactive when we have ugly situations like this, can the ECOWAS and AU sit down and discuss mechanism to influence and mandate leaders in the region to live aright and create common wealth for common good.


“Absolutely, wherever there is poverty, crises are inevitable.


“The reverse is the case if we look at most peaceful countries in the world, we will associate those countries with good economy and welfare for the people.”


He said that ECOWAS and AU may adopt Section 14, Sub Section 2 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended) which states that security and welfare of the citizens should be the primary purpose of government.


“The leaders should see themselves and be seen as part of the citizens and not their rulers.


“There should be an international influence on leadership to ensure we have prosperity within our boarder. Then, we can have the consequence peace that comes with prosperity,” Ologun added.

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