Abdel-Fatau Musah, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commissioner for political affairs, peace and security, says deficit in governance has contributed to increased coups in the subregion.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Friday, the international politics expert said there have been seven coups in the region within a three-year span.
He said democracy as a system of government should not be blamed for the military takeovers in Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, but that attention should be shifted to deficiency in governance in these countries.
“All these coup dé’tats, except perhaps in Guinea, have taken place in the context of a symmetric conflict that is characterised by terrorism,” he said.
“Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger are the three Sahelian countries in West Africa most impacted by terrorism, so there is no coincidence that the coups are occurring in these countries.
“If it is terrorism, the military’s first duty is to confront terrorism. That is the question.
“It is not a question of democracy. We know that there are governance deficits in the region but is that the best way? It is about governance deficit and not democracy as a system of governance.
“Governance is broader, it is about economic development, youth empowerment, it is about building infrastructure for people to realise their potential.
“And that is very difficult in the global environment that we find ourselves in today.
“And it is not only in Africa, it is global. But you’re not seeing coups everywhere. Why in West Africa? Are we saying West Africa is the worst region in Africa?”