An Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ghana says several democratic systems in the West Africa sub-region are not functioning effectively because they fail to meet the cultural needs of the citizens.
Prof. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua said such situations mostly lead to the imposition of undue hardships on people by governments as they use several illegitimate means to extend their stay in power.
According to him, there is a dying need to urgently re-examine the means and approaches of power transition in West African countries to ensure the restoration of efficient democracies that can thrive under existing cultures.
“A democracy that is imported cannot meet the particular cultural circumstances of the people for it to thrive. So, governments have taken advantage of the weaknesses in the structure, and are, therefore, making the people suffer.”
He told host Samson Lardy Anyenini on Newsfile Saturday that “laws have been made but the laws are not working; human rights are written boldly in the constitution but they’re not respected; so, the democratic system is not working.”
“Third-termism is on the rise where governments are changing the constitutions to remain permanently in office so the people will ultimately rise up against such situations and that is what is happening. It is a trench that, unfortunately, is likely to continue,” he warned.
The academic bemoaned the lack of political and institutional will to practical confront issues of coup d’etat in the sub-region, adding that a new strategy must be adopted to deal with the menace.
In a reaction to the recent coup in Burkina Faso, he stressed that “something needs to be done and done now to promote peace and security, especially in the West African sub-region.”
“There has been a particular format that they just pull from the cabinet and read it any time there is coup d’etat, and that is to say we condemn the coup d’etat and there should be a return to constitutional rule.”
“The point is that that process or approach has not worked and so I don’t know why they keep on doing that and why every day the situation seems to deteriorate.”
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has urged heads of ECOWAS member states to find solutions to restore constitutional order in Burkina Faso as a matter of urgency.
Condemning the military takeover in the West African nation, the President who chairs the regional body, said the growing insecurity in the sub-region represents a threat to peace and stability.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Damiba on Monday, January 24 led a mutiny to oust President Roch Kaboré.
The coup was due to deepening anger about Kabore’s response to violence by armed groups.
The ECOWAS has already condemned the coup and is hoping to restore order in Burkina Faso.
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