Between 1956 and1990, Africa had over 100 coups. What this means is that in over 50 African countries an average of two coups happened. Coups are retrogressive and counter- productive. The 1966 coup in Nigeria only brought more hardship to Nigeria as it disrupted the regional system of governance and Nigeria continues to struggle. A lot of political watchers thought in the early 2000s we had seen the back of coups but the new trajectory is shocking. In the space of one year we have had three coups in Africa – Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso. A lot of people have fingered France in these coups and have complained bitterly about external factors but it is shocking Africa has regained its path of militarism.

Conversely, another argument cited is the greed of the leadership and how some elected African leaders destroy the political process to favour themselves. That was the case in Mali and Guinea, but is that reason strong enough for opting for a coup that destroys the fabric of society? It begs the questions. Why can’t Africa find solutions to its problem? Do we hear of coups in Europe in modern times? All hands must be on deck to stop the coup currently bedeviling Burkina Faso. It is a grey patch in Africa’s history.

Furthermore, ECOWAS must be more assertive in bringing solutions to these coup challenges. Some have argued that slap on the wrist approach by ECOWAS in settling the Mali and Guinea situation must have given verve to the military officers in Burkina Faso to take over. ECOWAS must be hard in its stance to stamp out coups. The people must also be reminded that the military has no business in governance and we must work round democratic conventions no matter the conditions. Africa is fast becoming a perilous continent with these endless coups. This must stop.

Rufai Oseni,