A former Chief of Staff under the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by President Jerry John Rawlings, Nana Ato Dadzie, has urged African countries to establish clear regulations and administrative structures to ensure peaceful transfer of power.
According to him, presidential transitions were “difficult periods,” hence, the need for “rules and regulations to guide the process.
“Presidential transitions involve change in administration, change in style of governance and political ideology. Even established democracies have recorded some difficult transitions, therefore it would require agreed rules for orderly transfer of power in the event of a change in government,” he stated.
Delivering a paper at the annual Nelson Mandela international roundtable on political development in Africa, he also called on current and future African leaders to adopt the virtues of the former South African leader.
The public lecture, which was held last Thursday in Abuja, was on the theme: African Democracy: “Presidential Emergence Pattern, Political Conflicts and Peace Building Options.”
The lecture was attended by dignitaries, including the Executive Governor of the Bauchi State, Muhammad Abubakar; the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Louis Mnguni; Ecowas Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; Halima Ahmed, and the Deputy Minority Whip of Nigeria Senate, Biodum Loujimi.
“Mandela fought for peace and equality among all races and died for peace not only for his country but the whole world; the leadership of this peace icon is indeed worth emulating,” he added.
Nana Dadzie, however, said some African countries lacked the experience to deal effectively with transition processes, as studies showed that “not less than 60 per cent of post-electoral crises are transition based.”
Citing instances of post-election violence in some African countries, he underscored the need for leaders to adopt a more peaceful approach to democratic transitions.
“The new political experiment is yet to reach maturation in relation to the established political systems Africa aspires,” he said and added that “Presidential transitions are becoming undirected, and unsystematic, hence, the need for effective planning and management of the process.”