It is the joke of the century. La Cote d’Ivoire has two heads of state. But the events unfolding in Ghana’s eastern neighbouring country are serious enough to ginger Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills and his colleagues in the West African sub-region to act decisively. Lauerent Ggbagbo should be stopped from destroying Cote d’Ivoire.
The self-imposed leader may have a suicide wish. But that is no reason why he should drag the whole country along with him. Stealing the people’s vote is treason, for which Laurent Gbagbo would have to answer for in the near future.
But the joke of two leaders in a unitary state is putting all of us at risk. Already, quite a number of citizens have been sacrificed in the mad rush for Gbagbo to claim the leadership that has already slipped away from him.
The moment Gbagbo failed to call elections after his original five-year mandate, he lost the will of the people to lead them. The elections were merely a formal means of effecting the change that was in Ivorian hearts long ago. That is why he should not be allowed to waste more precious lives. At the last count, 25 people had needlessly lost their lives, and still counting.
We are appalled by the unfolding drama, and also baffled the more by the ‘wait and see’ stance of the Economic Community of West African States. We are aware of the mediation mandate given to former South African President Thabo Mbeki to try and broker peace. But The Chronicle believes the only language Gbagbo and his foolhardy military advisers might understand, is brute force.
There must be a means of whisking him away from Government House at Yammoussoukro to answer charges of treason. He has needlessly brought Cote d’Ivoire to the brink of another civil war.
We sympathise with the winner of the vote, Alassane Ouattara, who has the people’s mandate, but has been denied the use of Government House and state resources.
The United Nations, the United States and France have all spoken of their revulsion of the behaviour of Laurent Gbagbo. We plead with these international bodies to make resources available to remove the autocrat. We do not believe the Ivorien example calls for a shared government. It would amount to rewarding impunity.
Cote d’Ivoire should be saved before refugees from our neighbouring countries flood into Ghana to throw our already distressed economy on a war-footing. A tale of two heads is symptomatic of disaster.
Gbagbo is a History Professor, but The Chronicle believes he is a very bad example of a history lesson. His behaviour truly confirms the notion that the only lesson history teaches, is that men do not learn from history!