Feature:When shall Africa stop crying?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Africa started crying when chiefs attacked their fellow brothers who were powerless and fought and captured them, and sold them as slaves through the era when Africans were sold into slavery.

Some African chiefs in those days termed their fellow brothers as human merchandise.  They would not stop their senseless wars, because of the goods they received from the white man in exchange of their fellow brothers. 

They blamed the white man for taking their fellow brothers as slaves.

The educated would call for independence, thinking that freedom would be gained. They dreamt that if independence was gained, Africans would have time to develop their motherlands by determining their manner of governments.

Our freedom fighters felt that we had been strangled by the white man and we thought it was time to let us free. Politicians talked about the liberation of Africa.  They would add their voices that we had been ruled for so many years by the white man and would also ask how our natural resources were used.

They felt that we deserved to enjoy the fruits of our labour.  The white man continued to be blamed for not bringing any development to Africa.

During the struggle for independence, these politicians gave people courage and strength , and this was why Africans were prepared to fight for this worthy cause.

Most African countries have now attained independence.  Political parties were formed.  Candidates campaign vigorously , vying for the presidency.  A lot of promises had been made.

The white man had given us independence and handed power to  the new presidents - our fellow citizens.

People thought things would change when we had our own leaders governing, but this was not the case.  The national cake was not equally shared.  Top officials tampered with government coffers.  There was rampant corruption and still continues.  In fact, it was the order of the day.  African leaders would embezzle huge amount of money and send it to foreign banks.

When journalists revealed this in their papers, those leaders would not be pleased and would order their arrest.  They would be detained and sometimes would be tortured to death.  When shall Africa stop crying? 

The opposition would hold protest rallies and denounce such leaders , and would be forcefully dispersed by soldiers, but they would stand firm, because they felt it was their constitutional rights to hold meetings.

Fighting would erupt and opposition supporters would be beaten seriously and some would lose their lives in the protest. 

African citizens would feel disillusioned about their leaders and would no longer put up with the way they were being governed.  The military would seize power.  They would dissolve parliament and suspend the constitution.  Political parties would be banned and they would be applauded by the civilians.  The military was supported, because the civilians badly needed a change.

Sometimes when such military takeovers happen, African leaders would flee out of their countries.  Civilians would hope for the best, thinking that things would be put in order.  They would in turn be faced with disappointment, realizing that those uniformed boys who came to salvage them were more corrupt than the civilian governments.

After suspending the constitution, they would rule with heavy hands.  Everyone would be silenced.  Resistant groups would emerge from the bush to meet the military governments with resistance.  Blood would be shed.  This would turn into rebellion.  Civilians would flee, leaving their homes behind.  They would become refugees and sometimes the females would be raped.

Captured children would be forced to take park in the killing of innocent people soon after their abduction.  There was no discrimination on gender ground when it came to making abducted children kill those who tried to escape.  Each abducted child was attached to a family headed by a commander.

The powers of the men at the head of each family and other commanders were such that they effectively owned the children attached to them.

Girls were held in forced marriages.  Commanders had the power to impose hard labour and physical punishment and the power to kill.  When shall Africa stop crying?

Most of the African leaders failed their nations.  They mutilated their constitutions to serve their interest, and hired the services of mercenaries to terrorize their own people. 

Kwame Nkruma was betrayed by his own people when they overthrew his government.  His dream was for Africa to unite.  Patrice Lumumba, former president of Congo Kinshasa, (now Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC), was also betrayed by his people when he was assassinated.

The impasse in Ivory Coast was unfortunate.  The Independent Electoral Commission had declared Alasan Ouattara as the winner of the presidential election and the Constitutional Council chose former President Gbagbo as the winner.  It was the Constitutional Council that caused the confusion.  They gave Gbagbo the cause not to step down.

Former President Blaise Campoare was among the mediators to bring a peaceful settlement in Ivory Coast.  He should have remembered that in 1987 he toppled the government of Thomas Sankara who was killed in a coup de’ etat.

He assumed office illegally.  He could not convince former President Gbagbo to step down.  If you go to a place where fair play is discussed, your hands should be clean.

African leaders who do not adhere to democratic principles, and who do not also respect the rule of law and associate themselves with bad governance, should come back to their senses.

The colour such leaders paint themselves with is baffling.  They shroud themselves in beautiful feathers while their inner parts are rotten.


Author: Dawda Faye