The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State have been encouraged to respect democratic ideals by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the member of parliament for the North Tongu Constituency.
Speaking on News File on Saturday, Ablakwa emphasised that ECOWAS hasn’t consistently demonstrated its credibility when dealing with coup d’état scenarios.
He emphasised that ECOWAS should set an example by practising democracy itself if they truly intended to restore peace and reinstate the ousted President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum.
He stated, “While you’re advising Niger on democracy, your own actions don’t reflect democratic values. Decisions should have involved your parliament before reaching a final verdict. This is why these leaders have been left isolated. It’s an unpopular choice”‘.ECOWAS Leaders Advocate Democracy in Niger, Yet Not Practicing It”
In reaction to ECOWAS examining different alternatives, including a military intervention, to restore democracy in Niger without consulting the legislative bodies of member states, including Ghana, Ablakwa made the following remark.
The North Tongu MP also criticised ECOWAS for not consulting Nigerian President Bola Tinubu—who also serves as the organization’s head—before declaring the use of force.
Nigeria fiercely opposed; their senators individually debated and passed a resolution, he emphasised. This dealt Tinubu a setback. Even the governors of the North declared their opposition. Without the support of the Nigerian people, how can ECOWAS move forward?
He accepted that decision-making and ratification authority rests with leaders, but he emphasised the need of adhering to the ratification procedure as set forth in Article 75, drawing comparisons to the GITMO decision.
Ablakwa also stated that Parliament is against any military action in Niger. Given the determination of West African States to strengthen democratic credentials, he emphasised that actions taken in response to the coup must be guided by democratic norms.
ECOWAS has not, according to Ablakwa, upheld its ideals despite its apparent opposition to military coups and takeovers. He charged that ECOWAS had abused its “democratic opportunities” in such a situation.
They lack empathy for the people, abuse democratic mandates, ignore tools of effective administration, and weaken institutions, he said. Even worse, they abuse the legal system and engage in what can be called constitutional coups, which have been common in the area.
He also expressed scepticism about the ECOWAS’s resolve and use of force in Niger as a deterrent for other countries.
SOURCE: Senali News Ghana