Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tinubu tells African leaders to respect democracy

The President urged African military institutions and states to recognise and respect the need for democratic renewal.

• July 15, 2023
President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu [Photo: Twitter OfficialABAT]

President Bola Tinubu on Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya, called on African leaders to respect democracy, rule of law, and ensure political stability.

He said this at a high-level event organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on the margins of Fifth Mid-Year African Union (AU) coordination meeting.

The President urged African military institutions and states to recognise and respect the need for democratic renewal.

Mr Tinubu, who is also the chairperson of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, said coup d’état should be discouraged in the continent, especially in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, and climate change.

The President, in his statement, presented by Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, the permanent secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs, decried that West Africa, in spite of its numerous instruments and mechanisms for promoting democracy and good governance, is leading other regions in the use of unconstitutional means to change governments.

He warned that the ugly trend of the military straying into the political arena is causing threats to peace, security and stability, and engendering poverty, displacement, and humanitarian crises.

”This ugly trend has only succeeded in threatening the peace, security and stability of the sub-region and by extension the African continent, leaving in its trail poverty, internally-displaced persons and humanitarian crisis. In the same vein, this ugly trend has also led to food shortages and escalated health challenges.

”We therefore must take deliberate steps to address the root causes of unconstitutional changes and coups d’état in Africa. As a continent, we cannot make progress toward achieving the goals and targets of the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, as well as those of AU Agenda 2063 for the “Africa We Want”.

”Between 2020 and now, Africa has witnessed six successful coups d’état and three unsuccessful attempts. This rise in military takeovers and unconstitutional changes in government disrupts our democratic processes and undermine stability on the continent.

”It is for this reason that I call on all African leaders at all levels to make concerted efforts in respecting the tenets of democracy and the rule of law, in order to ensure political stability on the continent,” he said.

Reiterating that Africa has no intention of regressing on its democratic gains and credentials, as well as its maturing democratic political culture.

President Tinubu said: ”I call on all Afro-centric supranational organisations, especially the African Union, the various Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms, to individually and collectively adopt Protocols on democracy and good governance, and ensure their effective implementation”.

While acknowledging that democracy may present challenges in terms of management and dynamics, Tinubu reiterated that it is the best form of government for 21st century Africa.

Drawing a comparison between military rule and democratic regime, he noted that democracy ensures good governance, inclusivity, transparency, and accountability.

Emphasising the need to disincentivise coup d’état, the ECOWAS Chairperson urged the United Nations to take a firm stance against military coups.

”It is my view that while grappling with the challenges caused by the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other geostrategic tragedies, including insecurity and climate change amongst others, African leaders must disincentivise coups d’état.

”The United Nations must also stand firm and unyielding in its opposition to military coups,” he said.

Mr Tinubu also acknowledged that democracy and development are interconnected in achieving sustainable goals and the African vision, adding that commitment to democratic principles and governance is crucial for long-term peace, security, and economic growth.

(NAN)

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