By Ahmed Osumanu Halid, Nima 441
Sunday, 5th September 2021, West Africa had its 4th coup d’état, within a year. This time it happened in Guinea, a neighbouring country.
The first was a foiled one that occurred in Niger just after the election of a new President.
The other two coups happened in Mali.
The report had it that the former President Alpha Conde is in the grip of the coup-makers, led by one of the trusted soldiers of the deposed President, called Lt col Mamady Doumbouya.
There has been heavy gunfire near the presidential palace in the capital Conakry.
The culture of coup in our sub-region by extension the continent must be halted and dustbined.
It is not right to overthrow the Constitution of the country which has been approved and accepted by the population.
The Constitution embodies the heart, soul, and spirit of the country.
It establishes the various organs of the state from the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary.
It also states the various functions to be performed by the Constitutional bodies. Their tenures, powers, appointments, and disengagements.
The Constitution allows for amendments when portions of it become repugnant to natural justice, good conscience and equity.
Many coups on the continent didn’t produce any positive results or development in the countries that suffered from them.
Yes, it was wrong on the part of the then leader, Alpha Conde to change the Constitution to allow him to contest for the third time after exhausting his ten years (2 terms) in office.
The sovereignty principle must be reconsidered especially when it comes to the changing of the Constitution to extend the stay in office of Presidents after completing their prescribed terms.
International bodies like the United Nations Organization, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and others need to discourage this utmost breach of the Constitution by those power-drunk leaders.
Our country has been able to stabilize itself democratically. So far, all our leaders starting from the late Jerry John Rawlings to the current leader are working within the remit of the law.
Our constitutional and governance structures are working.
The media and the civil society organizations are performing their functions without any encumbrance.
Yes, we have not attained perfection, but Ghana is doing well in its democratic dispensation compared to others.
We are faced with many challenges of unemployment, corruption, mismanagement, wastes in our public sector, deficits in infrastructure, etc.
All governments have been doing their best to resolve all these challenges.
I always believe that, when governments fail in serving the population by the laws of the country, the people have the power to vote them out.
Coup d’état is not the option of changing governments.
The coup makers are empty when it comes to governance and political leadership.
No right-thinking member of any society should celebrate when a constitution is toppled.
All must learn lessons from this unfortunate incident that happened in Guinea.
Our leaders must respect the laws governing all.
Bad practices like those I have enumerated should not be entertained.
Our soldiers should be seen protecting us against our enemies not doing the illegal act of toppling our Constitutions.
Africa groupings should not allow their peers to injure the same laws of their countries.
Lastly, the Economic Community of West African States should up their security surveillance to thwart such unconstitutional acts. The sub-regional body should be proactive, not reactive.
The insurrections in Guinea and Mali should be wake-up calls to our leaders to respect the laws of their countries and serve the people.