PART ONE: ASCENDANCY OF WHAT IS TO COME
In the 1960s when Nkrumah ascended to the throne of Ghana, he basically thought his fellow statesmen shared his toiled vision. The obsession with liberation and his passionate ideological convictions made him stand in the realms of free-flow-mindedness of which the confidence that others could join was strong. Indeed, it was all about freedom and liberation. Before becoming a politician, Nkrumah was ideologically equipped, though a victim to the Marxist whirlwind which blew in the early 20th century; unlike the post-colonial politicians, he buttressed his principles with philosophical maxims. With too many ambiguities, he converted his theories into a clandestine practice, with consistency and focus, which made him outstanding. His credo of governance is still a juggernaut to the democratic puppets today.
Nkrumah had mistaken to entrust such imperatives to the surrounding vulnerable ex-servicemen, and the people he was fighting for. Only for him to write the rest of his history with pain and anguish. One country he felt at heart was Guinea. Not from mere compassion, Nkrumah envisioned Guinea to be one of the deciding proxies in the liberation of Africa. He and Sekou Touré did not only share common principles, but they also shared common beliefs; that Africa must agree to share common values of post-colonial ambitions, in order to eradicate colonial eruptions to be free from imperialists’ tempting substitutive policies they pursued with flatteries. Some will equate their bond with that of Marx and Engels. Nkrumah had been traumatized by the assassination of Patrice Lumumba just a year after his Presidency; bringing his Congo prospect in ruins. In Nigeria, Azikiwe Nnamdi had shunned his tactics of uniting Africa as part of the strategy to take off the imperialists.
Casting his eyes around Western Africa, Nkrumah foresaw the riches of the Colonialists emanating from Western and Central Africa, after their exhaustive battles fought in World War II. Hence, wanted to close the gap of neo-colonialism, fill the potholes of exploitation to amass strong unification to counteract all future plans of imperialists. He was desperate because the negotiating tables between France and her colonies were day-by-day getting attractive. Along the lines, only Nkrumah knew how the French colonies would be submerged. And he wanted quick actions because betrayers and coup plotters were increasing across the continent (He himself had suffered five assassination attempts). He would be headache-bound domestically even more tensed than the migraines he had abroad. He finally reached his socialist counterpart in South America and Indo-China; only to attract the fiercest attention of the United States and their iron-jawed CIA.
The post-colonial concert of politics, in Africa, was a novice one. Many of the Africans, who were involved were retired soldiers, from WWII, having feeble political knowledge, the rest were the few who have had the chance to study in American and British universities (Nkrumah was one of those). There were no full-time diplomats; with much empirical database on Africa. Negotiations were conventionally done between experienced White diplomats, retired Black soldiers, Black Western-styled scholars, and translators, with maneuvered decisions being imposed by the imperialists. Africans didn’t have Castlereagh-Metternich-Bismarck type of diplomacy during their times of crisis. Nkrumah for instance had himself surrounded by socialists-communists jumbos who had zero experience in serious diplomatic showdowns. Hence there were no diplomatic structures to pursue a unified course or to even analyze the day-to-day crisis they were confronted with. Thus, Nkrumah’s pursuit was jeopardized, becoming unfurnished with no common and agreeable values.
The colonial masters had distorted any immediate course with brutal tactics (coups, civil wars, and assassinations). The ex-servicemen had weighed the prospects of partaking in government; they have agreed to be vulnerable to any mission which could bring them to some sort of power. The United States had vowed to eliminate all African socialist demagogues to jettison Soviet ambitions. Only Nkrumah understood these stakes, but he was alone and was later betrayed; falling into the hands of his own people. Lack of proper diplomacy became a tradition in African politics; it had ended Nkrumah’s visions.
Soon, post-colonial politics turned into bloody concerts, civil wars, ethnic conflicts, tribal frictions, violence, tyrannical upheavals, butchering, and revolutions which would later be resolved to produce neo-colonial puppets. African leaders had been emptied with no ideological convictions. They blindly collaborated with White imperialists to turn Sub-Saharan regions into exploitative proxies for Western superpower concerts. These vulnerabilities had been worthwhile to the hunting ghost of Kwame Nkrumah.
It has been a little more than six decades now, and all seem to be exposing one by one. The coup in Guinea carries enormous significance. For reasons which carry catalogs of historical and political outlines. But above all, it happened so from the ashes of the traditional failure of African diplomacy. The weak ties between African neighborhood States, failure to address the crisis on common grounds, negligence in confronting offshore crisis, and the vaporized nepotism-styled domestic politics. These, stakes coupled with foreign pressures negates African politics. It also put democratic governance null and void. Thus, bringing constitutions and laws into full-scale skepticism. These upheavals should be the premises of Doumbouya’s analysis. And it is why his coup shouldn’t be overlooked.
Once again, an African leader had shunned pressures from international communities. Doumbouya’s reasons, though illegitimate are reasonable enough to say no to Ecowas and the African Union, even to the Western inquisitiveness. He is one out of the few soldiers who aren’t swayed by foreign tactics. He has taken the course not to mesmerize the peace of the people but to probe the status quo. “We will no longer entrust politics to one man, we will entrust it to the people, there have been many deaths, injuries, and tears for nothing,” he said. He continued to suspend the so-called democratic institutions, and now overseeing all the affairs in Conakry. The nation and its people see these to be a new dawn of history; a refreshed new beginning.
Edges have widened up; crises have moved in different directions. New strategies and tactics, different historical outlooks, strict cultural overview, revisionism of socio-political structures, and the seeds which grow to become national consciousness. Africa has begun to rethink politics, economics, social life, culture, tradition, and its corresponding institutions. It is a new wave of cultural and political upheaval, a call to action, and readiness to redeem dignity. Guinea is one of those, who have taken the lead. It is obvious, if not immediate that African leaders need fresh set of political maxims. They are already smelling pungent in their corrupt vessels of democracy. And Alpha Conde was one of them. Now their moment of truth has arrived, to cult themselves in true statesmanship.
Though culturally exhausted, ideologically paralyzed, and demoralized even in their own domestic spree. But if they are not forced to redeem themselves from the other side of history, their countenance shall become paranoid and will explode from their own mental outburst.
When Alpha Conde finished his presidential terms in Guinea but intended to distort the constitution and run for yet another term; the Ecowas was silent, the African Union was mute, with no concern from the Western powers and their media. He was surprisingly successful in bringing the constitution into full grip to continue to run for another term. A country change was happening right before the noses of regional communities, yet they ignored it.
After failing to address the socio-economic turmoil, terrorist upheavals, migration milieus, and politico-tribal conflicts within the African continent, the Africa Union continues to lie on a sickbed, waiting to die in a useless manner. Current protests, and xenophobic attacks, both on regional and domestic levels have taken a different shape. The constant growth of population, with unemployment, is burning the youth into ashes. Anguish and misery, fear and panics, by terrorist attacks. Poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, and Ebola coupled with invasions of pandemics are still yet to be discussed by these regional bodies. Anger and resentment, within the emotions of the African youth, are enormous. There has been too much realization that their future is in shambles. With exponential numbers, embarking on dangerous trips overseas for greener pastures.
EndSars is still looming in Nigeria, coupled with the overlooked waves of ethnic heated friction, is an explosion that might the octogenarian caucus by surprise. For almost a decade now, Boko Haram is still in operation; killing, torturing, butchering, bombing, raping, and kidnapping good Nigerians. Unluckily enough, there is another surge of terrorist attacks, this time threatening numerous African states. The xenophobic outrage, so heated and intensified in South Africa, is creeping little by little in many African states. These upheavals, coupled with coups, violent attacks; Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Sudan, and Somalia are gradually getting out of hands. Yet, there hasn’t been a single soul search.
Series of immediate crises that need day-to-day confrontations among African states are left to be dealt with in mere organizations of events. They fashioned it with unnecessary roars of speeches and discussions, luxuriously aggrandizing themselves with pitched flaunts of stolen wealth from their respective countries. They are failures in advance; no strategies to confront the current crisis, no critical analysis, no concrete decisions. The future of Africa is still in limbo. In other words, African leaders lack the true spirit of statesmanship.
Mistakenly judging what happened in Guinea is easy. Because disingenuously describing it according to mere political semantics is what the international communities can do; illegitimate rulers are rebels and coup plotters. But it doesn’t end there because Africa isn’t practicing politics at all, at least not the democracy people know. After Nkrumah’s failure to achieve diplomatic ties, mutual consent between tribes which was expensively manufactured from the ashes of civil wars produced empty politicians who became tyrants and butchers. Their students; Yoweri Museveni, Umaro Sissozo, Muhammadu Buhari, Alassane Ouattara, and of course Alpha Conde. Countries like Ghana will hold the bragging right of Democracy; pitifully forgetting that she has mere politically tolerant people.
The Guinea coup is not a national issue. The initial attempt of the Ecowas to push the snail back to its shell was a lazy one. It is rather a sub-regional warning of what is to come in the subsequent days if leaders are still going to harbor junk rotten attitudes of corruption.
Doumbouya’s coup will be a historical focal point, only if he learns to resist the flavors of tyranny. He has woken the octogenarians from their political slumbers, and now like Kagame, we are waiting for him to prove them wrong. If it is not a mere taste of power and the capitalization of his boss’ weakness, then the course and path he had taken, though tough and sour shall define the bait of West African politics in the half-decade.