Head of the Department of International Relations and Political, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Professor Jonah Onuoha, has said the reason for military coups in Africa is the negligence the leaders exhibit in governance.
Onuoha condemned military takeovers that have been ravaging the African continent recently, adding that military rule can never be preferred to democracy.
The don made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, underscoring the need to promote leadership development at the national level to ensure sustainable democracy in Africa.
According to him, the thought by people to always rejoice over the coup does not by any means make democracy bad but said coups will continue if African leaders fail to generate dividends of democracy.
“Whoever says the military is better than democracy is telling a lie. The issue is how we bring our leader to follow the tenets of democracy, that is the issue.
“The quality of leaders in Europe and America varies, not minding their institution, because of what they have there, there are leaders here too with a different mindset about leadership.
“Leaders who have three kinds of qualities, these people are fearless, shameless and hopeless; so it is not that democracy has failed, but the actors have failed.
“Therefore, military coups will continue to happen in Africa and people will continue to jubilate until the leaders sit up to generate the dividends of democracy for the people.
“What we want to see are good roads. We want to see our institutions functioning well. We want to see good schools. We want to see people coming back home from abroad,” the don.
According to him, people always rejoice when there is a coup to succeed a government considered bad and still celebrate when elections are held to enthrone a democratic government, NAN said.
“People rejoice for good reasons; they rejoice for unacceptable reasons as well. They always rejoice when there is a change, whether good or bad.
“When people argue that democracy has failed in Africa, it is not really because democracy itself is bad, but because its operators are not operating democracy the way they ought to.
“Africans have been made to understand that democracy brings development, but if after decades of democratic rule, they do not see the expected development they worry,” he said.
Onuoha decried a situation where Nigerians leave the country in their numbers in search of greener pastures in what has popularly been described as “Japa syndrome”.
He called on Nigerian leaders to take advantage of the possibilities offered by democratic governance to better the lives of Nigerians to prevent brain drain to other countries.