By Rebecca Ekpe.
Dean at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFSC), Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso has said that the Coup D’état in Guinea, was not unexpected. He said a number of factors pointed to the fact that it was to be expected. Speaking to GBC News, he said a number of factors including the neglect of the masses and what he called a 3rd Term Syndrome among Francophone countries are also factors.
Dr. Antwi-Danso said the fact that the uprising was spearheaded by deposed President Conde’s own confidant should send signals of discontentment.
“It came from Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, a confidant of the President, and an experienced Commander, it came from his own guards, unless there is civil war, the Military would take over,’’ he stated.
According to Dr. Antwi-Danso, it would be difficult for any negotiations at this time, as the President has been taken hostage, although the Defence Minister stated that the coup had been thwarted.
“It is time and we need to interrogate underlying factors of what is happening to democracy in West Africa, especially in Francophone Countries,’’ according to Dr. Antwi-Danso.
He said democracy should be seen rather as a process, than an event. And the Guinean Coup should come as a lesson to those who joke with democracy to know that this can happen anywhere, at any time’’, in Dr. Antwi-Danso’s view, the Constitution must reign and the people must be allowed to make their own changes.
“Democracy has a way of building society unless we understand that the people change it themselves, instead of making it an event than a process, what are the underlying factors, what would it take for democracy to crystalize itself, we need to interrogate all these,’’ Dr. Antwi Danso posited.
He was of the view that people must not just have elections, and make changes to the Constitution, but it must be more of ‘’we the people’’ led.
While dilating more on the 3rd Term Syndrome, Dr. Antwi Danso questioned what was happening to the change of the Constitution by Presidents’ mostly in Francophone Africa.
“What is happening, what is happening, that the leaders change the Constitution to suit a third term, it should be the people, this change happened in Senegal, Chad, Niger, Togo, Cote d’ivoire, Mali, now Guinea,’’ he explained.
Who interprets the Constitution in a democracy, Dr. Antwi Danso Questioned?
The main opposition parties allied with Civil Society Organisations within the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution held multiple demonstrations to oppose any constitutional reform that paved the way for the Guinean Head of State’s candidacy for a third term. ‘’Third-termism disease in Africa’’, as some have called it.
Guinea’s 82-year-old President Alpha Conde sought a third term in office after the Constitution change in March 2020. He was elected President in 2010 and again in 2015.
Under Guinea’s Constitution, Presidents may only serve 2 terms.
On Sunday, September 5, 2021 Elite Soldiers in Guinea staged an uprising in Conakry, where the President was detained. The Constitution was dissolved. There is a nationwide curfew “until further notice” and the replacement of Regional Governors by the military.
Earlier, citizens poured out in the streets in jubilation, over what analysts say is a clear indication that the situation is a Populist Uprising.
The soldiers also said in a statement read out over national television they would convene President Conde’s Cabinet Ministers and other top officials on Monday, September 6,2021 in Conakry. These events drew concern and condemnation from regional and international observers, including Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, whose Chairman, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo released a communique calling for the release of President Alpha Conde and any officials, who may be in detention. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has also strongly condemned “any takeover of the government by force” and called for Mr. Conde’s immediate release.
Meanwhile, Editor of Guineenews.org, Amadou Kendessa who spoke on the GTV Breakfast Show this morning has confirmed that all is calm in Guinea.