According to Adib Saani, a security expert, citizens of West African countries regard the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as a presidents’ club.
Citizens of ECOWAS member countries, he claims, regard the organization as one that does not always act in their best interests.
Adib Saani, speaking to the media, claimed that the citizenry’s opinion of the body has caused the body to lose legitimacy in the eyes of many of them.
He further claimed that coups are becoming increasingly common in the sub region as coup makers see ECOWAS as ineffective and illegitimate.
“ECOWAS has lost legitimacy, and in the eyes of West African citizens, ECOWAS has lost respect.” Because they regard it as a president’s club rather than a body that represents the interests of ECOWAS citizens. That is why, without fear of ECOWAS sanctions, many of these soldiers opt to seize power,” he told GhanaWeb.
He went on to say that, while ECOWAS was doing well in terms of economic integration, it was doing poorly in terms of security in the subregion.
“ECOWAS may have done well in terms of economic integration, but it has failed miserably in terms of security.” He continued, “I do not believe it has done enough to strengthen security in the sub-region.”
Human insecurity, according to Adib Saani, is the primary cause of military coups and other political upheavals in the sub-region.
“Human security is a big concern in the West African Sub-region, and it is a major issue in nations like Burkina Faso, where many people live on less than a dollar a day.” Burkina Faso is ranked 182nd out of 189 countries in the human development index, according to Adib.
He went on to say that until ECOWAS leaders take concrete action to address these vulnerabilities, the region’s leaders should brace themselves for additional political upheavals.