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ECOWAS has failed the citizens of West Africa, reasons for recent coup d’états

ECOWAS Heads of State
ECOWAS Heads of State

Speaking live on my View Show with Today Ghana News Tv and Podcast Network, the Security Expert put the blame on the door step of ECOWAS failure to address the numerous challenges confronting the West African people as reasons for the recent d’etats.

He mentioned that ECOWAS has shifted the goal post to deliver on its mandate in the Treaty to establish economic Union among member states that will improve the living standards of the West African people and also to enhance economic stability among member states to contribute to the growth and progress of the Sub regional economy through economic integration among member states, harmonisation of Agriculture, monetary, industrial and economic policies that will have direct impact on sustainable livelihood development of the people, as well as abolishing trades restrictions across the boarders of member states. All of these have not been achieved according to the Security Expert assessment of the mandate of the ECOWAS.

He said the people of West Africa has been subjected to economic hardship, social repression, political oppression, poor standards of living by its Leaders who have used Democracy to legalize Institutionalized corruption amongst the political elite and manipulate electoral results which sort to subvert the will of the people.

These growing sense of bad leadership by ECOWAS is gradually sinking deeper in the thoughts of citizens who thinks their Leaders have failed to address the sustainable livelihood development and rather choose to use their office to supress the will of the people whiles they amass wealth for themselves.

Dr. Smart-Abbey reiterated that Sovereignty resides in the will of the people and it emanates from the people and that is a Democratic Principle.

It is government of the people by the people and with the people so leaders should not abuse this democratic principle and use it to their advantage Rather, they must be braced with policies that will have direct impact on the livelihood of the people that will alleviate poverty and improve the living standards of the suffering lot.

He warned that if care is not taken and ECOWAS fails to uphold the tenets of social contract with the people, these Coup d’etats could sweep the entire West African sub region by people’s Power which the Military has become their voice.

The security expert drew a dichotomy between the 1st wave of coup d’etats in the 60s to the late 1980s and the most recent wave. He said the 1st wave was about fighting imperialism and neo colonialism but this recent wave is about fight against Institutionalized corruption, political oppression and Economic hardships confronting the people of WA and more of it has to do with escalating Jihadist activities within the Sahel and Maghreb regions of WA.

Dr. Smart-Abbey who is also a Counter Terrorism Expert cited several instances of several terrorist attacks in Northern Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger to which the governments has failed to support the Military to fight.

He said various splinter terrorist groups in the Sahel are destabilizing the Region and the need for political will to avert the situation but to no avail. The Expert posit that splinter terrorist groups such as Ansar Dine led by Iyad Ghaly, Alquaeda Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, Islamic State of West African Province ISWAP, pockets of Boko Haram fighters, Macina Liberation Group and Al Maribituom has been consolidated into one Group known as JNIM Jam’ at Nusurat Al Islam Wal Muslimin, society of Muslim which makes it difficult for the Military to fight against as a results of the lack of political will.

He mentioned factors that necessitated the Mali, Burkina, Guinea and Niger Coup d’etats as lack of political will to fight Jihadism in the Sahel as well as crusade against Institutionalized corruption and economic mismanagement that has stifled development in the Sahel Region. He said although West Africa is endowed with mineral resources such gold, oil, cocoa, timber, uranium etc, there is nothing to show when it comes to economic stability and social development.

Further, the Expert said the Leaders of ECOWAS only protect their selfish interests at the expense of citizens and they have become puppets of imperialism doing the bidding of their colonial masters instead of the people. In this regards, the people of West Africa are becoming wiser by day taking into consideration how they have been subjected to abject poverty and Social repression while the political elite amass wealth for themselves in the name of Democracy. These and many other reasons has angered the people and the Military has come their voice in their oppressed State.

In the concluding segment of the interview, the Security Expert disagreed with ECOWAS intention to deploy military to Niger to restore Democratic rule. He said any attempt for military intervention in Niger could lead to blood shed and escalate Jihadist activities in the Sahel. He also questioned the Military might of the ECOWAS and reiterated that there is no Military Pact in the ECOWAS Treaty to warrant a military intervention in Sovereign State and so ECOWAS could be overstepping its boundaries which could be met with military defense of the Juntas in the Sahel reason. Further, he questioned the locus of the Leaders who are calling for military intervention in Niger. He said so far, all the coups have been bloodless so why the military intervention??

That could trigger war, indescriminate death of civilians, instability in the Sahel that could affect economic activities and that could lead to hunger, famine and hardships which they themselves have already subjected the people to. According Dr. Michael Smart-Abbey, this would not make sense.

He questioned “Where was ECOWAS when there was Constitutional Re engineering by The current president of Ivory coast, Allasane Ouatarra to run for a third Term?” That of the attempt of Alpha Conde of Guinea and events in Senegal at the moment?

So according to the security expert, these Leaders especially Ouatarra who subverted the constitution of Ivory coast and Tinibu of Nigeria who won a disputed elections have no locus to sanction a military intervention since they themselves are not democratic because they have not sticked to democratic principles in their respective countries.

Finally, he warned that these Coup d’etats resonates with the people so it’s people’s Power and so ECOWAS should restrain itself from meddling in the affairs of these countries where these coups have taken place since its decision to deploy military was in a haste as they overlooked the possible remedy of diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations with the Junta.

He suggested a conflict resolution module of win-win situation where a Foreign Envoy could be Appointed by the International Community to bring all the factions together to bring amicable solutions to the instability in the Sahel regions.

In doing so, he advised that the conflict resolution should take into consideration an exit plan for the Junta and the Road map that would return the military regimes back to civilian rule.

Source : Michael Richmond Smart-Abbey

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