Olusegun Obasanjo has suggested that the recent military coups in Africa are a reflection of young people’s quest for liberators.
The former president, drawing from his personal experience as a former Nigerian president who faced military dictatorship under General Sani Abacha, expressed his reluctance to support military rule.
He pointed out that certain conditions exist across Africa that encourage military takeovers.
The former president observed that many young people in Africa are supportive of coups, citing the example of the coup in Gabon, where the coup leader received support from youths. This raises questions about the level of trust and confidence young Africans have in their governments and institutions.
He called for the entrenchment of true democratic principles with attributes ordained by God as a means to discourage coups in Africa.
Obasanjo encouraged African youth to take up leadership positions today rather than waiting for tomorrow, emphasizing the importance of young people becoming actively engaged in shaping the future of their nations through democratic means, The Cable reports.
He said: “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.”