Since the Islamist terrorists surged in from 2016, more than 2000 people have been killed, displacing more than 1.5 million souls with two-thirds of once a peaceful country, ditched into fear and violence in Burkina Faso. Since 2009, over 2 million people displaced, 30, 000 killed with several cities taken; many girls are raped, kidnapped, and tortured, by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. The growth of high-level insecurities in Africa if at all bothers the very inhabitants whose neighbors’ lives are at stake have gotten less attention than it needed. Peaceful territories, right in the eyes of the government, turn to violence-prone and a bloodshed proxy overnight. Coupled with economic hardships, unemployment, institutional failure, corruption, and poverty have all been weaponized into new waves of political upheavals.

In West Africa, juntas, rebels, and coup leaders, through tactically-modernized military takeovers (coups) have changed the political status quo. Yet the people have taken fresh breaths.

Reasons for their joy, might in long term strategic calculations turn into a nightmare, but looking at the various turmoil and upheavals that have over the past ten years, ripped off the dignity and welfare of the people, putting their existence in miseries and their lives in danger; they are right. The long turmoil, with fumes of resentment and anger, can be drawn from post-colonial programs like neo-colonialism, which France and Britain deployed to finish their unfinished businesses in their former colonies. In return, most of the subsequent government officials have to be puppeteers through the enslavement of their own people; enriching themselves and pleasing their colonial masters, ditching the people into the abyss of poverty and hunger. The high sense of disappointment, dissatisfaction, and outrage within the people’s grievances, having been channeled for over six decades, and had still not been addressed have come to unfold with new political upheavals.

It is a melting pot, powered by negligence and deceptions by government officials, through corruption, democracy, and crippled institutions. With a population of over 417, 871, 618 people, a whopping 30%, being 125, 361, 485.4 of the people in West Africa lack improved water. Due to the recent impedance of the Covid-19, an estimated number of 43 million people stood at risk of food insecurity. Besides, the unemployment rate over the past two years has had a rapid increment; more than 23 million people in Nigeria walk around without a dollar to survive on. Over 2 million Ghanaians move around without jobs with hundreds of thousands across the corners of West Africa, living without employment. (To avoid exaggeration, we have only provided only the estimated figures; by far, they are more than that)

Amid the poverty and hunger, most of the locals in villages share drinking water with animals whiles government officials continue to steal, mortgaged, and compromised their resources and taxpayers’ money in billion amounts of dollars. Hiring sophisticated private jets, pulling money into Swiss banks, leveraging on insane allowances (some government officials go further to collect belt hook allowance), draining borrowed money, and selling mineral resources outright without reservations. These have been the problems of the day since the era of independence; it just that now, the people are traumatized and are in desperate search of change.

Amid all the heaps of natural resources, West African countries still plunder themselves in deep poverty, with no hope and substance in the future.

Neo-colonial mechanisms haven’t stopped its bizarre exploitations. A country like France, after granting negotiated independence to her colonies, continued to exploit, rip and enslave the people within. They go further by borrowing their colonies with their own taxpayers’ money, on an outrageous interest that locked them in debts. That is why the impending results (coups) have started on their colonies. Ideally, the people are enslaved within their own territories. No matter how an African youth brings his best, trying to make his family proud and the country in which he lives, a better place, the constant exploitation, and corruption impede and negate his effort, summing all his output to zero.

Resentment, built with outrage machine for poverty-prone voiceless innocent souls. Term after term, they get used, deceived, killed, and scapegoated by politicians who are hunting for political power. Democracy has been too dull, election has lost its integrity, perhaps fairness; sometimes citizens have to vote, through intimidation and bullies. There is no hope for the youth, they risk their lives in dangerous roots to find greener pastures, enslaving themselves in remote but stressful jobs in Arab countries. Many directly gamble with their lives in the Mediterranean seas through dangerous roots in Libya and the deserts. They are fleeing from government oppression, in search of daily bread, survival, and hope. Those who stay home, get trapped in prostitution, gangsterism, drug addictions, and crimes. In return, they are packed in prisons like Moroccan sardines, get killed or plaque with diseases whiles many of them rot in ghettos.

The streets are filled with tons of talents, skilled young men and women, visionary thinkers with dreams for their families and countries. Many of them have to rely on 2-5 dollars of small street business before they could eat. Others have to rely on carrying people’s huge luggage to long distances for something not more than 1-3 dollars before they could eat. In the nights, you’ll see them in front of markets stores, road pavements, sometimes just beside gutters hoping to close their eyes for yet another day. They hope for nothing in the future, only for daily bread, which sometimes gets screwed up.

The unemployed graduates after spending years without jobs, turn to explode. Some have to ditch the path to their profession by joining their mothers in the market to sell for daily bread. Others, mostly the ladies, have to engage in digital prostitution (slay queen and hookups) in order to survive. The young men among them will either force to travel abroad or get demoralized by tiny amounts of monthly salaries. Meanwhile, billions of taxpayers’ money are lost every day.

[A Ghanaian journalist, called Captain Smart said in 2016, “that if all [these] are going to continue like this, in the next ten years, the African leader may not be able to contain the African”. He even went further, predicting coups in response to the continuously growing hardships], it only six years now.

Coup leaders and juntas, whatever means they used, had suitable grounds for their operations. Perhaps that is why the people are taking humor from it.

In Guinea, the people would cheer the military juntas, the women, even going further to offer free sex. Same sentiments and euphoric atmosphere were witnessed in Burkina Faso and Mali.

They don’t know what the future holds for their respective countries, but at least they are sure that for the first time in decades, some sort of relief may come from new leadership. They may not understand the stakes behind it; to them, getting out of corrupt and messy governance is enough for their calmness. The issues and upheavals here should be subjected to only foreign interventions, sanctions, and illegitimate ways of taking governments. The real problem must be dealt with from the perspective of the people who are bearers of whatever decision is being made. Coups are revolutionary, but the very perpetrators may not be revolutionary thinkers. Revolutions deals with more psychological than political. This time perpetrators didn’t have to kill to resonate or used bullets to animate the people. It was rather a new political phase, gradually taking on over West Africa.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *