Ghanaian politician, Kofi Adams has advised leaders on the African continent to respect their constitutional term limits just like Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings.
He asserted that the late President Rawlings who was very healthy and younger compared to some African leaders changing their constitution for a term presently respected the constitution.
“He was 52 years at the time and had a huge support base and could’ve stayed on longer if he chose to. But because he respected the laws of Ghana, he ended his two terms of four years and didn’t think of changing the constitution to his benefit. That for me should’ve been a wake up call for all of Africa. We should always use what President Rawlings did as a yardstick and for me the most interesting part of all this was his age when he left office. At the age of 52 he ceded power peacefully,” he stated.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Buem Constituency noted that it is unfortunate unlike the late President Rawlings “those who are old, sleep at meetings and are weak are the ones who want to change the constitution to give themselves limitless terms in office.”
Reacting to President Akufo-Addo’s desire to push for reforms through ECOWAS for third term bids to be outlawed, Kofi Adams stated it is important the member states agree to it.
In an interview with Happy98.9FM’s Don Kwabena on the Epa Hoa Daben political talk show, Kofi Adams stated, “Better later than never. It is a good call and although the call should’ve been made before the Guinea coup. Truth be told the constitutional amendments for 3rd term bids is unpopular amongst West Africans. President Akufo-Addo should push this agenda.”
West Africa has experienced a total of four attempted and successful coups in the last year. The recent one was in Guinea with two military takeovers in Mali and a failed coup in Niger.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said he will push for reforms through ECOWAS for third term bids to be outlawed.
The ECOWAS Chair said recent coups within the sub-region are a result of attempts by incumbent presidents to extend their mandates.
Speaking on Kumasi based radio station as part of his tour of the Ashanti Region, Nana Akufo-Addo said such acts are an affront to democracy.
“It’s high time we outlaw third term presidential mandates in all ECOWAS countries. I feel strongly that it is something we should do to prevent incidents like what we are witnessing in Guinea now. It will go a long way to ensure the smooth transition of power.”
“Using the ballot box has contributed to the stability of our country. People believe that if a leader is not doing well, they can vote against that leader in four years’ time,” he said.
After gunfire in Guinea’s capital, a group of soldiers announced the dissolution of the constitution and the closure of the borders.
The soldiers, led by a Special Forces Colonel, Mamady Doumbouya, had said regional governors had been replaced by military commanders and that Mr. Condé was under arrest.
The UN, African Union, and ECOWAS have condemned the coup and called for a return to civilian rule.
Meanwhile, the leader of the September 5, 2021 coup in Guinea, Col. Mamady Doumbouya was on Friday, October 1, 2021 sworn in as Interim President after ousting President Alpha Conde.