Former presidents from across the West African subregion met on Friday under the auspices of the West African Elders Forum (WAEF) to condemn the coup in Guinea and voice concern about the region’s instability.
The group called the political developments in Guinea, where military officers detained the country’s president, disbanded the country’s present elected government, and suspended the constitution, “unfortunate.”
In a statement issued in Yenagoa, the forum, which is an initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, stated its position.
Mr Wealth Dickson, the foundation’s communications officer, signed the statement.
The event in the West African country, according to WAEF, was capable of retarding the democratic progress recorded in the region in the last two decades.
The statement quoted the convener of the forum, former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, as describing the development as an unfortunate cog in the wheel of progress.
“At a time when the rest of the global community are consolidating the gains of sustained democratic rule, the sub-region cannot afford to return to the inglorious era of military dictatorship,” Jonathan said.
The forum condemned the military incursion into the civic space of Guinea and called on the actors to release all those arrested and respect the rights of all citizens.
WAEF urged the people of Guinea to commit themselves to nation-building and work towards the restoration of constitutional order in the country as democracy remains the best governance instrument for the promotion of citizens’ participation.
The group noted that keeping faith in democracy will ensure sustainable development and the realisation of other collective aspirations, peace, unity and justice.