Burkina Faso – Never can say Goodbye?
By Chris Veremu
One is tempted to want to say the sooner that Campaore guy disappears into our rear view mirrors the better for all. 27 years in office is a lifetime for many on a continent where the average life expectancy is under 40 years. The fact that Campaore is not alone in wanting to stay welded to the throne is not any excuse, none at all.
If he does not play ball he is in real danger of being used as an example of how not to overstay one’s welcome..The choice is his. The latest report suggests that he has stepped down, I hope he means this.
Of course the African Union has so much to crow about chief amongst these efforts is their success in kicking colonialism in the face and out of the continent. The AU can go straight ahead and give itself a huge pat on the back crowing loud and long in the process for ensuring that those who substitute bullets for votes have no place in Addis Ababa. I think these two achievements should not be scoffed at.
That said there is still so much ground we have to cover as a continent for anyone, chief among them Africa’s own children to take it seriously as you have some leaders among us who have been in power for more than 25 years and counting.
More still needs to be done starting with those leaders who have blended by force and trickery to the throne of a few countries (the good lord be praised) on the continent.
You have Dos Santos (motivated no doubt by oil dollars with a fortune estimated above 20 billion with daughter declared the richest woman in Africa) in Angola, Museveni in Uganda, Obiang in Equatorial Guinea, Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Biya in Cameroon.
Might reminding these leaders that Gloria Gaynor’s seventy’s hit ‘Never can say Goodbye’ has absolutely no relationship to what they are doing to their countrymen. Goodbye is the sweetest word your countrymen have been waiting to hear from you forever!
It is surprising none of these great fellows have any moral indigestion from how they are arresting development on the continent..Indeed if they have crippled consciences and wrinkled souls, why should everyone on the continent be forced to pick up the tab for their greed for power when their countries are not moving forward one inch? Force marching us to applaud them as they are wont to do should be declared a universal capital offence.
The AU should applaud and encourage those countries who want to perform like the EU where membership is not necessarily geographic. The new body should have a set of rules of good governance. This body should be independent of the AU. This would be modeled on Mbeki’s Nepad. By the way whatever became of this? Was it like anything to do with Mbeki, artificial hence ephemeral.
Countries aspiring to join the EU have to follow set guidelines and regulations. Admittance is not automatic. The new grouping ( call it the Mandela group, perhaps?) could start off by saying those presidents and emperors who have been in office for more than two terms do not qualify for membership just like they did with those ogre gunslingers of yore.
This new group would work together with the AU but have set guidelines of their own which may include refusing to admit those who fail to adhere to the verdicts of the African court in internal and external disputes. This would arrest the nonsense that is obtaining in both Sudans.
An absolute monarchy in Swaziland is dragging the whole continent back into the Stone Age. If the Swazi King is so in love with the Stone Age, no one is stopping him from venturing there but he should not seek to drag his countrymen and indeed the whole continent with him. Why should those countries in Africa embracing 21st century practice be lumped together with this ‘older than God’ idiotic buffoonery?
I see countries like Botswana, Senegal, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia, SA and others (who are fast becoming a majority) leading the continent into the future..
These countries need encouragement from their peers; the end result will give birth to a positive contagion effect. Many will want to be recognized as beacons of good governance and freedom for their citizenry..What are these good leaders waiting for?
As for President Campaore, it appears what goes round comes round doesn’t it? Was it not in 1987 that he booted a colleague, one Thomas Sankara out of office, killing him in the process? The whole continent has been made to sit up with this fellow’s ouster. Question on most lips must be; who is next?