President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has condemned the sudden increase of military coups in Africa describing them as wrong and unreflective of the collective aspirations of Africans.
Tinubu said the pervasiveness of coups connote “a demand for solutions to perennial problems,” and do not imply Africa’s support for unconstitutional change of government.
The president said this in his maiden address to his counterparts during the ongoing debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.
He said, “We must affirm democratic governance as the best guarantor of the sovereign will and well-being of the people. Military coups are wrong, as is any tilted civilian political arrangement that perpetuates injustice.”
In this year alone, military forces in Niger and Gabon overthrew the democratically-elected governments of Mohamed Bazzoum and Ali Bongo, respectively.
The two military coup in 2023 brings the total successful Africa’s military coups to 107 since 1950, a lion share of the global count of 24.
The president argued that “the wave crossing parts of Africa does not demonstrate favour towards coups. It is a demand for solutions to perennial problems.”
Regarding Niger, Tinubu called for support from sister countries affirming that the Economic Community of West African States is still negotiating with the junta.
He said “As Chairman of ECOWAS, I seek to help re-establish democratic governance in a manner that addresses the political and economic challenges confronting that nation, including the violent extremists who seek to foment instability in our region. I extend a hand of friendship to all who genuinely support this mission.”
The ECOWAS chairman lamented that the protracted battle against violent extremists has created “a dark channel of inhumane commerce.”
He said “along the route, everything is for sale. Men, women and children are seen as chattel.
“Yet, thousands risk the Sahara’s hot sand and the Mediterranean’s cold depths in search of a better life.
“At the same time, mercenaries and extremists with their lethal weapons and vile ideologies invade our region from the north.”
Tinubu argued that the harmful traffic undermines the peace and stability of an entire region.
Consequently “African nations will improve our economies so that our people do not risk their lives to sweep the floors and streets of other nations.
“We also shall devote ourselves to disbanding extremist groups on our turf.”
However, he called on the international community to strengthen its commitment to arrest the flow of arms and violent people into West Africa.
Speaking on mineral resources in Africa, Tinubu warned that the continued looting of Africa’s mineral resources threatens peace and places national security.
“If left unchecked, they will threaten peace and place national security at grave risk.
He said many of Africa’s mineral rich areas have become catacombs of misery and exploitation, noting that the Democratic Republic of Congo has suffered this for decades, despite the strong UN presence there.
“The world economy owes the DRC much but gives her very little. The mayhem visited on resource rich areas does not respect national boundaries. Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, CAR, the list grows.
“The problems also knock Nigeria’s door.
“Foreign entities abetted by local criminals who aspire to be petty warlords have drafted thousands of people into servitude to illegally mine gold and other resources. Billions of dollars meant to improve the nation now fuel violent enterprises.” He stated
He advised that member nations must work with Africa to “deter their firms and nationals from this 21st century pillage of the continent’s riches.”