In light of the increasing number of coups across Africa, with the West African subregion being the most affected, the Federal Government has reassured the public that there is no fear of a coup in Nigeria. They emphasized that Nigeria has firmly embraced democracy, and its democratic institutions continue to strengthen. The recent coups in some African countries, including the neighboring Niger Republic, do not raise concerns about Nigeria.
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made these statements during an interview. He emphasized that Nigeria’s strong democratic institutions and the collective rejection of military takeovers make the occurrence of a coup highly unlikely in the country.
However, retired generals, while not endorsing coups, stressed that African leaders must uphold constitutional provisions, respect democratic principles, and ensure good governance to prevent future coups. They emphasized that leaders should be accountable and avoid repressive rule, as these factors contribute to coups.
The recent coup in Gabon marked the seventh coup on the continent within the past three years, with four of these occurring in West Africa. Despite this trend, the Federal Government maintains that there is no cause for concern in Nigeria.
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Additionally, some African leaders have initiated military shakeups in response to these coups. In Rwanda and Cameroon, Presidents Kagame and Biya, respectively, retired numerous senior military officers. However, the Nigerian government stated that such military shakeups are not planned in Nigeria, as the country’s democracy remains stable and peaceful.
Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu, who is also the Chairman of ECOWAS, expressed a preference for peaceful resolutions to conflicts, emphasizing that he is not interested in war. The government continues to engage in diplomatic efforts to address the situation in Niger.
To prevent coups in Africa and Nigeria, retired generals advised leaders to respect constitutional provisions, ensure good governance, and uphold democratic principles. They stressed that good governance, respect for the rule of law, and adherence to electoral promises are key factors in preventing coups.
In summary, Nigeria remains confident in its democratic system, while leaders across the continent are urged to focus on good governance to prevent future coups.