President Bola Tinubu has urged African leaders to respect democracy, rule of law, and ensure political stability.
Tinubu stated this at the ongoing United Nations Development Programme in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
He urged African military institutions and states to acknowledge and respect the need for democratic renewal, adding coups should be prevented on the continent, particularly in light of concerns such as the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, and climate change.
In a statement read aloud at the event by Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the president expressed regret that, despite its numerous instruments and mechanisms for promoting democracy and good governance, West Africa is leading other regions in the use of unconstitutional means to change governments.
He also cautioned that the military’s foray into politics is endangering peace, security, and stability, as well as fueling poverty, displacement, and humanitarian disasters.
He said, ”This ugly trend has only succeeded in threatening the peace, security, and stability of the sub-region and by extension the African continent, leaving in its trail poverty, internally-displaced persons, and humanitarian crisis. In the same vein, this ugly trend has also led to food shortages and escalated health challenges.
”We therefore must take deliberate steps to address the root causes of unconstitutional changes and coups d’état in Africa. As a continent, we cannot make progress toward achieving the goals and targets of the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, as well as those of the AU Agenda 2063 for the “Africa We Want.
”Between 2020 and now, Africa has witnessed six successful coups d’état and three unsuccessful attempts. This rise in military takeovers and unconstitutional changes in government disrupts our democratic processes and undermines stability on the continent.
”It is for this reason that 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 order to ensure political stability on the continent.”
Reiterating that Africa has no intention of regressing on its democratic gains and credentials, as well as its maturing democratic political culture, President Tinubu said: “I call on all Afro-centric supranational organisations, especially the African Union, the various Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, to individually and collectively adopt Protocols on democracy and good governance, and ensure their effective implementation.”
While conceding that democracy may create management and dynamics issues, President Tinubu emphasised that it is the finest form of governance for 21st-century Africa.
The ECOWAS chairman asked the United Nations to take a hard stance against military coups, emphasising the need to disincentivize coups.
”It is my view that while grappling with the challenges caused by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other geostrategic tragedies, including insecurity and climate change amongst others, African leaders must disincentivize coups d’état.
”The United Nations must also stand firm and unyielding in its opposition to military coups,” he said.