Heralding the twin Coups in Niger & Gabon

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By Timothy Paul Okorocha

Most world leaders and indeed many people believed that the forceful taking over of power is no longer in vogue. This perspective frm some was derived by the fact that democracy remains the best mode of governance as espoused by the West. But they have forgotten that systems differ as what is preferable, rules that work in the developed economy may not see the light of the day in a corrupt clime like ours.

Such ‘warped’ ideas by the West may have been countered by the African regions who have experienced the kind of primitive governments in the last 65 years. Like the saying, those who make peaceful change difficult will therefore make do with possible violent change.

It is of historical antecedent that the kind of democracy practiced in Africa is a family democracy wherein same blood lineage rule a country till perpetuity. A random check on democracies in Africa will open up a sordid case study where same family has ruled a country for more than half a century with nothing to show for it. The primitive acquisition of power in Cameroon where Paul Biya, looking senile is still holding on to power, in Gabon, the Bongos have held the citizens in the jugular for 57 years until some rascals punctuated their nonsense; in Niger Republic where President Bazoum has been living large; and serving the interest of Macron –his pay master, the military struck without regrets or apologies.

The trend is one and same. The raison d’etre same also which is Bad governance. It is not different in some other African countries, the issue is only that the military will wait patiently until opportunity for change by their leaders is exhausted before they will take the last option.

The coupists have unprecedently been unrepentant in their actions. Inspite of the threats by the ECOWAS, the United Nations and the Common Wealth for the coupists to retreat and hand over power to the legitimate and elected government. Of course, it fell on deaf ears.

The support for the coupists is ground-swelling; the sovereignty after all, belongs to the citizens who were jubilating as the putsch happened. Perhaps they were long expected. They have suffered economic hardship just like any other country in Africa.

Writing off France –their Colonial Master, the citizens berated them for only being interested in their resources which they export to Europe at a pitiable value to the African nations. Niger is rich in Uranium; Gold, Iron ore and Coal. France is said to be appropriating the benefits of Uranium – the major reason for her interest in France.

Oil is produced in large quantity in Gabon, which exports to France and other European countries for their firms. The benefits of these resources are not felt, a situation which the coupists cannot yet fathom.

Lesson: The hard lesson to be learnt is that no condition is permanent. The oppressed can only keep mute for a while but there comes a time when the revolt will come and the West can hardly manage it.

A second lesson is that the only attraction to make a coup happen is the non-performance of democratic governments, their capitalist nature, its monarchical disposition to the detriment of the nation and her citizens.

A third eye opener is that a coup sometimes is inevitable and no one can conveniently stop it when the time has come. African leaders should therefore, not deceive themselves that coups are out fashioned.

The only anti-dote is to deliver on developments, infrastructural provisions, employment opportunities and making the economy rock solid to prevent citizens from migrating to other countries of the world where they think they can look for greener pastures.

Unless and until these economic and political issues are addressed, military putsch will remain certain and attractive in Africa where many are living on two United States Dollars a day.

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