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Burkina Faso: ECOWAS must reinstate Kabore

By Soyombo Opeyemi
31 January 2022   |   2:44 am
The Economic Community of West African States must restore President Roch Marc Kabore to power with deliberate speed. There must be a reversion to the status quo ante in the political governance of Burkina Faso

The Economic Community of West African States must restore President Roch Marc Kabore to power with deliberate speed. There must be a reversion to the status quo ante in the political governance of Burkina Faso. Those terrorists in uniform – putatively led by one Lt. Col. Sandaogo Damiba – occupying government buildings and pretending to be the new government in power must lay down their arms or be dislodged by ECOWAS forces. 

This is not the time to shed crocodile tears. This writer predicted more coups in Africa once the regional bloc did not heed his call to flush out the gangsters in Mali and later the bandits in Guinea, who remain in power till date. The time for platitudinous coup condemnation statements is over. It is time to employ maximum force to flush out the renegade boys who are abusing the power of the guns provided to them by taxpayers. Roch Kabore won popular re-election in 2020 and must be returned to power by the armed forces of the regional bloc.

To seek to interrogate the raison d’être for a coup in Burkina Faso is to advance the devil’s own game. It is an unwarranted attempt to exaggerate the role of the military in a political community. The military is not an alternative government; it is not government-in-waiting. A country trains doctors to keep its citizens in good health. She trains teachers to educate her citizens. She trains soldiers to keep her people and territory secure from external aggression. The military cannot claim to be more important than teachers. Neither can doctors claim superiority over the police.

[FILES] Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore poses for a picture during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania June 30, 2020. Ludovic Marin /Pool via REUTERS

The army putsch in Burkina Faso is another slap in the face for Africa, ECOWAS, Ghana, Nigeria – the most powerful in the sub region and President Muhammadu Buhari – the leader of the largest democracy in West Africa. Buhari must not allow the coup to stand. President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, the Chair of ECOWAS, must as a matter of emergency mobilize member states to crush the coup. 

By now, some 5,000 Nigerian Special Forces should be heading towards northern Republic of Benin, supported by a few hundred soldiers from Niger Republic to occupy the eastern flank of Burkina Faso. Led by a thousand or two elite troops from Ghana, supported by a few hundreds from neighbouring Togo, Benin and possibly Cote D’Ivoire to completely hem in Burkina Faso from the south, those bandits in uniform in government offices in Ouagadougou should return to their various barracks within 24 hours or be flushed out by ECOWAS within days. Other ECOWAS member nations should contribute to the Mission both in cash and kind. President Kabore should be back in power within days!

Once again – and for the umpteenth time – soldiers do not seize power on behalf of the masses. Those youths that pour into the streets to celebrate coup d’états are simply ignorant. The military usually cashes in on the frustration of the public to stage a coup in order to satisfy the lust of its officers for power and self-aggrandizement. Hence one army coup usually leads to another. Every coup-maker excoriated the previous government in order to gain legitimacy. No sooner had it settled down than it did worse than the regime it toppled. After seizing power at gun-point, they exacerbate political, socio-economic and security situations inherited. 

Besides the horrendous repression and abridgement of citizens’ rights, military rule is not kind to itself either. It destroys the lives of many of its finest officers, shatters discipline, command structure and esprit de corps. Since a military regime is patently illegal, it is always unstable, living in perpetual fear of coups from within its own ranks. The political instability orchestrated by martial rule drives away investors and compounds the economic woes of compatriots. 

These power-thirsty officers are mere cowards, who find it easier to stage a coup against unarmed civilian leaders than fight their equals on war-fronts. They crave the allure of political power but are not prepared to pay the huge price of electioneering and political horse-trading. They want to loot the public treasury by shooting their way to political power. They are no better than armed robbers, who take what does not belong to them by force of arms! 

Even in Europe and North America, popularly elected governments occasionally are up against public discontent. Except in very rare instances where the power of initiative and recall are exercised, the electorate knows they have to wait till the next general election before they can effect a change of government. As it happened in Honduras in 2009, it is the constitutional and patriotic duty of the military and all state institutions to disobey any unlawful orders of the head of state (to manipulate the electoral process). You do not build a nation by plotting coups.

Soyombo, media practitioner and public affairs analyst, sent this contribution from Abeokuta via