Former Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned in totality the military coup d’état in the Republic of Guinea, which ousted President Alpha Conde, describing it as a “huge setback for democracy in West Africa that must not be allowed to stand”.
Ekweremadu said that while leaders must work hard to enhance democratic governance and freedoms in the sub region, experience clearly showed that unconstitutional change of government had never been the answer either.
In a statement by his media adviser, Uche Anichukwu, on Monday, Ekweremadu, who chaired the ECOWAS Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Political Situation in Niger Republic and Republic of Guinea in 2009, called on ECOWAS leaders and the international community to apply the necessary pressure on the coup leaders to immediately release and restore President Conde to power.
“The coup in Guinea Conakry is yet another sad commentary on democracy, and the quest for political stability and economic prosperity in the West Africa.
“It is condemnable, unacceptable, and must never be condoned. Capture of power by unconstitutional means is against the letters and spirit of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance as well as the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
“So much sacrifices have been made to entrench democracy as a permanent means of governance in the sub-region and military officers in every part thereof must be made to understand that any attempt to scuttle it will always be met with rigid opposition by the leaders and peoples of the Community.
“Therefore, this is a call on the ECOWAS leaders and members of the international community to stand up to the coup plotters to ensure that they reinstate President Alpha Conde immediately”, he said.
The lawmaker, however, called for more political freedoms, strict observance of the rule of law, better management of diversity, and preservation of the sanctity of the ballot box to detoxify the democratic environment, weeding it of every factor that makes coup making attractive.
“I must admit that our leaders must also strive and committedly bring to an end a culture of political impunity, winner-takes-all, sit-tight syndrome, and exclusionist tendencies in order to establish a egalitarianism, culture of democratic freedoms, rule of law, transparency, accountability, sanctity of ballot box, respect for term limits to ensure that democracy and its blessings endure in all of West Africa”, Ekweremadu concluded.