The West Africa Media Lawyers (WAMELA), on Monday, condemned the military coup in Guinea.
WAMELA, in a statement signed by its International President, Barrister Noah Ajare, and made available in Abuja, said the act contravened the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
According to the group, Article 1(b)-(e) of the ECOWAS Protocol A/SP1/12/01 on Democracy and Good Governance Supplementary to the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security states as follows:
“Every accession to power must be made through free, fair and transparent elections.
“Zero tolerance for power obtained or maintained by unconstitutional means.
“Popular participation in decision-making, strict adherence to democratic principles and decentralisation of power at all levels of governance.
“The armed forces must be apolitical and must be under the command of a legally constituted political authority; no serving member of the armed forces may seek to run for elective political office.”
WAMELA, therefore, called on Nigeria and other governments of ECOWAS countries to take necessary steps to resist the renegade military leaders of Guinea.
“The coup leader should be made to understand that military coups are totally unacceptable, especially in West Africa irrespective of the unpopularity of the sitting government of any country,” it said.
The group noted that though the Constitution of Guinea was amended in most irregular circumstance to accommodate 3rd term of President Alpha Conde, it said that “until the constitution is set aside, it remains the groundnorm.”
“WAMELA further calls for a serious, concerted resistance by the international community to the recent coup in Guinea to serve as a strong deterrence to all other armed forces, particularly in West Africa that may be tempted to consider seizing political power by any unconstitutional means because of the prevailing economic and security challenges facing the region,” the group said.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the Guinean special forces seized power in a coup, arrested the president, and promised to change the political makeup of the West African country.The new military leaders announced a nationwide curfew “until further notice”, saying it would convene Conde’s cabinet ministers and other senior politicians at 11am (11:00 GMT) on Monday.
“Any refusal to attend will be considered a rebellion,” the forces said in a statement.