Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has added his voice to the rising military takeover of governments in Africa.
According to Obasanjo, the trend showed that young people are in search of liberators.
Africa has witnessed seven coups since 2020 with the most recent one in Gabon where President Ali Bongo was removed and detained by the country’s military. He, was, however, only released recently.
Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, and Mali are all under military rule.
Speaking at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during an interactive session with a group of youths from Africa for Africa Youth Initiative (A4A), the former president said he would not support a coup considering his experience in the hands of former military dictator, late General Sani Abacha.
He said, “So, the youth are looking for liberators, and we must bear that in mind. Why do we have to allow the youth to start looking for liberators beyond the government of the day? Why?”
The former Nigerian leader argued that certain conditions have been encouraging military takeovers across the continent.
“Having suffered at the hand of Abacha, I will not want a military rule, but if it has to come, what can we do? I will just say okay.
“The point is this, do we have conditions that encourage the type of things that are happening, because if we don’t have the conditions that encourage them, they may not happen. That doesn’t mean it should be encouraged. What it means is that we should make sure that we do everything to prevent coups from happening.
“When you see things that happen in many countries, and I will not exclude Nigeria, then you wonder and don’t forget, don’t forget particularly the youth, they support most of these coups. The one in Gabon, the Coup Leader was being carried on the head by the youths, not by old wretched men and women like me,” he added.
While calling for the entrenchment of true democratic principles with God-given attributes as a way of discouraging coups in the continent, Obasanjo urged African youths to brace up and take leadership positions today and not tomorrow, which may never come.