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Why Africa is prone to coups – UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has identified the lack of core societal values and the over-ambition of young military officers as major causes of…

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has identified the lack of core societal values and the over-ambition of young military officers as major causes of coups d’état in Africa.

Matthew Alao, the UNDP Team Lead for Governance, Peace and Security, shared this insight in an interview following the graduation ceremony of the Leadership and National Cohesion Course at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre in Jaji, Kaduna State.

Alao noted that while the military was a part of the broader society, the ambitions of young officers, alongside eroding societal values, religious beliefs and lack of education contribute significantly to the prevalence of coups in West African countries and Africa at large.

He said, “The fundamental problem the world is facing today is the lack of core values, which leads to persistent coups and counter-coups staged in Africa by military officers.

“Our core values are fast breaking down. You see agitation and expectation on many issues that may not be realistic. Many people don’t go to school, and those who do often lack employable skills. This contributes to the current situation.

“And because the military cannot be divorced from the society where it is situated, they also feel part of that agitation. When there is widespread discontent, it speculates and overshadows other events, leading to coups.

“Moreover, young officers’ over-ambition is another cause. They don’t want to wait for their turn. The desire of young people to take control prematurely contributes to these occurrences.

“Young people need to learn, because without learning, we will continue to repeat past mistakes. At one point, this country was ruled by 27-year-olds. While they delivered initially, they lacked the necessary experience and vision. Had the military of those days planned our future and laid a strong foundation, Nigeria would be in a better state today. We wouldn’t be clamouring for roads, infrastructure and other basic amenities.”

 

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