Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria, has provided an explanation for why young people in Africa embrace the current wave of coups.
According to Obasanjo, the increasing number of military coups in Africa is evidence that the young people there are looking for liberators.
The former president met with a group of young people from Rev. Chris Oyakhilome’s Africa for Africa Youth Initiative (A4A) in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State.
However, Obasanjo acknowledged that conditions across the continent have been encouraging the military seizure of power, despite his previous statements that he would not support a coup due to his treatment at the hands of the late General Sanni Abacha.
The former military and elected leader of Nigeria said that young people across Africa are enthusiastic about coups because they see them as opportunities for personal liberation.
Seven African countries have experienced coups since 2020, with the most recent happening in Niger and Gabon.
According to him, “if we don’t have the conditions that encourage them (coups), they may not happen,” therefore “we should make sure that we do everything to prevent coups from happening.”
According to Obasanjo, “most of these coups are supported by the youths, 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.”
We must keep in mind that today’s young are searching for liberators. Why must we let the youth look outside the current government for saviors? Why?”
To prevent military takeovers, he urged African leaders to establish genuine democracy by relying on their divinely endowed qualities.
“And if you have been in government for 40 years and you are not tired, maybe you need retirement,” he added.