Atiku urges African leaders to address causes of coups, not symptoms


• Condemns military takeover in Gabon

As the global community ramps up condemnation of military coups in Africa, especially the last ones in Gabon, former Nigerian vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has thrown a challenge to African leaders.

President Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose family had controlled the country for over half-century, was toppled on Wednesday by his palace guards after he was declared to have been re-elected for a third term in a disputed election

In a tweet in the wake of the recent coup in Gabon, the eighth in Africa since 2020, Atiku told political leaders that there was need for them to focus on the root cause of the recent spike in coups across the continent.

He said the military takeovers were worrisome, adding that they call for introspection.

“The coup in Gabon stands condemned.

“Democracy and democratic governance have come to stay as a preferred form of government, and everything should be done to enthrone, nurture, and sustain it.

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“As I suggested in the case of the Niger Republic, the ECOWAS and African Union authorities should open a window of diplomatic engagement that will pave the way for the soldiers to return to the barracks.

“The latest coup brings the number of military takeovers in Central and West Africa to 8 since 2020. This is worrisome and calls for introspection.

“We may have to focus on dealing with the disease and not the symptoms that birth coups.”

President Bola Tinubu had also frowned at the recurring coups on the continent, saying he was consulting with the AU leaders on how best to address the “contagious autocracy” spreading across Africa.

Tinubu said as a man who had made significant, personal sacrifices in his own life in the course of advancing and defending democracy, he is of the unwavering belief that power belongs in the hands of Africa’s great people and not in the barrel of a loaded gun.

He affirmed that the rule of law and a faithful recourse to the constitutional resolutions and instruments of electoral dispute resolution must not at any time be allowed to perish from “our great continent.”



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