The House of Representatives has strongly condemned the rising cases of military intervention in politics in the West African sub-region.
Consequently, the House urged the Federal Government to strongly condemn the coups, impose strong sanctions, and mobilise other nations and stakeholders to impose “very extensive” sanctions.
The House further urged Civil Society Organisations across the sub-region and internationally “to condemn coups, support civil society, political parties, and parliaments to work for the immediate restoration of democratic order in the affected Nations.
It also called on the United Nations and its agencies as well as the international community to impose total sanctions on those countries where coups d’état have taken place in West Africa Sub- Region
This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo) on matter of urgent public importance at plenary on Wednesday.
Moving the motion, Hon. Ihonvbere noted with high grave concern the emerging trend of military coups in the West African sub-region, the most recent coup in Burkina Faso being part of a resurgence of ‘’a Coup Culture’’ in West Africa;
He further noted that “for the fourth time in only six months, violence had facilitated the transfer of power in West Africa with Guinea, Mali, (twice in the past seventeen months) and Chad seeing new leaders emerge from their respective militaries, and Burkina Faso a few days ago, witnessed the overthrow of President Roch Kabore.”
According to the him, “this illegal takeover of power from democratically elected government violates several national constitutions, international conventions and protocols established by multilateral organizations, donors and development partners.”
He pointed out that since Nigeria, the traditional power house in the sub-region transited from military to civilian in 1999, there had been a strong sense that the days of military coups were effectively over, but with this emerging trend, that positive trajectory was now being reversed with the rather quick successive coups in the aforementioned countries.
He argued: “Coups subvert political processes, promotes tensions and violence, suffocates democratic spaces, suppresses basic freedoms, contains civil society and promotes corrupt undemocratic governance.”
“If the trend is not immediately and firmly checked, it could erode the democratic achievements made thus far, distort the emerging culture of constitutionalism, and promote opportunistic and undemocratic actors in the region, and by extension the continent,” the Professor of political science cautioned.
While contributing to the debate, Hon. Muhammed Monguno who condemned the coup trend urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to use its power to ensure that democracy returns to Burkina Faso and other affected West African States.
Other contributors such as the House minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) and Hon. Herman Hembe (APC, Benue) who also condemned the coup charged African leaders to always keep to their campaign promises whereby their countries would be developed instead of running to other developed countries like the United Arab Emirates, UAE, to invest leaving their counties under-developed
The motion was unanimously adopted when when it was put to voice vote by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.