In a bid to prevent the resurgence of coups, some retired generals have issued a strong warning to politicians, emphasizing the importance of respecting the constitution and ensuring good governance by democratically elected leaders.
These generals stressed that although coups are undesirable, citizens are growing increasingly intolerant of being taken for granted by their leaders.
The Spectacles obtained this report from the Punch newspaper, titled “FG Dismisses Coup Fear, Ex-generals Warn Politicians Against Bad Governance.” For the complete report, please refer to the newspaper.
General Alexander Ogomudia, a former Chief of Defence Staff, expressed that coups often reflect the quality of governance provided by elected leaders. He pointed out that governments that keep their campaign promises and uphold their country’s constitution are less likely to face coup attempts. He stated, “Supporting a coup against a government that fulfills its promises and respects the constitution lacks moral justification.”
He went on to emphasize the uniqueness of each nation’s circumstances, highlighting the situation in Niger as an example. General Ogomudia suggested that leaders who collaborate with foreign entities to the detriment of their countries create a situation that invites coup attempts.
Brigadier General Phillip Ashim concurred with the importance of good governance in curbing coups, stating simply, “It is good governance, and that’s all.”
Former Commander of 1 Division, Brigadier General John Sura, stressed the significance of respecting national constitutions and democratic structures. He pointed out that discontent and unacceptable changes in the constitution can incite agitation. Sura noted that well-governed countries with a strong rule of law are less likely to experience coups.
Major General Henry Ayoola, former Commander of the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, urged politicians to adhere to democratic principles and the rule of law. He emphasized that true democracy should prioritize adherence to legal processes and procedures, ensuring that soldiers have no reason to intervene in governance.
Ayoola also criticized the prevailing style of governance in Africa, characterized by impunity and disregard for due processes. He cited examples like Gabon, where leaders manipulate constitutions to extend their rule, as a clear violation of democratic norms.
In conclusion, these retired generals underscored the critical need for African leaders to prioritize good governance, respect their constitutions, and uphold democratic principles to prevent coup attempts and ensure stable governance.