Editorial: Uneasy The Head 📰

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Africa’s Path to Stability

In these challenging times, Africa finds itself at a crucial juncture in its history, with a weighty responsibility resting upon the shoulders of Nigeria, often referred to as the Giant of Africa. As we look towards the future, we must rely on collective efforts and hope for divine intervention to shield our continent from the looming challenges, allowing prosperity to flourish in the region. However, irrespective of the outcome of The Presidential Election Tribunal, it is imperative for the people to unite for the greater good.

Recent years have witnessed a concerning surge in coup d’états across Africa, with eight such incidents reported in the last three years alone. Astonishingly, two of these coups occurred within a mere two-month interval, signifying a deeply disconcerting trend that demands our undivided attention. These military takeovers have transpired with an eerie calmness, while several African nations, including Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and others, grapple with internal conflicts. Furthermore, countries like Nigeria, which have enjoyed relative stability in comparison, are confronted with formidable insurgencies within and around their borders. The question lingers: could Nigeria, given its pivotal position in Africa, descend into political crisis?

While our constitution may guard against military coups, it fails to adequately address the civilian takeovers that have stealthily crept into the annals of government history. In the Nigerian context, we are confronted with an unprecedented situation, one that operates under the guise of the so-called “Wave of African Liberation.” This echoes the revolutionary spirit championed by Thomas Sankara, but it represents a counterfeit movement. We must discern that these coups are neither strategically guided nor consistent; they can shift course at any moment, potentially embroiling us in different forms of conflicts. For those in Nigeria who may have harbored hopes of a unified African liberation, there is the unsettling prospect of becoming caught in the crossfire of tribal or religious conflicts, counter to our collective aspirations.

Taking inspiration from the words of Tupac Shakur, we must maintain a vigilant watch over Nigeria, the Giant whose actions will profoundly influence the destiny of the entire continent. What should the people do in these trying times? While we may have weathered challenges greater than election malpractice in our nation’s history, we must accept the verdict of The Presidential Election Tribunal. We must place our trust in the judicial process, even when doubts linger. Our faith provides us with a path forward, and we retain the capacity to rectify any flaws in the system if necessary. Resorting to violence is not the solution, and it only deepens the existing wounds.

At this critical juncture, Africa stands at a crossroads, with the potential for both progress and regression. Nigeria, as a pivotal member of ECOWAS and the African continent, plays a vital role in shaping Africa’s future. Destabilizing Aso Rock, the seat of power, would only add to the litany of challenges faced by African nations. As the age-old saying reminds us, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Indeed, aggression may offer a fleeting sense of power, but it is control and wisdom that will enable us to navigate these turbulent waters with foresight and swiftness.


Since August 2020, Africa has witnessed a series of coups, with seven occurring before the recent one in Gabon:

Niger (July 2023): The military overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, with General Abdourahamane Tiani assuming control. ECOWAS has announced plans to restore constitutional order through diplomatic means and proposes a three-year transition period before reinstating civilian rule.

Burkina Faso (January 2022 and September 2022): President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was ousted in January 2022, followed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba assuming the presidency. Damiba was later dismissed in September 2022, with Captain Ibrahim Traoré leading the transitional government until elections in July 2024.

Sudan (October 2021): General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane led soldiers to remove transitional civilian leaders, derailing the country’s path towards democracy. A power struggle between Burhane and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, resulted in a war, causing significant casualties.

Guinea (September 2021): President Alpha Condé was overthrown in a military coup, and Colonel Mamady Doumbouya took over as president. The military promised to restore civilian rule by the end of 2024.

Mali (August 2020 and May 2021): President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was ousted in August 2020, leading to the formation of a transitional government. In May 2021, the military arrested the president and the Prime Minister, and Colonel Assimi Goïta was inaugurated as the transitional president. The junta committed to returning power to civilians after elections scheduled for February 2024.

Map of Africa

These coups have marked a period of political instability and military involvement in various African nations, with transitions to civilian rule promised but often delayed. The uncertain path ahead underscores the urgent need for collective action and unwavering commitment to peace and stability in Africa.

 

 

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