3 Reasons Why We Have Coups In West Africa
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Politics - Profiles - August 7, 2023

3 Reasons Why We Have Coups In West Africa

The West African region, marked by its rich cultural tapestry and diverse societies, has unfortunately witnessed a recurring pattern of political instability in the form of coups.

These abrupt and often forceful changes in government have left scholars, analysts, and citizens alike grappling with the complex dynamics that fuel such events. 

Beyond the headlines and surface-level explanations, delving into the underlying reasons for coups in West Africa unveils a web of historical, socio-economic, and political factors. 

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for coups as listed by Kingsley Moghalu,  a former deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Absence of rule of law/accountability

Moghalu stated that the reason coups are on the rise, especially in the Sahel comes from the way we practice leadership in the region. He said, “It’s the African mind. Our worldview, our mindset. The way we think, the arrogance of power, the corruption.The absence of rule of law/accountability.” 

Poor Developments

The former CBN chief said, “We have tried democracy predominantly for the past three decades. We are still the poorest continent in the world. Now coups are on the rise in the Sahel. So, what is the problem? It’s fundamental and I will tell you. The focus on superstition instead of the rational science/innovation that has driven development elsewhere.” 

Low-Level thinking

Moghalu further noted that Low-level thinking leads to low-level actions, which leads to low-level outcomes.

He said, “Worldviews are fundamental. We must ask ourselves who we are, where we have come, where we are going, how to get there, and the values that underpin our societies.” 

Moghalu’s statement came after the Nigerian Senate called for diplomatic means to bring back democracy in the Niger Republic, as Niger joins, Burkina Faso, Mali and others in the “Sahel Coup Belt”. 

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