Prominent legal expert and human rights activist, Femi Falana, has shed light on the disturbing trend of coups within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In a communique on Thursday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (san), cited the “reckless exploitation of natural resources” as one of the principal driving forces behind the unsettling political unrest and the rise of unconstitutional changes in government.
Drawing on the historical and current socio-political landscape, Falana emphasized that the external influence and interference, particularly from former colonial regimes, coupled with the unchecked extraction of the region’s vast natural resources, has perpetuated economic inequalities. Such disparities have, in turn, led to mounting frustrations and grievances among the populace, creating a conducive environment for coups and power struggles.
Falana’s observations come at a time when ECOWAS has been under increased scrutiny, with a growing number of its member states experiencing political upheavals. He said the correlation between resource mismanagement and political instability underscores the urgent need for reformed governance and transparent economic practices in the region.
We have confirmed that another principal cause of change of governments in West Africa is the reckless exploitation of the natural resources of the member states of the ECOWAS by former colonial regimes and their allies. Such exploitation is compounded by the control of the national economy by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The implementation of the anti people’s policies of the foreign forces has continued to increase the poverty of the entire people of the region.
Out of frustration with civilian governments, unemployed youths and victims of human rights abuse usually troop to the streets to celebrate coup plotters. The Ecowas leaders should end the crude exploitation of natural resources and empower the people to control the commonwealth of member states in accordance with Article 21 (1) of the Charter which provides: