Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, have called on the global community to blacklist countries on the continent under Military rule
They said the new trend of military coups could set the continent on a reverse gear for many years and erode the development gains achieved through constitutional democracy.
The Speakers, led by the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, are meeting in Abuja for the 1st Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP).
The body was initiated in 2020 by Gbajabiamila and his colleagues from Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia to push for development in Africa through legislative support, including campaigns for debt cancellation by global creditors.
Commenting on the issue of undemocratic governments during a plenary session on “Africa’s Public Financial Management in the COVID-19 Era: Challenges, Opportunities and Way forward”, some of the speakers appealed to the global community not to recognize any African country where a coup brought in the government.
“No country will recognize a government that does not come through the ballot box.
“There are expressed provisions in our laws. Yet these things are done in certain countries and they are allowed, which is wrong,“ Gbajabiamila said.
It was the South African Speaker, Mr Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who first raised the issue, expressing surprise that undemocratic governments were gradually returning to Africa.
She noted that this was against the African Union’s position, which strongly opposed the undemocratic takeover of power.
Like Gbajabiamila, his South African colleague said what the rest of the world should do was to resolve not to have any dealings with such countries.
The speakers described the trend as a “Cancer,“ which must be stopped from further spreading.
On his part, the Speaker of Zimbabwe, Jacob Matunda, stated that the lack of growth in Africa was not due to a lack of ideas but the deliberate plot by the West to keep the continent in stagnation.
According to him, an African leader elected into office by popular will or who comes up with innovative ideas is soon “Punished,“ through any available method.
The speakers urged participants at the CoSAP meeting to come up with strong recommendations that would address the growing trend of military coups in some parts of the continent.