Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has called on African leaders to focus on the causative factors of the recent spike in coups across the continent, and not the symptoms.
Atiku stated this in a post via the social media platform, X (xormerly known as Twitter) on Thursday while reacting to the recent coup in Gabon — the eighth in Africa since 2020. He said that the coup in the Central African country is condemnable, adding that everything should be done to sustain democracy in the continent.
“The coup in Gabon stands condemned. Democracy and democratic governance have come to stay as a preferred form of governance, and everything should be done to enthrone, nurture, and sustain it.
“As I suggested in the case of the Niger Republic, the ECOWAS and African Union authorities should open a window of diplomatic engagement that will pave the way for the soldiers to return to the barracks.
“The latest coup brings the number of military takeovers in Central and West Africa to 8 since 2020. This is worrisome and calls for introspection.
“We may have to focus on dealing with the disease and not the symptoms that birth coups,” he wrote.
A military coup had thrust the Central African nation of Gabon into turmoil Wednesday, unseating the president – whose family had held power for more than half a century – just minutes after he was named the winner of a contested election.
The ousted President, Ali Bongo Ondimba, also known as Ali Bongo, has faced accusations of election fraud and corruption since he began ruling the oil-rich nation nearly 14 years ago.
Following the coup, residents in the country’s capital were seen celebrating and embracing soldiers on the street. But much remains uncertain, with Bongo reportedly under house arrest, his son arrested, all borders closed and the government ostensibly shut down.
International leaders, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have expressed concern and condemnation of the coup, with some warning their citizens in Gabon to shelter in place.