“Now, are we not going to experience more military coups in the coming days in Africa, or how prepared are the democratically elected leaders in Africa to avert more coups.
How prepared are they to provide meaningful leadership like that of Rwanda, Paul Kigame, who was able to draw all together as one lovable body after the disastrous genocide of 1994 that saw over 1,100,000 as victims.
These are the rhetoric questions they can answer themselves. Thus, African leaders must learn to jettison politics of selfishness and greed, which has always being the case. This is the time to rethink leadership and create an enviable economic values that will pull away citizens from poverty and social crises that has enveloped the continent”
How military coups are planned and executed is what I seasonally seek to know from some highly retired ranking military officers. I seek to know, not for any negative purpose but for knowledge preservation and enlightenment. And as a writer and public affairs analyst, it behooves me to seek for further knowledge to broaden my global understanding of political and economic leadership crises in Africa.
Now, the analogy on how military thrives in coups as research all over the world is the same, having almost same master plan and implementation till air -loose. First, they create a scenario of political rascality and high handedness of political leaders, create an atmosphere of a total failure of democratic process, and use the media to circulate unthinkable stories of corruption, greed, flamboyant lifestyle of politicians, poor governance, weak policies and hunger, which in some cases are real.
In my findings also, when coup plotters have succeeded in painting very terrible situation of an administration, media experts are therefore contracted to propagate their agenda, before positioning for broadcast and then ensure that all entreaties are coded in loyalty to their final blow.
And of course, Strategic civilians are carried along for vital information on the whereabouts of the subject, on whose government is to be overthrown. That was why l totally agree with Col. (Barr) Abayomi Dare retd, when he said, “At no time did any military coup succeeded without the Support of civilians” This is very sacrosanct, because from history, most military coups and information leakage comes from within the lineage of betrayal from insiders” Civilians.
In the last few years, Africa has swung into unfortunate military coups of overthrowing democratically elected leaders, who, on their own style of leadership have been perceived to have failed. This is not to say that they failed woefully in all sectors of the economy, but have failed in their basic area of leadership-security of life and property, justice, equity and fairness, job creations and welfare packages to the people they lead-thereby living their citizens to dwell in poverty and anger.
However, desperation and corruption cannot be left out in this short sermon, which the military coup plotters have always capitalised to overthrow. The current Military Coup that just took place was in Guinea, precisely 5th of September, led by the ring leader, Col. Mamady Doumbouya, a very intelligent commander, who the European Union had placed on watch list among the 25 Guinean military officers and officials violating and abuse of human rights. He was among the mission that served in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Isreal, and even Guinea. Col. Doumbouya served in the French foreign legion for many years until the ousted President Conde’ asked him to return to Guinea to spearhead the country’s newly established Special Forces Group in the year, 2018, unknown to Mr. President that he was employing a Judas. Very unfortunate.
Let me take us back to other African countries a bit. In 2010, Ivory Coast in 2010 incumbent President, Laurent Gbagbo after being defeated by Alassane Quattara in the Presidential election refused to concede defeat, opened the door wide for the military to plan a coup against him. In that drama, Reuters reported that, authorities in Ivory Coast then said that they have foiled a coup being plotted by the exiled military advisers to the former President Laurent Gbagbo, who led the nation into civil war in 2010 when he refused to concede defeat in the national election.
The interior Minister then, Hamed Bakayoko had played a video recording which he said the plotters had intended to transmit after seizing the headquarters of the broadcaster, and showed several army officers in uniform seated before an Ivorian flag while the ring leader announced takeover of the government. The Minister had identified Colonel Kate Gnotua, as their spokesperson- a former senior officer in Gbagbo’s presidential guard. “All state institutions are hereby dissolved. All political activities are suspended. A curfew has been put in place until further notice … All land, air and sea borders are closed,” Gnotua read out on a video. He was later arrested in March after re-entered Ivory Coast from Ghana
What about, Colonel Assimi Goita,, a coup plotter who overthrew the government. Wikipedia had captured him as the son of an officer of the Malian Armed Forces, born in 1983, and who served as President of Mali since 24 May 2021. Goïta was the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People. A military junta that forcefully took power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in August 18, 2020, Malian coup d’état, giving the reason why the coup became necessary, was quoted as saying that, Mr. Keita’s feeble leadership and tolerance of corruption could not be tolerated. Happily, civilians, majorly opposition politicians hailed the coup and applauded the military for doing the needful. Although, Goita had agreed to conduct a democratically elected government leaders in 18 months, negotiated by the Economic Community of West African States, which Mali is a member. How that will happen is what the world await.
Then come to talk about the disastrous regime of Samuel Doe of Liberia, who almost used force to remain the life president of Liberia, which the American government was uncomfortable with and wanted him out. Doe, an ethnic Krohn had taken power in a bloody Military coup, during which president William Tolbert and several of his ministers were killed cold-bloodily! Tolbert’s government was heavily criticized for failing to address the deep economic disparities between the Americo-Liberians who had dominated the country since independence in 1847, and the various indigenous ethnic groups that comprised over 80 percent of the population.
He was finally killed on April 12, 1980. Is it Charles Taylor of same Liberia who used force to destroy the human right in Liberia, who also escaped from America’s Prison. He received. Military training courtesy of his friend, the radical assassinated colonel Gaddafi of Libya or is it the Sierra Leonean War Lord, Fajah Sankor Who was also preparing for a rebellion in his Country. Africa in general have created rooms for military coups and lessons are never learned-a very bad attitude.
The recent coup in Guinea, a West African country with an estimated Population of 13, 572, 256 (thirteen million, five hundred and seventy two thousand, two hundred and fifty six) as reported by the World Population Review (WPR), 2021 was as a result of failure of leadership. The country’s growth continued to decline since the thorn in the 1995 economic crisis but has improved fairly high. The country’s annual growth rate in 2000 was 2.28% which has grown to 2.65% as of 2019, a slide economic improvement, which the government did not capitalise on to build more human capacity and social development. The resultant effect today is as a result of the economic strain to citizens when much of the country’s citizens are living in poverty due to corruption and bad leadership.
Krista Larson in his write-up titled “Guinea’s coup: What a military takeover means for the country and West Africa” published in the Associated Press few weeks ago had captured the ugly scenario that took place, describing it as “history repeating itself: “It started with an outburst of gunfire near Guinea’s presidential palace, just like earlier coups. Guineans who had lived through two other takeovers and just as many assassination attempts stayed inside and waited to see who was really in control of the country. After hours of uncertainty, a group of little-known soldiers appeared on state television giving themselves a French acronym name. They spoke of reconciliation but made no promises on how long they would take to hand power back to civilians. And then came the video of the deposed Conde, disheveled in a half-buttoned shirt and blue jeans in the custody of mutinous soldiers”
He went further to state that the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS already has condemned the power grab, and everyone from the United States to Russia has expressed concern from the various degrees about where this could head to and what the future holds for the people of Guinea.
Larson Continued with a question, “Will this end badly for Guinea and West Africa? And went to state the economic challenge and the possible withdrawal of foreign investors in the country. “Guinea’s mining industry already has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about political stability could cause foreign companies to reconsider their presence. Guinea’s junta leaders went to great lengths Monday to reassure the international community that they would honor all existing agreements, a gesture aimed at keeping the country’s essential mining revenues flowing”
The junta purports to be acting on behalf of the Guinean people, but already there are concerns about whether military rule could lead to human rights violations. Security forces in Guinea come with a deeply tarnished record: In 2009 they opened fire on a group of demonstrators protesting then coup leader Moussa “Dadis” Camara’s plans to run for president and stay in power. More than 150 people died and at least 100 women were raped in a soccer stadium, crimes that more than a decade later have yet to be tried in court”
“The bigger concern could be what message this week’s coup will send other West African leaders seeking to stay in power, analysts say. There are fears that the recent coups in Mali and Guinea could lead to more political instability in the region. Even if the ruling juntas in both countries do eventually hold elections, will military leaders simply rebrand themselves as civilian candidates? For now, there’s a more immediate concern in Guinea: Do others in the military think they should be steering the country’s fate?”
Now, are we not going to experience more military coups in the coming days in Africa, or how prepared are the democratically elected leaders in Africa to avert more coups. How prepared are they to provide meaningful leadership like that of Rwanda, Paul Kigame, who was able to draw all together as one lovable body after the disastrous genocide of 1994 that saw over 1,100,000 as victims. These are the rhetoric questions they can answer themselves. Thus, African leaders must learn to jettison politics of selfishness and greed, which has always being the case. This is the time to rethink leadership and create an enviable economic values that will pull away citizens from poverty and social crises that has enveloped the continent.
Mark Columbus Orgu, a public Affairs Analyst and Social Commentator, wrote from Lagos ([email protected])