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Democratic reversal bane of good leadership in Africa, says university Don

Prof Jaja Nwanegbo

Awka, Sept.3, 2023  Prof. Chukwuemeka -Jaja Nwanegbo, of Department of Political Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, has described recent coup d’etat in some African countries as wrong idea of governance.

Nwanegbo said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Awka on the backdrop of emerging military Coups  in parts of Africa.

He said there was "a democratic reversal" in some African countries in the past decade that had contributed to the resurgence of the new wave of military interventions.

The second contributor, he said, was the seeming increase in knowledge of the imperialist machinations of France in the former French West African colonies.

“It is a fact that is well known to scholarship but not made very public and popular until the recent times when a female diplomat started talking about it openly.

 “Hence, it is a combination of those factors and that is why it is more endemic in Francophone countries, " he said.

 He said  that such act is unlikely to happen in Nigeria because the depth of division in the country may defeat any explanation for coup.

“Hence even the military men knows what the response might be if they attempt it, " he said.

Nwanegbo suggested that addressing economic inequalities and providing opportunities for economic advancement could reduce frustration and instability in Africa.

He said that poverty and lack of economic prospects could create fertile ground for coup attempts.

According to him, this should be a must watch for any government that desired to sustain stability in her country's political space .

Nwanegbo said there was the need for Military reform to ensure that the military’s role is to protect the nation and its citizens, rather than to interfere in politics.

He said that professionalising  the armed forces, promoting civilian control, and reducing the military’s involvement in civilian affairs can help prevent coups and enthrone healthy civilian rule in the continent. 

In the same vein, Chief Chris Eluemunoh said that chronic governance in bad direction was the only reason for coup d’etat in African countries.

He said that African countries, that have not reacted in same manner like Niger and Gabon did not mean they are immune to hardship orchestrated by bad leadership but may be showing some civility.

The former Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Give. Jim Nwobodo, said the recent wave of  coup d’etat in the continent should serve as a wake up call to the political leaders.

He said that leaders, who think that they have absolute power to behave, act as they deem fit, should retrace their steps.

"A due democratic processes need to be respected and followed to achieve political stability," he said.

Elumunoh said  it was a complex challenge that involved addressing in political, social, economic, and institutional ways.

He said  transparent elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and a robust civil society were  factors  to be respected  as agenda contributors  to checks and balances.

Elumunoh said  that  desire to Promote Good Governance, Transparent, accountable, and inclusive governance can reduce the grievances that often lead to coups.

Mazi Christian Beluchukwu, a resident of Awka, said that coup was not the best way to addressing bad governance in any country.

He said there was less gain in military governance because of lack of respect for Human Rights and other undemocratic nuances.

He appealed  to Nigerian government to ensure the protection of human rights, including freedom of speech, assembly, and the rule of law, freedom of  judiciary, electoral process and friendly economic policies.

“ When citizens feel their rights are respected, they are more likely to engage in peaceful political processes.

"I do not want coup in my country because the dangers outways its benefits,” he said .

reports that many African  countries have witnessed military coups in recent times including, Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon.

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