The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has shown concern after coup d’état in some African countries recently. While many countries in the world have been hit with economic crises resulting from the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and are striving to normalize its effects on their economy, countries in our part of the world (Africa) seem to be fighting what has been the main problem for many African countries which is ‘Bad leadership’, alongside the devastating effects of COVID 19 on our economy.
Today, many Africans hold the view that bad or poor leadership is the root of all African problems.
In recent times, coup d’état has become a normal word in Africa. The penultimate one happened in Mali on 18th August 2020, when military men led by Col. Assimi Goïta seized power. This brought about the resignation of the then president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé, and the entire cabinet. As to whether the election which has been slated for 2022 can come on successful, that is a mystery yet to uncover.
As if that was not enough, even as we enjoy the beautiful game of football at the Confederation of African football’s Cup of Nations held in Cameroon, there was yet another coup d’état on African soil, and this time, Burkina Faso. This came in on 23rd January 2022 when gunfire erupted at military camps and the presidential residence in Ouagadougou. Initially, the government denied any coup d’état in the country until hours later, President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was reportedly detained.
In both instances, as usual, ECOWAS came out strongly to condemn the military actions and has called for peace in these African Nations.
Despite all the condemnations and efforts of ECOWAS to bring peace, the country director for International Association of World Peace Advocates and United Nations eminent peace ambassador, Dr. Sam Owusu holds the view that they (ECOWAS) should tackle this issue from the root if they really want a solution to coup d’état in African countries.
In his words, “when people are tired of expectations, their hopes are broken and there is no foundation to get hold of their freedom and development, we tend to see these kinds of things”.
According to him, political leaders over the years, have made us understand that they would bring Heaven on Earth if they come to power but the truth is that, they have always failed and the only people who seem to enjoy, are those in the political cycle.
He also lamented that the system of governance in Africa which gives total power and authority to the winning government is also not helping at all.
In his statement, he made us understand that Africans are not slaves to politics.
Moving even further, he explained that all that the people want are liberty and development and therefore, if political leaders act unconcerned about the growth and development of their natives, the military leaders, on the other hand, pay heed and therefore act against the vexatious behavior of our political leaders and hence, bringing about the military takeovers.
In his final words he emphatically stated that he is not justifying the coup d’état undertaken by these leaders but rather, pinpointing the fact that everything happens for a reason and therefore, if the ECOWAS wants to tackle coup d’état and military takeovers in Africa, then, they should focus more on cautioning political leaders in Africa to work towards the growth, development and general well-being of their nationals.