Falana Cautions Against More Coups In West Africa

Falana Cautions Against More Coups In West Africa

One time President of West African Bar Association (WABA) and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, yesterday, cautioned that the African continent could witness more unconstitutional change of governments due to failure of leadership. THE GUARDIAN reports.

According to THE GUARDIAN, the alert came as the government of Guinea-Bissau, a small West African country with a troubled political history, was filled with heavy tension, yesterday, according to AFP. Information Guide Nigeria

Heavily armed men surrounded the government palace where President Umaro Sissoco Embalo and Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam were supposed to meet with ministers.

Falana’s warning was contained in a letter to Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo.

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Parts of the letter read: “It is unsurprising that many of these political leaders continue to act with impunity and do not fear condemnation and sanctions from ECOWAS.

“I am writing to urge you to provide the leadership necessary for the Economic Community of West African States to apply the ECOWAS treaties and protocols on democracy and human rights, with a view to adopting preventive measures to promote the rule of law, end impunity of political leaders, and ensure full respect for citizens’ human rights including socio-economic rights”. jamb results

“Following the latest military coup and unconstitutional change of government, the Republic of Burkina Faso has been suspended from the ECOWAS. The coup is coming on the heels of at least five previous coups from member states of ECOWAS.

“Unfortunately, it has become routine for ECOWAS leaders to act after the fact rather than taking preventive measures to enforce respect for human rights, the rule of law, and end impunity of political leaders who frequently seek to change their national constitutions for personal gain.

“I am concerned that for many years, official impunity, abuse of human rights, grand and systemic corruption, flagrant disregard for the rule of law, and grinding poverty arising from economic mismanagement have been pervasive throughout the sub-region, and indeed the African continent.

“The persistent failure of the leadership of ECOWAS to take a preventive and active role in dealing with these threats to democracy, human rights and the rule of law has continued to contribute significantly to recurring coups and unconstitutional change of governments in many countries.
“The ECOWAS should also make the meaningful and effective implementation of its treaties and protocols on democracy and human rights, and obeying the rule of law a condition for retaining the membership of the institution.

“To prevent members of the armed forces from hiding under the pretext of fighting insecurity to sack constitutional governments the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), (a combined multinational formation, comprising units of the armed forces from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria) should be revived, expanded and funded to fight insurgency in the region.

“Finally, I also urge you to use your position to ensure that ECOWAS is able to assert its mandates under its treaties and protocols to immediately push for full and effective respect for democratic principles, human rights, transparency and accountability, as well as the rule of law in each of its member states.”

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Essien, Goodnews is a gruaduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo; Currently working at Infoguide Media as a news writer.

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