Founding President and Executive Director of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has described President John Mahama's statement as ECOWAS Chairman on the uprising in Burkina Faso as “too late and unhelpful”.
Burkina Faso's President, Blaise Compaore has insisted that he will stay in power for a year under a transitional government, following a day of violent protests demanding his resignation.
He said he was withdrawing a controversial law which would enable him to seek another term in office when his current term ends in 2015.
On Thursday, dozens of protesters angered by his bid to extend his 27-year rule torched parliament and government buildings.
They want him to resign immediately.
However, in a statement from the presidency, President John Mahama noted that, “ECOWAS will not recognise any coup in Burkina Faso”.
Read below full ECOWAS statement
ECOWAS has followed with grave attention the events unfolding in Burkina Faso and the tension around the process leading to the consideration of the draft bill on constitutional amendment.
ECOWAS takes note of the decision by the government to withdraw the passing of this draft bill.
ECOWAS believes that this decision is geared towards preserving the stability and peace in the country. To this end, it reiterates the need for compliance with the principle of democracy and constitutional governance as stipulated in the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.
ECOWAS calls on all the people to remain calm and law abiding, and the security forces to respect and act in accordance with the constitution of the Republic. It also calls on all the parties involved, notably the entire political class to embrace dialogue with a view to arriving at a political consensus that will lead to free, fair and credible election consistent with constitutional provisions.
However, Franklin Cudjoe opined that, “This message from ECOWAS leadership particularly smacks of a return to the pre-independence rhetoric that made the creation of political kingdoms a greater priority than development and fed the overwhelming urge of many leaders to remain in power long after the colonialists were gone”.
Read below Franklin Cudjoe’s statement [Unedited]
The call by ECOWAS Chairman and President of Ghana that an ‘illegal’ overthrow of the Burkinabe authoritarian dictator Mr Blaise Compaore would not be countenanced by West African leaders came too late and frankly unhelpful to the citizens in the ECOWAS region. ECOWAS leaders were not only sleepy, but tacitly approved the dangerous constitutional amendment supervised by the dictator Blaise Compoare to extend his illegitimate rule from 27 to 32 years.
This message from ECOWAS leadership particularly smacks of a return to the pre-independence rhetoric that made the creation of political kingdoms a greater priority than development and fed the overwhelming urge of many leaders to remain in power long after the colonialists were gone. At a time when the continent and sub region strives to liberate itself from the expansive powers of the state and the ravaging threat of Ebola, the last thing Burkinabes desire is entrenched dictatorship.
Whilst every citizen must abide by the rule of law, it is important to make a bold statement that the leadership of ECOWAS must be seen to challenge themselves to discard this dangerous political system and work towards integrating themselves into the present competitive global political and economic order. The status quo in Burkina Faso which ECOWAS seemed to tacitly approve threatens to exploit, denigrate, and humiliate ordinary Africans who want to live in peace and be prosperous.
ECOWAS citizens should stand shoulder to shoulder by the citizens of Burkina Faso and say that these ideas as supported by ECOWAS leadership are as dangerous today as ever. Meanwhile, Ghana and all other West African nations must secure their borders against attempts to smuggle arms into Burkina Faso to perpetrate the illegality of Blaise Compoare. West African citizens must support Burkinabes but advise them to challenge the plunderous rule of law as supervised by Blaise Compaoare for several decades without losing their lives.
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