News / Africa

Niger Activist Calls for More Empowerment of African Civil Society Groups

Marou Amadou says only through citizen mobilization can freedom, democracy and transparency be attained and sustained in Africa

Colonel Gokoye Abdul Karimou, spokesman for the Niger millitary junta delivering a televised statement in Niamey, 19 Feb 2010
Colonel Gokoye Abdul Karimou, spokesman for the Niger millitary junta delivering a televised statement in Niamey, 19 Feb 2010
James Butty

A Niger civil society leader is calling on other civil society groups throughout Africa to stand up in defense of democracy and the rule of law.

Marou Amadou, president of the United Front for the Safeguard of Democratic Gains in Niger was arrested and jailed several times during Niger’s civil society activism against attempts by President Mamadou Tandja to prolong himself in power.

He said civil society groups and citizens around Africa should stand up against dictatorships even if it means they would be killed.

“We have, as Africans, to believe in democracy; to have tireless struggle for the establishment of freedom in all parts of Africa. We cannot accept dictatorship and poverty and fatalities in our continent. If in some parts of Africa dictatorship can establish, we, Nigeriens will not accept it even if we will be killed,” he said.

Amadou said only through the mobilization of citizens all over Africa can freedom, democracy and transparency be attained on the African continent.

He said some of the reasons for coup d’états in Africa have been corruption, injustice and irresponsibility on the part of the political elites.

The army overthrew President Mamadou Tandja in a military coup last week. Mr. Tandja had grown increasingly unpopular since expanding his power and giving himself another three years in office through a controversial referendum last August.

Former Niger President Mamadou Tandja
Former Niger President Mamadou Tandja

The new military leaders said over the weekend they will hold elections but have not yet set a date.

Coup leader Squadron Chief Salou Djibo is promising to set up a consultative council for decision-making.

Diplomats from the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States arrived in Niamey over the weekend for meetings with Niger's new military rulers and political leaders on how best to return to constitutional rule.

Amadou called on Niger’s new military leaders to organize free and fair elections as soon as possible.

Some ECOWAS leaders with ECOWAS President Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Some ECOWAS leaders with ECOWAS President Mohamed Ibn Chambas

“We need a good and credible constitution. Secondly we need free and transparent general election. After this, we think that never, never again any political class will begin corruption and irresponsibility to justify a coup d’etat in our country,” Amadou said.

Even though he described himself as a democratic activist who does not believe in the unconstitutional taking of power, Amadou said last week’s coup against President Tandja was a justified one.

“You are always happy when you come at the end of a bad government. That is why the happiness of all our people is justified. But when you see what’s happening in Mauritania, when you see what’s happening in Guinea, you have to be vigilant. That is why even though people are very happy, they hope their happiness will not be betrayed,” he said.

Amadou blamed the intransigence of former President Tandja for last week’s coup d’etat.

He said if the new military leaders do not respect the views of the citizens, the people will return to the streets again in protest, even if it means they would be killed.

“This struggle for democracy is our destiny as democratic activists. Any government in Niger who will not want to respect democracy and the return to constitutional order we will be in the streets and we will fight dictatorship, even a civilian dictatorship or military dictatorship. For this we are ready to die,” Amadou said.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid