The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS), Paul Coonley Boateng says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s comment that ‘coup not an option for Africa’s problem’ is questionable.
He explained the President should have been bold enough to tell his fellow African leaders rather than telling the international community.
“As ECOWAS Chairman, what did he [President Nana Addo] do to reduce this problem in West Africa?” he questioned in an interview with NEAT FM’s morning show, ‘Ghana Montie’.
Coup not solution to Africa’s problem
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the international community to send a clear message to coup plotters that coups have never been, and will never be durable solutions to Africa’s political, economic and security challenges.
“Statements condemning coups alone without corresponding action will, however, achieve little or nothing, as witnessed in recent times. This problem requires collective agreement, effective deterrence, bold action and, equally important, adequate preventive measures,” he said.
Delivering the keynote address at a side event organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, in Munich, Germany, on Friday (17 February 2023), the President stated that “there are those who still hanker after authoritarian, personal rule, because they claim Africa is underdeveloped and democracy is cumbersome, and we need to get things done in a hurry.”
Quoting from the 2019 Annual Risk of Coup Report, he indicated that Africa has experienced more coup d’états than any other continent, which, he said, is “an unsavoury statistic”.
Citing the case of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo noted that political instability described much of the early decades of the nation’s life as an independent nation, and Ghana became notorious for sampling every and any type of political experiment.
“The one-party-state of the First Republic was overthrown in our first military coup, and the Second and Third Republics, which were practising democratic governance, were also overthrown by coup d’états. My father, President of the 2nd Republic, was overthrown some 51 years ago, on 13th January 1972. Kutu Acheampong’s coup brought his stay in office to an end,” he said.
Paul Coonley Boateng, however, suggests President Nana Addo’s father’s overthrow was a result of bad leadership.
“The records are there . . . with every coup the military has their reason for any government overthrow,” he noted.
Fix your government if you don’t want a coup
Mr Coonley Boateng further said, “If the citizens are fed up with bad governance and call on the military to save the situation, they will have no option but to listen to the masses. If you don’t want a coup, you practice democracy and don’t make things too rigid and autocratic.”
“It’s not about sending a strong message; it is what you will do to make the people happy. He [President Nana Addo] can’t go and stand somewhere to send a strong warning . . . when they gave sanctions to Guinea and Mali did that deter them? It is not the sanctions that will make them stop what they are doing, it will not work,” he told host Kwesi Aboagye.
Listen to interview
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