Your Excellency Sir/Madam,
You would observe that since end of January, 2020, I have not written any piece. That is because I have had to do some profound reflection over my advocacy submissions and the state of affairs of most of our African nations. And basing this piece on examining the impact of the seemingly replicated “Western Democracy,” I would hasten to propound that except for a few African nations as Seychelles, Mauritius, Rwanda, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, Western Democracy does not seem to be working for the ordinary peoples and nations of Africa. This is not because western democracy does not work, or is largely faulty. In lieu, western democracy, if freely and fairly practiced, will be the saving grace of our faulty African governance and economic systems.
And since the global and regional denunciation and rejection of military coup defats, due to their dictatorial presentations, all continental and global governance structures have duly made it categorically clear that no power acquisition by the “barrel of the gun” would be tolerable. So, one would expect that they would, in like and robust manner monitor our respective African nations’ electioneering processes and conduct, as well as their adherence to the full tenets, operations and provisions of true democratic processes.
But it is sad to observe that right from the outset, (for most of our elections,) our so-called democracies are froth with outright and/or covert rigging to attain state power – and several of such election results are endorsed by our colonial masters and global super powers, even at the resistance or justifiable contestation by some major opposition parties and the masses.
As a result, these questionable, unaccepted and bogus governments afterward go on to entrench their power through further manipulating the constitutions and democratic procedures of their respective countries. As such, democracy (multi-party elections), which have been considered preferable to military coups and dictatorships have woefully failed our African nations; as most of our elections on the continent are a complete sham and mockery of true democracy.
Once these unpopular governments assume power, most of them resort to repression of the democratic rights and provisions of the ordinary masses. For instance, being a missionary in Liberia, (my maternal link,) I have observed with painful disdain how the interests of the ordinary man do not seem to bother the George Weah government. Rather, they are systemically preoccupied with amassing wealth, the expense of the people and nation. They also sometimes revert to extreme intimidation of the opposition and dissenting voices. The most recent of those was the state stage-managed failed attempt to incriminate and arrest/extradite Mr. Henry P. Costa from Sierra Leone – a very vociferous critic and advocate against the Weah regime and a fearless advocate of the interests and aspirations of the suffering and artificially impoverished people of Liberia.
In Sierra Leone, I also observed the Julius Maada Bio’s government’s frantic efforts to suppress and stampede any form of demonstrations by the masses – be they college students legitimately agitating for their right to quality and affordable education or disgruntled government workers demanding higher wages, et.. For example, Thomas Moore Conteh, a vibrant and uncompromising civil rights activist, was harassed and arrested by police in June 2020 for standing in solidarity with the Limkokwe University students, as they peacefully demonstrated for their educational rights.
Furthermore, a spontaneous, but peaceful demonstration of disaffected rape survivors and sympathizers, emotively demanding justice on the rape predators of 5 year old Kadija (and others) in Freetown and several other places in Sierra Leone, were originally brutalized by the Sierra Leone Police. While, armless civilians in Makeni, (the Northern capital) were violently dispersed by Police, just for daring to question or peacefully resist an alleged clandestine relocation of their stand-by electricity power plant. The seeming continual intimidation of an intriguing and propagandist opposition, (instead of engaging them in honest reconciliatory and a badly needed dialogue for peace and national cohesion is a very worrisome development that is fomenting avoidable tension and insecurity across the entire country. And even though President Bio (and the Anti-Corruption – ACC of Sierra Leone ) seem to be making frantic efforts in fighting corruption from the former government especially, his seeming discountenance of strong allegations of high level corruption against some top ranking officials of his SLPP led government, is very concerning and suspicious. The systemic evasion of the Auditor General’s Report (since 2007); while paying such highly professional government anti-graft and integrity institution, millions of dollars of tax payers money is a travesty of fiscal and economic discipline and integrity. I would consider that, if their minds they feel such a very vital integrity outfit, (led by an astute financial management laureate and incorruptible patriot,) is redundant, then “fold it up” and stop wasting needed meagre resources, on a very crucial institution that your predecessor (and maybe you), have practically rendered redundant. These repressive Police brutality and killings of peaceful and unarmed civilians is becoming rampant, (as in the former government); which leaves me with the retort that I hope President Bio takes charge of these wanton harassment and killing of civilians, as though they are treading the path of another “Police State” that led us into an 11 year senseless war.
Finally, I would like to plead with the conscience of our leaders in Africa, to realize that they are not elected political civil leaders and public servants, to rub our nations and peoples, while, they, like malevolent benefactors make themselves “richer than their respective nations” in the twinkle of an eye in governance. In my next piece, I shall be considering the issue of “legitimate corruption” and the reckless abandon of the masses and their aspirations (God willing).
My fervent and continual prayer and expectation as a servant of the Most High God and a specialist and advocate of Pan-Africanism, and the dream of an imminent African Renaissance, that our leaders will begin to chart a decisive way from this “Herculean” African monster of corruption and rather forge on with rapid nation building, green revolution explosion and boom and constructive industrialization – as the self artificially left behind continent and nations.
MAY THE GOOD AND MERCIFUL LORD BLESS AFRICA AND THE DREAM OF AN IMMINENT AFRICAN RENAISSANCE BEFORE THE CLOSE OF THIS 21ST CENTURY.
Apostle Dr. Abraham J. Williams
Organisation Guinnenne de Defense des Droits de L’Homme et du Citoyen (OGDH)
Federation Internationale des Droits de L’Homme
International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
Union Inter-Africane des Droits de L’Homme / Inter-African Union of Human Rights (UIDH)
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (AI)