On July 15th 2023, the President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, vehemently countered the growing coup attack in African countries. He implored African leaders to honour the rule of law and democracy in order to promote political stability. He contained his position in his address at the event on the margins of fifth mid-year African Union (AU) set up by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) urged all African military institutions and states to honour and recognise the importance of the renewal of democracy.
He stated that coups d’état should not be encouraged in Africa, in the state of challenges like insecurity, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. In his speech, presented by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, Tinubu affirmed that it was disheartening that West Africa is encouraging other regions to use unconstitutional methods to change the governments despite its mechanisms and many instruments to enhance good governance and democracy. He cautioned that the trend of unnecessary military intervention in politics has been creating threats to security, stability and peace, which further engenders humanitarian crises, displacement and poverty.
Unconstitutional changes in Africa should be addressed.
Presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, cited the president’s speech that the trend of military straying into politics has caused harmed to many sectors, leaving a widespread of health challenges, food shortages and poverty in the continent. Vehemently, he advised that efforts should be made to address the source of the coups d’état and unconstitutional changes in Africa. He added that Africa cannot achieve the aim, target and goal of the AU Agenda 2063 for the “Africa We Want” and UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
Dele stated that, according to report, between 2020 and 2023, there has been three unsuccessful coups attempts and six successful ones. Unfortunately, there has been disruption of democratic processes due to the rise of unconstitutional changes and military takeover which have weakened the stability of Africa. Hence, he called all African leaders at all levels to action for the purpose of honouring the tenets of the rule of law and democracy which will strengthen the political functionality of the continent. President Tinubu called on different regional economic communities, regional mechanisms and Afro-centric supranational organisations, particularly the African Union, to embrace the protocols on good governance and democracy in order to foster efficient implementation.
Development and democracy are needed to achieve the African vision.
Also, he stressed that democracy is the best form of government in Africa in the 21st century while recognising that the system of democracy might pose difficulties in aspects of dynamics and management. The Nigerian President acknowledged that the system of transparency, good governance, accountability and exclusivity are ensured by democracy while comparing democracy regimes to military rule. The ECOWAS chairperson implored the UN to stand unyielding against coups. He noted that there is an interconnection between development and democracy which aid achievement of sustainable goals and the African vision for long-term economic growth, security and peace.
President Tinubu, the chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, showed his cooperation to collaborate with development partners and UNDP to promote the tenets of democracy in Africa. He also expressed his gratitude to UNDP for the invitation and restated his promise to the organisation to address the challenges of military intervention and enhance renewal of democracy in Africa. He applauded the launched flagship report, titled “Soldiers and Citizens: Military Coups and the Need for Democratic Renewal in Africa” by UNDP, emphasising that military coups are not welcome in the 21st century African governance.
Commitment of Nigeria to the stability & value of democracy was affirmed.
Additionally, Jide Okeke, the UNDP regional programme coordinator in Africa, said that the Nigerian president was invited by his organisation after his inauguration as the chairman of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on July 9th 2023 for his speech against military rule. Okeke expressed his excitement in the participation and engagement of the Nigerian president which indicates Nigeria’s interest in the stability and value of democracy. Also, other African leaders and ambassadors honourable remarks at the event. They include Hanna Tetteh, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa; Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, African Union Commission; and Gambia’s minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambian Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara.