Experts in political science, international relations and security have said the wave of military coups in Africa may not extend to Nigeria mainly as a result of the influence of ethnicity and religion.
Decrying what they described as the dearth of progressive democracy and collapse of governance in Africa, they lamented that the West African sub-region was fast becoming a fragile entity with a frustrated population, and called for progressive and grassroots rebuilding of the population.
The scholars spoke at a roundtable discussion organised by the Department of Political Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka with the theme, “The rumbles in the West African sub-region: Causes, dynamics and challenges.”
They noted that the threat by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to invade Niger Republic was a prompting from the West and attributed the cause of the political instability in the sub-region to certain factors which were largely ignored by the political leaders for a long time.
According to them, the resurgence of military takeover of political power in West Africa was motivated by hopelessness and frustration of the people, warning against miniaturing of the civic space as well as demarketing of democratic governance and democratic institutions.
A scholar from the National Defence College, Abuja, Dr Nnia Okereke insisted that the resurgent coups drew attention to myriads of conditions that needed to be addressed, noting that the challenge drew attention to the fact that development remained a serious challenge in the sub-region.
He warned that using parliament dominated by partymen to secure tenure elongation for political leaders was not ideal for democracy.
A lecturer in the Department of Political Science of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbaria, Professor OBC Nwankwo expressed shock that instead of governments becoming responsive to the yearning of the people, what was witnessed was a total collapse of governance.
“What is important in the coups is the extent people are willing and ready to take charge of their affairs and to decolonize their minds. Emancipation is important.
“Let us stop taking standards from the West. Everything we are doing, even in Nigeria, is to please the West. Unless we emancipate ourselves and decolonize our minds, we cannot make progress”, he said.
Earlier, the head of the Department of Political Science of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Jaja Nwanegbo, called for a thorough retrospection by African leaders on the causes of military takeover of political power in the region, with a commitment towards ensuring that the resources of the continent served the interest of the people.