Major Derrick Oduro, former Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North and ex-Deputy Defence Minister, has shed light on the dynamics of coup d’états, asserting that it is typically civilian politicians who initiate coups, not the military.
“It is not millitary that start coup, it is civilian politicians that use the millitary to organise coup.”
Major Oduro explained that politicians often manipulate the military to orchestrate coups, leveraging the military’s organizational structure and capabilities.
However, he highlighted that when the military assumes power, they tend to be reluctant to relinquish control, given the allure of authority. Instead, they extend government positions to these civilian politicians until a civilian administration is reinstated.
“When they take over, they refuse to handover to the politicians because they enjoy the power so the only thing they can do is to give the politicians certain government positions until they hand over,” he said in an interview on Opemsuo Radio’s Nkwantannanso with Kofi Boakye on September 20.
Major Oduro also emphasized that coup attempts require significant support from the civilian population and usually exploit opportunities arising from economic hardships, corruption, and public demonstrations. When civilians voice their discontent and call for military intervention, the military may respond to these cues.
On a global scale, statistics reveal that out of the 486 attempted or successful military coups recorded worldwide since 1950, Africa accounted for the largest share, with a staggering 106 successful coups.
While the wave of coups subsided over the years, recent developments have reignited concerns about political stability in Africa, particularly in former French colonies.
Since the year 2020, the continent has witnessed a resurgence in coup attempts, with seven recorded thus far, the most recent occurring in Gabon in August.
Story by Adwoa S. Danso