Book author and political analyst Fẹ̀mi Akọmọlàfẹ́ comments on the recent military take over in Mali, explaining why those rejoicing over the forceful overthrow of the inept and corrupt civilian government in Bamako might turn out disappointed and pointing out the danger of the coup for democracy in Africa
Those of us who have directly experienced military dictatorships will never wish to see army boys come back to power.
It took great efforts, protests and agitations to finally make the military vacate our political space and returned to their barracks in Africa.
It saddens greatly to see the soldiers made a comeback in Mali last week. The aspect that grieved the most was to see many Malians joyfully welcoming the soldiers back to power.
No matter how we throw it around, the coup in Mali represents a monumental setback to us as a people. If care is not taken, the initial euphoria might easily turn into a poisoned chalice. Military saviours have a long history of turning into vicious albatrosses!
As to be expected, the African leaders, under the aegis of ECOWAS and the African Union, and their rented mouths are deafening our ears with their stupid denunciations. And, true to form, their reactions are, as usual, knee-jerk with absolutely no strategic depth.
Do the ordinary people dancing on the streets of Bamako care a hoot about what Buhari [president of Nigeria] or Akufo-Addo [president of Ghana] have to say on the appalling situation in their country?
I doubt it.
For those of us who have, over the years, steadfastly raised our voices in cautioning our misrulers about the way and manner they go about their misgovernace, and urging them to change from their wayward ways, we can only wish that our prophecies of doom have not materialised.
Sadly, the nightmare of military dictatorships, once again, hang over our heads!
I honestly will never understand why our political elite with their uncountable hangers on, advisers, court-jesters and whatnot believe that they can continue to treat their own people with utter contempt and get away with it. For how long do they expect the people to keep on getting pummelled with stories of mid-boggling corruption amidst grinding poverty?
Our Elders warned us that: If you pushed a goat to the wall, it will bite you. Of course, we all know that goats do not have teeth with which to bite, our Elders were warning us that we should be careful with how far we push our lucks.
How do our misrulers justify the opulence with which they and their courts surround themselves with and the miserable existence they foisted on many of our people?
We are supposed to be sovereign and independent and all that, how do African leaders explain or justify the vast numbers of foreign troops and bases we see all over Africa? How do our misrulers justify the carting away of our resources to fuel the industries in foreign lands while our people eke out miserable existence?
Why do these rulers not find it intolerable to see our people dying in the desert or in the Mediterranean? What makes it impossible to decently feed, clothe and house all Africans in the year 2020?
Why do African leaders refuse to condemn the excesses of their peers? Why do they not speak up against the Biyas, the Eyademas, the Ouatarras, (who changed their constitutions to elongate their tenures) the Buhari’s (with his creeping fascism), the Akufo-Addos (with his unbridled tribal jingoism)??
The calamity we witnessed in Mali last week could have been avoided if only African rulers have lived up to their responsibilities!
Let’s hope that these mindless misrulers will change the way they conduct themselves so that Mali doesn’t become the new template for wannabe saviours!
Our beloved Africa has bled enough.