A famous adage says “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine.” This is something that the powers that be across the world should always remember. It is undeniable fact that Politics and Business affect our day to day lives. It is for this reason that Greek Philosophers coined the term Democracy, which means the participation of the people in deciding the rules of their territory.
Upon this premise of promoting and maintaining democracy globally, A global body, Continental Bodies and Regional Bodies have been formulated. The United Nations is a global body charged with the responsibility of promoting and maintaining global peace and democracy.
In the case of Africa, a Pan-African Movement gave rise to the formation of the continental body called the Organization of African Unity which later changed its name to African Union. This body has among others, have principles which include:
1. Respect the Sovereignty of member states and
2. Non-interference in the affairs of the members states.
The continental body has always maintained these principles and have continued to be maintained even in the present times.
The Continental body gave birth to regional bodies that continue on the same trajectory of maintaining democracy and peace among member countries.
With that said and observed, It is prudent that the Continental body and Regional Bodies changed some of these principles because of the challenges that have beseeched the continent in the recent times. A case study of Guinea Conakry can be used as a perfect example. The most recent coup d’etats that have happened in the West Africa could have been prevented if the Regional body ECOWAS and the African Union had taken a Hardline stance of Constitutional Breaches by the incumbents.
The continental body as well as the regional body ECOWAS was very quite and mute on the move by then Guinean President Alpha Conde to amend the constitution to allow him contest the elections for third term. Yet it condemned the ousting of the President by the Military. Truth be told, the Continental and Regional body should have come in to negotiate and mediate with the Guinean President when he changed the constitution and warn him of the impeding repercussions. Then even the military takeover would not have been possible.
Failure to respect constitutional provisions in many countries on the continent have resulted in civil strife and in some case civil war which to the worst can have always disadvantaged the ordinary citizens of the affected countries. This is why the African Union and Regional Bodies should take a leading role in the political affairs of member states to avoid breach of constitutional provisions to suit a cartel or an individual.
It is therefore, imperative that Presidents and Head of Governments are warned not to breach the Constitution in their favor. No one ever takes pride in seeing military coups but everyone takes pride in seeing peaceful transitions.
Democracy should not entail disadvantaging the citizens but should be used to enhance the livelihood of the people. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and office bearers should be made aware of their duty to preserve and honour that the virtues of that document.
The will of the people are much more greater than self aggrandisement.