Professor Appiagyei-Atua, Associate Professor, University of Ghana School of Law, has indicated that ECOWAS is late with its intervention in resolving the military takeover in Guinea.
According to him, it may be a great challenge for Guinea to go back to democratic governance due to the massive support the military has received from the citizenry.
“We see ECOWAS trying to flex its muscles and indicating to the coup makers that they do not have a place in the democratic dispensation that ECOWAS wants Guinea to chart.
“That is where the problem is. In the first place, ECOWAS has come in late because if at the time Conde was misbehaving and dodging the constitution, they had been strict on him and ensured that the rules it has set in the sub-region, the ECOWAS supplementary protocols on democracy and governance and the AU instruments on ensuring democracy and governance in Africa, had been followed, we wouldn’t have been where we are today,” Prof Appiagyei-Atua said on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday.
He added, the military ousting Alpha Conde’s government in Guinea was the only way to end his [Conde] regime because during his reign he eliminated all processes to allow a democratic change.
“During the time of Conde, he reengineered the constitution, doctored it and introduced a third term, which led to some serious human rights violations taking place, and he going ahead to put in prison some politicians, clearly, it indicated that there was no other way for democratic change to occur in the country and so in my opinion, the military did the right thing by ensuring the overthrow of the regime,” he observed.
The law Professor further stated that, the military has served its purpose and should ensure the country is returned to a democratic state as demanded by the ECOWAS.
“The role of the military in politics is to be on the side of the masses, to change government, where it has become impossible to change government through the ballot box or the agreed formula in the constitution of the particular country.
“So after the dictatorship is overthrown, they leave the scene and allow democracy to return and they should have indicated to the people that this is what they were going to do. But as things stand, I think the military has finished its job. Any attempt for them to remain in power and to say that they are ensuring corruption is ruled out and so on, is not their job. They should prepare the ground and leave the scene,” he said.
He, however, advised the ECOWAS Heads of State to take up negotiation mechanisms that do not aggravate the matter at hand because sanctions meted against Guinea are harsh.
“They still have the military might to remain in power and if sanctions are applied in most cases, it is the people on the ground who will be affected. I think that it should have been a step by step approach to give them a little space, given them timelines that within a month people should be released from prison, within the next month, you think about whether a new constitution may be needed or they just amend the previous,” Professor Appiagyei-Atua stressed.