The House of Representatives on Wednesday condemned the resurgence of military coups in the West African subregion, warning that the development posed great dangers to democratic values.
It called for international condemnation of the series of successful and attempted coups in the subregion in recent times.
The House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, also recommended the imposition of sanctions against countries where such undemocratic methods had been used to upstage a people’s government.
The House resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by a member, Julius Ihonvbere, with the title, “Need to Condemn Increasing Resort to Military Coups in the West African subregion.”
Ihonvbere, while leading debate on the motion, recalled that there had been at least four coups in the subregion in the last six months alone.
He added that among the most recent cases were Burkina Faso and Mali.
“These coups violate the constitutional rights of the people and subvert democratic processes, as they can erode the achievements so far recorded in rebuilding good governance across the subregion”, he stated.
Ihonvbere further noted that if the trend was allowed to gain traction, the subregion could return to the dark era of “inconsistencies in governance.”
He said, “This culture must not be allowed to continue.
“We have to speak out now else history will not forgive us.”
Lending his voice to the motion, House Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, pointed out that the lesson in the coups was that African democratically-elected leaders must wake up and deliver good governance to their people.
He noted that bad governance would lead to frustration and resentment among the citizenry, allowing them to fall to the temptation of supporting undemocratic change of government.
On his part, the Chief Whip of the House, Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, observed that the worst democratic government would always be better than the best dictatorship as the freedom enjoyed in the former remained unequalled.
Members passed the motion in a unanimous voice vote.