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Coups celebrated because politicians not delivering dividends of democracy: Goodluck Jonathan

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BAYELSA- Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the deterioration of democratic ideals in Africa leaves the masses disenchanted and forced to celebrate military coups. Mr Jonathan, therefore, called for the “rejig” of democracy on the continent.

Mr Jonathan said this during a ‘Democracy Dialogue 2023’ organised by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation in Yenagoa.

“Leadership is supposed to work to ensure that democracy is translated to economic well-being, explaining that democracy should be able to encourage development,” the former Nigerian president noted. 

“Recently,” he noted, “we have experienced jubilations heralding the overthrow of civilian administrations in Africa, people jubilating military overthrowing civil administrations. Such victory songs will not last long, but it shows that Africa needs to rejig her democracy.”

Mr Jonathan added, “In recent years, democracy in the continent has caused a serious crisis. The challenges of poverty and unemployment have created a crisis of trust in the hearts of our citizens. As leaders, we have the responsibility to ensure that democracy endures by adhering to the rules of law, respecting the rights of the people, strengthening public institutions, and ensuring that we implement policies that will impact positively on the lives of our people.”

Patrick Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, delivered an address on ‘Making Democracy Work in Africa’. 

Africa has experienced seven coups since August 2020.

On August 30, a coup d’état occurred in Gabon shortly after the announcement that incumbent President Ali Bongo had won the presidential poll held on August 26.

In Niger, on July 26, the military overthrew the government of President Mohamed Bazoum, with General Abdourahamane Tchiani taking over the reins of power.

In Burkina Faso, President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was ousted by the coupists on January 24, 2022.

Sudan witnessed a putsch on October 25, 2021. On September 5, 2021, Guinea witnessed its own coup d’etat. Then, Mali faced two coups in nine months. On August 18, 2020, President Ibrahim Keïta was overthrown by the military, with a transitional government formed in October. (NAN)