I’m worried West African countries are embracing coups – Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the sustainability of democracy in West Africa is key to resolving the challenges in the sub-region but expresses worry about military coups becoming fashionable.

“I am worried that some members of the sub-region are beginning to opt for military intervention because of what they consider as the weaknesses and flaws of democratically-elected leaders,” said the former president.

“As respected leaders, I am aware that many of you here wield great influence in our sub-region and continent.”

Jonathan stated this on Wednesday at the strategy meeting of the West African Elders Forum (WAEF), aimed at shoring up democracy and peace in the West African sub-region.

Mr Jonathan, WAEF chair, said, “The fate of the West Africa democracy is been put to question by unconstitutional change of government as recently witnessed in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.”

The meeting will assess some of the current trends and events within the West African sub-region and propose a plan of action towards forestalling a further deterioration of the peace and stability of the sub-region.

Mr Jonathan called on West African leaders to use their diplomatic power to address the issue and make democracy work for the citizens of the region.

“These sad developments which have occasioned a gradual erosion of our civic space and value system is what has necessitated this meeting today,” added the ex-Nigerian president. “Our gathering today, therefore, seeks to articulate possible solutions and strategies that will help consolidate our democracy.”

He urged the leaders to leverage their experiences and the power of diplomacy to resolve the crisis in ECOWAS.

Mr Jonathan explained that the sustainability of democracy in West Africa was key to resolving many of the sub-region challenges.

He, however, appealed to all leaders across the nations to make democracy work for the interest of all citizens.

(NAN)

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