Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has revealed that there was a tacit move by ECOWAS to stop deposed Alpha Conde from changing the Guinean constitution that enabled him to run a third term, but he will not back down.
She told the press on Wednesday that contrary to speculations that the West African regional bloc failed to act when he was breaking one of its protocol, ECOWAS engaged him about the move.
“What you see from the outside is that everybody is relaxed. That is not the case. There is a lot of engagement. If we take the example of Guinea, if you recall, there was a referendum after the change of constitution … ECOWAS did not sit aloof and watch this happen.
“We engaged and I was even part of delegations that went there, sent by heads of state to engage with all stakeholders and to try and stop this … and engage with the president as well. But unfortunately, it did not happen,” she revealed.
Soldiers who shut down the government in Guinea, Conakry told the citizens regional governors have been replaced by military commanders, and the ousted president was safe but in detention.
An indefinite nationwide curfew has been enforced.
The soldiers, who are said to be special forces officers, have ordered government ministers and national figures to attend a meeting later on Monday or risk being treated as a rebel.
A foremost security expert in Ghana, Prof Kwesi Aning has said “the final straw that broke the camel’s back is Mr Conde’s third presidential tenure. In changing the constitution and allowing himself to run for a third term, he undermined all these processes. He disrespected ECOWAS, the African Union and his own national constitution.”
He also blamed Mr Conde’s peers within the regional bloc for failing him.
However, Mrs Ayorkor Botchway revealed during the press briefing that there had been engagements to get the former Guinean leader to back down.