Buhari urges African soldiers with political ambition to resign, seeks stronger institutions.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declared that the era of coups in Africa was gone, urging military officers with political ambition on the continent to resign or face their constitutional role.
He called for respect for constitutional provisions in the constitution of the oil-rich West-Central African nation of Gabon, following an attempted military takeover in that country.
“The military officers in Gabon should understand that the era of military coup and government in Africa and indeed worldwide, is long gone.
“Democracy is supreme and the constitutional stipulations on the peaceful change of administration must be respected. That is the only way we can ensure peace and stability not only within the country but also in the region.”
President Buhari, who is the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also enjoined the people of Gabon to remain on the side of peace, security, stability, and democracy in their country.
Meanwhile, reports say the chief military rebel who led the failed coup in Gabon on Monday has been arrested and two of his commandos killed after they stormed a public radio station, the presidency said.
A group of soldiers attempted to take power and called in a radio appeal for a popular uprising against ailing President Ali Bongo, who is abroad recovering from a stroke.
Security forces stormed the radio station in the capital Libreville to take it back, killing two rebel troops, arresting their leader and freeing journalists who had been forced to help rebels make their appeal.
Also yesterday, President Buhari, in Abuja, called on African leaders to support processes that will ensure stronger political institutions across the continent, saying only strong institutions would guarantee stability, peace and economic progress.
Receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea, Siaka Cissoko, at the Presidential Villa, Buhari said political reforms in African countries could only be sustainable when they reflect the will of the people and work towards improving their lives.
“I congratulate your President for the progress he is making politically and economically in Guinea. Nigeria will be most willing to render support for your forthcoming elections, where it is needed,” he said.
The ambassador of Guinea noted that President Alfa Conde was in full solidarity with President Buhari, who has been championing reforms in ECOWAS and the African Union.
Receiving Letters of Credence from the High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to Nigeria, Dr. Wilfred Gisuka Machage, President Buhari said he was happy with the political maturity that trailed the conclusion of the elections in that country.
“I have written him formally to congratulate him for winning the elections. I am happy he has settled down to work,” the President noted.
Machage assured Buhari that he would pursue all the details of discussions and agreements between both countries, especially on the promotion of agriculture.
President Buhari congratulated the Ambassador of Poland to Nigeria, Joanna Magdalena Tarnawska, while receiving her Letters of Credence and urged her to work towards improving the close ties between both countries.