By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Military, politicians and members of the academia have described the resurgence of military takeover of power in Africa as worrisome and a negative development.
They made the observations on Tuesday at a Roundtable Seminar on “Resurgence of Coup D’états in Africa: Implications for Regional Security, Political Stability and Good Governance”, organised by the National Defence College (NDC), in Abuja.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Sen. Gbenga Daniel, said that whereas democracy might not be the best type of government, it had been adjudged to be the best form of governance globally.
Daniel said it was the responsibility of all citizens, irrespective of backgrounds and social affiliation, to protect democracy being the only best form of government ever known to man.
He commended the college for spearheading the efforts towards sustaining democracy in Nigeria and Africa through sessions such as this, considering public perception about the military.
The former governor said that military incursions into the polity was a direct consequence of dissidents in the system, adding no coup can succeed without the actual support of the civilian population.
“So, as far as I’m concerned, therefore, part of the things we need to do is to ensure that we get our acts right within the civilian environment,” he said.
The Commandant of NDC, Rear Adm. Olumuyiwa Olotu, said the recent coups in Gabon, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, were stark reminders of intricate complexities and daunting challenges that confront Africa in its bid and struggles for stable governance, lasting peace and stable democratic system.
Olotu, who was represented by the Deputy Commandant/Director of Studies, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, said the roundtable was to embark on a profound exploration of the multifaceted layers of implications arising from the coups.
He said there was need to realise that coup d’etats were dark dots on the regional and continental security, political stability and democratic good governance.
According to him, the resurgence of coups in the African continent has tendencies to destabilisation creating dysfunctionalism in our justice governance, political stability and material prosperity.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the challenges that lie before us are substantial, but they remain well within our capacity to surmount.
“It is in this regard that the college convened this roundtable of experts, with the task of proffering strategies capable of guiding Africa through the turbulent currents of coup d’états and their consequential aftermath,” he said.
Prof. Adams Ahmed, thebProvost, Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, NDC, said the seminar was part of the efforts to bring to the fore, issues that has socio-political, military, economic and diplomatic implications for the existence of Nigeria and its armed forces.
Ahmed said the roundtable was designed to try to address the issue of resurgence of coups in Africa from the various perspectives so as give guidance to the armed forces, the nation and African Union (AU) appropriately.
He said that reasons like bad governance, bad leadership, harsh economic situation and social disorientation, among other factors, had been adduced for coups.
He however said that it was clearly unacceptable for military to take over power in an already organised democratic environment.
Ahmed commended President Bola Tinubu for his systematic and strategic engagement with the coup plotters so far to ensure peace in the region.
One of the resource persons, Dr Ndubuisi Nwokolo, while delivering a paper, said there was a tiny line between democratic governance and military rule in Africa, adding that most democratic experiences had shown those tendencies as that of the military.
Nwokolo said that most of African states were failing to deal with economic and security issues which had cropped up and made people to ask questions.
He said that people were beginning to look for alternative to democracy which had provided the fertile ground for the military to truncate democratic processes in the affected countries.
According to him, there is no alternative to democracy even though democracy may be slow but for you to deal with most of these issues, players of democracy should wake up and start doing the right thing.
“That is the only antidote to making them to stop coup d’états in Africa,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola