The African continent is experiencing yet another phase of turbulence in the political realm. Structurally, three main phases can be gleaned and analyzed.
In the immediate aftermath of independence struggles, including the struggles to wrestle power from the Colonial rulers and the reactionary coups to topple revolutionary and progressive leaders such as Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, Patrice Lumumba of Congo among others. This phase marked a complex scenario of schisms.
The motivating element was often not internally induced, but propelled and instigated from without, often against the interests of the people who suffer such activities. No wonder the poverty of the people deepened and Africa left worse off in terms of unity and progress.
The current situation
This phase seems to be founded on massive economic violation of corruption and greed. It is a wonder that it was tolerated for such a long time and still being tolerated in places such as Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. But all can see the beginning state of an onslaught of something big, maybe catastrophic, if not kept under Control.
All these phases had their foundations and implications. The first phase was to free the colonial people from foreign rule and domination as well as direct exploitation.
Mostly, Western trained leaders led their people to revolt against colonial powers such as Britain, France and Belgium.
In the stupor, these powers enjoyed ferrying away slaves, gold, diamond and wood. This phase took them by storm and had to relinquish power reluctantly and as strategy, to replace it with neo-colonialism or disguised new ways of plundering African continent.
France continued to subsist on its colonial countries in Africa by milking them dry while the people wallowed in progressive abject poverty.
But then, a way was found to raise and launch a new breed of puppets and tools in places such as Ghana, Zaire, Guinea and Nigeria to destabilize, particularly the progressive countries and to topple their leaders.
Nkrumah and Lumumba examples
The first phase did not achieve the aspiration of the people. It only served the interest of the pay masters while the people became worse than they were during colonial rule.
Hence, the second phase of militarization. This era saw the emergence of some few revolutionary leaders such as J. J. Rawlings of Ghana and Thomas Sankara of Burkina-Faso. They were few. The majority of them were mere counter coups to topple fellow soldiers who were deemed to be enjoying to the neglect of other soldiers. The interests of the people did not feature in their equation.
Under pressure from both internal and external democratic forces, many converted to elective democracies, making themselves to the polls and constantly winning sham elections.
This style of leadership cannot endure forever. They became more corrupt as in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Massive unemployment and frustrated youth and people was the outcome, which polls may change leadership or confer longer tenure on same faces or leaders. Even when age was working against them their almost dead bodies were used by the cohorts to rule.
Corrupt security and electoral institutions
In all these, the people became victims and helpless. They got tired of polls, which change nothing and tired of protests, which only ushered in more corrupt replacements.
Africa therefore is at a juncture where the military, the youth and institutions once more come into the fray.
Many are shouting and echoing sentiments that are progressive and attacking the basis of corruption and exploitation from without.
The French world is protecting decades of substructure, which is annihilating or killing the people economically and politically.
The other parts of Africa are questioning the basis of such wanton corruption currently in vogue of under all the so-called democracies and elected leaders.
Leader after leader amass wealth beyond reason.
Greed is experienced everywhere and in bed with almost all African governance. It has now become institutionalized and normative.
The question to ask is not why anybody is corrupt but why anybody is not corrupt.
The people of Africa are on a doomsday journey with all its implications.
It’s not enough that a new phase is ushered in. It is more significant to ensure that these youthful leaders remain truthful to their promises in the light of recent African experience.
This is the time to fashion anti-corruption tools, platforms, accountability mediums and regular lifestyle audit and participation.
Polls by themselves are far from solving economic and political problems of Africa.
Solutions must be found by thinking outside the box. More should be demanded from the new African leaders. More coups and insurrections may follow the current ones. The prayer is that it should not be too radical as to develop new instabilities and permanent schisms.
Dr Adam Bonaa, a security expert and safety analyst identified three key things that lead to coups especially in Africa.
He told the GNA that corruption is the number one reason that motivated the men and women in military uniform to oust out democratically elected leaders.
He explained that bad governance led to corruption, a situation where public figures amassed wealth and using their residences as safe havens for money saving.
He said in some countries including Ghana, some prominent persons have lost their voices of wisdom in the midst of bad governance.
‘The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that must speak up to help stop malpractices in the system are all mute’, he said.
According to Dr Bonaa, some African leaders continued to remain puppets to the West and more often manipulates constitutions to prolong their stay in office, which gave room for coup makers to revolt.
He stated further that the people want better standard of living but that leadership was not trying to provide the needed good governance.
In the words of Prof. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, a Kenyan Lawyer and activist indicated that, the French colonies had just realized that they wear crowns without jewelry, which called for the current insurrections.
He said, ‘The men and women in uniform are capable of liberating Africa from the type of leaders that we have in those countries’.
He said what is happening in Burkina-Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Gabon is the beginning of a massive revolution to liberate the continent from neo-colonialism.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah once said, ‘Neo-Colonialism is the last stage of imperialism and the most dangerous….’ and Africa is therefore in that dangerous space.
It’s therefore, very instructive for leadership in Africa to exert the needed good governance by creating employment, eschew corruption and avoid the tendency of staying in power forever to ensure that coups become a disincentive.
After all Africa is one but not two.
Source: Ghana News Agency