The Spectre of Military Coup in Africa by Dickson Paul


The spectre of military coup in Africa
Dickson Paul.

Africa, as a continent has experienced series of coup d’te’tat triggered by corruption as same was always sermonized as the main reason for the military take over.

Honestly so, corruption has eaten deep in our systems and society. It now looks as though no one succeeds without garnishings of corruption and unfortunately, African leaders derive pleasure in such a system that hinders development of the continent. Corruption has dealt with African development despite being blessed by sufficiently with both human and natural resources.

This same enemy of African advancement “corruption” orchestrated the first military coup on the continent of Africa in Togo, 13th January 1963.

The coup Leader, Emmanuel Bodjolle overthrew the president, Sylvanus Olympio and murdered him while Emmanuel was installed as the chairman of the insurrection committee.

Togo is part of the West Africa where til this day, corruption and in sincerity in leadership has obstructed the existence of good governance which the continent is reputed(?).

Apart from the Togolese coup, Nigeria the acclaimed giant of African Continent, got the first experience of military action in 1966, on January 15th led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna where 22 people including the Prime Minister of Nigeria, top politicians, military officers among others were killed.

The leaders of this bloody military takeover, justified their action by fingering corruption as reason.

In the recent time, African countries have experienced coup d’etat which now threatens the existence of democracy in the Continent.

Recall that on July 26, 2023, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger was overthrown by Addourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the military junta.

Also, on 30th August, 2023, in Gabon president Ali Bongo was removed by the military.

As earlier said, the major cause of military coup on our continent is corruption, maladministration and averting the electoral choice of the people as African political leaders anchored their their reputation on corruption, impunity as well as violations of constitutional stipulation and rule of law.

People believe that the worse Democratic dispensation is far better than a military rule, but not when corruption, insincerity, administrative flaws and other abnormalities infiltrate the system.

Such leadership is obstructed by military intervention because, in corrupt a pattern of governance, you see nepotism, unprofessionalism, sharp practices among other anti people and development factors.

It has too many consequences or attendant negative effects. This kind of situation leads to economic meltdown, attributed to mismanagement of resources, unarticulated policy formulation, corrupt judicial system, insecurity, electoral fraud, poor infrastructural development, national image projection etc.

People look at the military from the barrel of the gun. Yes, they are of the firm belief that the military rule through the power of the gun as against the Democratic dispensation that has the constitution as it compass. People also reasoned that what democracy permits, like freedom of speech, the military rule, prohibits.

In Nigeria, the also recorded viable achievement. Yes! It a hard fact. Have we wondered why in these cases of recent military intervention in Africa, the people were not only but sustained support for the junta?

Here in Nigeria as acknowledged by military authorities that some Nigerians called on them to takeover. When the news of possible military coup in Nigeria broke out, the president was advised to respect the constitution in order to avert military junta.

The question is: both the Executive and Judiciary Arms of Nigeria Government have they obeyed the highest law of the land? If yes, what about the 25 per cent?

Some Nigerians are convinced that we do not have a functional or working constitution looking at the impunity in flaunting the constitution.

Frankly, it is enough to attract military action.

Let the mandate of the people reflect in every election so that the world will know that they made the choice. Let the decide who rules them at all level.

Election should be free from imposing of candidates and sharp practices.

Another way to keep the military far from power is by giving the people good governance. When the citizens see the merits of democracy including the military, Nigeria will move forward. We are yet to feel the benefits of democracy after many years independence.

Our political leaders should build a strong democracy ethos that will go a long way in the development of the continent. Democracy should be rooted as this will give the army no room for power.

It is also vital to talk playing politics with military appointments. We should to follow ranking irrespective of sentiment. Appointment should be by merit as this will help encourage the our officers as well, deepening the democracy.


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