By; FADURI O. JOSEPH
The recent overthrowing of government by Niger Republic Military is no doubt a slap on Africa’s evolving democracy and the need to allow it to grow, to have missteps but allow to grow so that Africa as a continent can learn to be democratic and the military forces in Africa can know their role as arm of the government to protect and defend their country against external attacks, not as rulers.
So, a military takeover in Niger and other six African nations like Mali, Burkina Faso, and the rest, are counterproductive to Africa development.
Military men are not trained to rule, but trained to fight and defend their nation. The hunger and greed with African leaders and the citizens is also the reason why military seizes power in African nations in this 21st century.
The world has moved past the era of military dictatorship and to see African nations now trending in military take over of power across the length and breath of Africa, is nothing but a condemnable act.
So I will advise Niger military heads to peacefully handover power back to civilians, allow them to make mistakes and the people of Africa and Niger mostly should spend their energy to strengthen democracy and elect leaders who would make their nation great and vote out leaders who would do otherwise and destroy the people and starve them of economic progress.
The good thing is that it takes only four years to send a bad leader packing or even impeachment by its parliament if need be, with people protesting against such bad governance.
Democracy comes with freedom of speech, of association and rights of citizens to speak and be heard, but life under military rule is the opposite of freedom. It’s a setback and total setback at that.
Having said this, it is also very important to turn to the politicians in Africa on the need for them to do the right thing by the people who voted them into power. Africa is bedeviled with corruption, greed, and lack of human sympathy. Our politicians steal so much in a continent where its citizens are worth less than a dollar a day.
Democracy, they say is the government of the people, by the people and for the people. And it is the responsibility of those in power to deliver to the people of their nations dividends of democracy, good economy, good and quality education.
Provide enabling environment for private companies to strive and succeed, security of life and property, good education for the youths, good health care system for the adults.
For the elderly and the children welfare must not be left out. Above all ensure a robust plan for the citizens of the country. These are basic things people want and if politicians can provide them, then there won’t be the urge for military takeover anywhere in Africa. However, the lack of these things too does not excuse military to seize power.
The democratic system in the world we follow like America and Europe; all have gone through so much test of time. We must allow ours to do same. Let us make mistakes and correct them. Get involve mostly, which is what we lack in Africa; especially among Youths since time immemorial.
Democracy in Niger Republic and all across African nations is no privilege, but a right for all Africans and that we must support and protect it and condemn any act of coup on Africa soil.
May God Bless Africa and give African leaders foresight to do the right thing for their people
Faduri O. Joseph is the Leader, Rescue the Vulnerable Initiative aka Rescue Movement for New Nigeria