Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Law School, Prof. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua says many African countries are practicing a caricatured democracy.

According to him, the failure of several governments to uphold the ideal tenants of democracy is worrying and an affront to the peace and security on the continent.

Speaking on Newsfile Saturday, Prof. Appiagyei-Atua said that the various regional blocs in Africa must take steps to ensure democracy is entrenched to avoid the recurring coup d’états.

“African countries still want to enjoy the benefits of colonialism in a certain way. First, Colonialism left behind certain structures and institutions which were used to suppressed the people during the colonial period and the anti-colonial struggle.

“When independence came, our leaders tried to keep this law and applied them against their own citizenry.

“Secondly, African leaders are reproducing parts of the colonial powers which where abrogated when colonialism came into place and so the kind of democracy that we [Africans] have, to say it bluntly, is a caricatured,” he said.

The Law professor’s comment comes after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) issued a 6-month ultimatum to the military led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya to return the country to constitutional order.

The Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, chaired by President Akufo-Addo took the decision at the sub-regional body’s extraordinary summit held in Accra on Thursday.

But the law professor insists ECOWAS failed to act swiftly on the military overthrow in Guinea.

According to Prof. Appiagyei-Atua, had the regional bloc acted when the ousted President, Alpha Condé made changes in the constitution to remain in power for the third term, the military would not have stepped in.

He also called on the African Union to lead a campaign in re-examining their forms of governance to ensure individual liberties and rule of law are safeguarded.

“We don’t see a situation where democracy has entrenched itself so that we can move beyond the unconstitutionality in government and ensure that we arrive at a threshold where human security is the way to go.”

“Until we are able to design a kind of democracy where it is not about the winner-take-all kind of mentality, we are going to continue to have these problems here and there. It is important that we re-examine the concept of democracy because that is what feeds into the challenges we are having,” the senior law lecturer indicated.

Prof. Appiagyei-Atua also cautioned that the trend where some African leaders overturn their constitution to seek a 3rd term in power may spell doom for the continent and called for urgent steps to be taken to revert any form of instability.



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