|Saturday, September 2, 2023|
"Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true!"
frica is in a quandary! The recent Gabon military coup and the seizure of power from the Gabonese president would be the 8th African coup in the last three years. The African people must make Military rule in Africa assailable and unfashionable, but at the same time, the poor masses must dismantle neocolonialism from the face of Africa. The incommunicado Bongo's corrupt dynasty said people must go to the street and make noise, and the poor people made a very welcoming noise on the street in support of the junta and coup leaders in Gabon.
The new normal of usurpation of power is a solid signal to the West, particularly France and other former Western colonial powers, that decades of neocolonialism in Africa might no longer be a sustainable development if the junta rules with returning their countries to participatory and benevolent democracy against the autocratic regime.
The bane of African development has always been the intervening and intertwining of bad civilian leadership and military interregnum. But Military dictatorship is assailable or indefensible in the modern world from the old world order. The power of growth and development and the choice of leadership should reside solely in the hands of the masses. Gabon's ruling family, who had controlled the country for 56 years, thought it was indispensable, and nothing could challenge their seemingly impenetrable inheritance or monarchical state and authoritarian power—power is truly transient!
The current waves of insurrections, the absence of polity, and the lack of civil discourse in African governance are sentencing some African regions into the abyss of the past. Regional Africa is sliding back into repression and totalitarianism. The hapless civilians have always been at the receiving end— unfortunately, the same members of the public welcome dictatorial regimes that are worse than the civilian governments the usurpers claim to have come to correct.
Meanwhile, the political stakeholders must urgently address the retrogressive nature of African politics civilly and constitutionally instead of the season of anomie and the usurpation of power from "democratically elected leaders" in the continent of Africa. The impoverished populace must collectively discern the political signpost of "Caveat Emptor (buyer beware)," that is, beware of what you wish for in an ambivalent situation! The poor African citizens must be cautiously expectant of what they want in radioactive regimes. This junta may not know what responsible leadership depicts in a developing democratic setting.
Affirmatively, instead of hiding under pseudo or false democracy and making government a family-oriented business, the only plausible clause for accepting the unfashionable military insurrections in Africa should be to bring democratic leadership into account and transparency and for the African leaders to govern democratically. Anything short of this patriotic advice would be a recipe for recycling the dysfunctional and destructive governments that may initially pretend to be for the impoverished people. In the interlude or interim, they ultimately become the worst interlocutors (Babangida, Abacha, Irosi, etc.) after being comfortable at the luxury and trapping seat of power. The African citizens and enablers of coupists should beware of what they wish for their countries.
Interestingly, keen observers would be amazed to see the discernable attitude in the Western world. The West has been disinterested in detailing the circumstances causing or surrounding the evolving and revolving ugly events in Africa. The West seems to have lost the narrative and the ground for African false geopolitical interests—the West seems geopolitically disincentivized. Africans are waking up to the realization that the West is only concerned about their interests and what they can eke or harness from the commonwealth of the African blocs.
Notably, the West is fast losing its strongholds and economic powers to China and Russia. China and Russia are surreptitiously incentivizing Africa to decouple or divorce the West. With particular reference to Ben Judah, China's gigantic Belt and Road initiative investment has poured vast sums of dollars and plowed miles of new infrastructure across Africa. The Chinese development financing structures now rival the old Western-led development banks. China's interest in Africa stems from untapped natural and evolving human capital development. Also, the size of the African population has quadrupled the size of the European Union population. Africa is becoming the proxy hub and destination for China and Russia's African economic recolonization.
Lastly, for African countries to stop the resurgence of coups and foreign imperialism, African leaders must wake up to manage the continent of African potential. Africans must come to a roundtable and holistically discuss the problems underpinning the decades of sustained poverty among the African people. Instructively, this discerning piece is a warning for the overzealous celebrants of the current military takeovers in some African countries. The impoverished Africans must stop the celebrations of their own self-defeat.