The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says Parliament opposed the proposed military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore democracy in Niger.
He said that democracy must be at the forefront in Niger’s coup because the West African States have committed to deepening their democratic credentials.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, August 19, Mr Ablakwa asserted that Parliament does not support coups and military takeovers.
The North Tongu MP stated that the West African countries do not want ECOWAS to return to the period of coups where military juntas control political power.
He explained that the citizens should rather have the power to elect their leaders and unseat them when the time comes for them to decide.
“I must say we are all opposed to military takeovers, nobody supports coups. When these coups occur, we in Parliament are the first casualties. All coup announcements, you will hear the physiology – parliament is hereby dissolved.
“We will instantly become unemployed, we will be jobless so I cannot come here and speak in favour of military takes.”
The Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament asserted that in as much as West African countries do not support coups and military takeovers, ECOWAS has not lived up to expectations.
He said ECOWAS always abused “democratic opportunities” when such issues rises.
“They (ECOWAS) are not empathetic to the people, they don’t use good governance tools, they don’t listen to the masses, they even use their democratically elected office to undermine institutions, compromise the judiciary, entrenched themselves, engage in what you may want to call constitutional coups and that has been the bin in the sub-region.”
Mr Ablakwa maintained that “When ECOWAS was established in 1975, even the host of that establishment conference General Gowon was not a democrat, a few months thereafter he was overthrown. Six leaders at that meeting were military dictators. A few years later, eight other countries had coups.
“Indeed if you look at the ECOWAS membership, only two countries have not had coups. Only Cape Verde and Senegal so you can understand what ECOWAS itself has been, credibility crises, lacking the moral rights,” he stressed.
He further explained that ECOWAS lacks credibility crises and expressed disbelieve in their attempt to be hardline and use force in Niger to serve as a deterrent to other countries.
“I do not think that military intervention is what will stem the tide, rather they should look at the causative factors. All of this bad leadership, people using democracy to entrench themselves, to kill their people.
“Look at how many opposition leaders have been imprisoned in Senegal, have many protestors have been shot by the democratically elected leader.”
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