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Obasanjo explains why African youths support rising military coups

Obasanjo said African youths are enthusiastic about these coups for a reason.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Obasanjo made these remarks during an interactive session with a group of young Africans associated with the Africa for Africa Youth Initiative (A4A), a platform founded by Reverend Chris Oyakhilome.

Drawing from his extensive experience, Obasanjo expressed that the surge in military coups in Africa indicates that the continent's youth are yearning for liberators.

Despite his own tumultuous encounter with late General Sanni Abacha's regime, he emphasised that certain conditions have been conducive to the rise of military power grabs in various African nations.

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Having served as both a military leader and democratically elected president of Nigeria, Obasanjo noted that African youths are enthusiastic about these coups because they seek liberation. Since 2020, the African continent has witnessed military coups in seven countries, with Niger and Gabon being the latest additions to the list.

Obasanjo remarked, "If we don't address the underlying conditions that fuel these coups, they may persist. We must do everything in our power to prevent such incidents."

The former president highlighted that it is predominantly the youth who support these coups, emphasising, "The coup leader in Gabon was being carried on the shoulders of the youths, not by elderly individuals like myself. The youth are searching for liberators, and we must take note of that. Why should we let them seek liberators outside of the government in power?"

Obasanjo challenged African leaders to establish and uphold true democratic principles embedded with God-given attributes as a means to deter future coups on the continent. In a pointed statement, he urged long-serving politicians to consider retirement, stating, "If you've been in government for 40 years and you're not weary, perhaps it's time to retire."

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