Former Special Aide to former President Jerry Rawlings, Dr Donald Agumenu, has lauded Guinea’s military junta for their candour in returning the country back to constitutional rule.
Reacting to a framework released by the Mamady Doumbouya-led junta, which bars all members of the military from taking part in the transitional process as well as standing for elections, Dr Agumenu said it is refreshing that a very strategic step has been taken in honour of true democracy.
“It is increasingly becoming very clear that the junta is embodied with the integrity necessary to restore the hope of the people and the spirit of the constitution and that of international treaties which must be equally commended,” he underlined.
According to him, he was from the very onset following closely the actions of the junta and their latest public announcement demonstrates some readiness to collaborate with key regional blocs such as ECOWAS to bring democracy and sustainable peace to Guinea.
He further observed that commendation must be given to ECOWAS “… for clearly putting a post-Alpha Conde framework towards restoring Guinea unto the path of democracy and sustainable peace.
“Looking at the recommendations, it was explicit that the regional body is ready to work with the people of Guinea on the path of constitutional rule without former President Alpha Conde.”
Dr Agumenu, who doubles as a strategic leadership consultant as well as peace ambassador, added that the military junta’s day-to-day policy framework and strategic directions in broader consultations with all facets of the Guinean society is a sure guarantee that the process of democracy will be owned and managed by all.
He wondered why a continent that liberated itself from colonial rule over six decades ago would still be confronted with daunting complexities on governance, adding that “most of our problems in Africa are self-inflicted through bad leadership.”
“The situation in Guinea should not only serve as a lesson but a rude awakening that the best barometer of good leadership is the people we govern. While we work towards strengthening our institutions including regional and continental bodies, there’s the need for a holistic assessment of ECOWAS and AU interventions in the affairs of member states,” the Peace Ambassador observed in sharp reference to the regional bodies’ reactive and reactionary posture instead of preventive measures.
He added: “That notwithstanding if we must succeed, some deliberate efforts by hook or by crook must be put in place to cure weak and corrupt electoral systems as well as any semblance of injustice to subjugate and subvert the will of the people. Good electoral reforms must be to promote equity and peace.”
Dr Agumenu identified “bad leadership, systemic failure, hardship, and mistrust from supposed institutions of integrity and in some cases tribal partisan polarisation” that have become the “catalyst to the emerging climate on the continent …” as a drawback to peace, security and socioeconomic development.
Guinea was plunged into political uncertainty on September 5 when the country’s Special Forces ousted President Alpha Conde. The Special Forces, led by French Legionnaire Mamady Doumbouya, cited corruption, bad governance, poverty and abuse of human rights for their intervention. President Alpha Conde, 83, also incurred the wrath of the Guinea people for tinkering with the Guinea Constitution in order to run for a third term.
ECOWAS and the African Union quickly responded by suspending Guinea’s membership and called for a return to democratic civilian rule.
After weeks of consultations, the military junta today released a framework for all groups of Guinea society to present representatives to form a transitional government with a civilian prime minister. The release demanded that membership of the government must have 30 per cent women representation.
These representatives will operate as a makeshift Parliament and design the clear path for a new constitution and fresh elections. The release also bars all members of the military junta from taking part in the process and standing for elections.
Mamady Doumbouya will remain as acting ceremonial president during the transitional process.