Feature: Sad view of coups and questions arising

Because we haven’t experienced a sudden yank from our privileged status before, we would not know how disturbing it is to plunge from peace to chaos.

In our little successes at our workplaces and homes, see how it feels like when someone schemes against us in our privileged position? Though on the bigger political platform, nobody put us in the prancing pony’s inn.

No one asked us to offer ourselves up for a leadership position. We assessed ourselves and the challenges ahead and felt we were ready to lead. As soon as we assume a leadership position, we must be responsible for the glories and scandals that come with it.

From a distance, we are prone to wish the downfall of those at the top. Whether such wishes stem out of our dislike or envy, there is always an excuse for wishing for the downfall of top positioned people.

We may not say it to the hearing of others, but it’s dangerous to encourage any kind of disruption to the will of the people. However, why does the military feel motivated to disrupt a democratically chosen government?

To answer this question, one does not need the usual sophisticated logic memorized from theoretical speculations in text books. Simply observing oneself with a plain sense of honesty and asking such a salient question would provide the best answer.

Today’s leadership seems to be gifted with more talking than implementing their words. The nature of our democracy seems to have molded them so.

They may have got this skill from the reaction of the people they want votes from. When they show a lack of the fundamental wherewithal of true leadership, which is the practical implementation of grand ideas for the benefit of all people, that’s when the people vote for them.

Not only do such leadership see power and position as a means of gaining riches, they have used such means to polarize their people along political, tribal, and religious lines for voting expediency. But today’s youth are waking up to a new reality.

They are seeing more than those limited devices. The actions and lifestyle of their leaders when they assume office say more than what they tell them during campaign tours. And this is shaping the youths up in a way that diminishes their sense of commitment to national interest.

Why have these series of coups been successfully staged to topple democracy in the West African countries of Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Niger? Shouldn’t this concern the leadership of the continent?

First, it was the wave of the Arab spring which started in Tunisia and swept through the North African region. West Africa has seen its wave of coups recently. France colonized most, if not all, of these countries.

What is so peculiar about their relationship that warrants such actions in their territories? Could it be that the intelligence agencies affiliated with ruling governments have buried their heads in the Sahara sands?

Or is it that their puppet masters don’t take their advice seriously? The security agencies are supposed to pick these signals up and advise the governments accordingly. It looks as if they scour the wrong places for information about a potential uprising.

Are the usual tactics of the economic hit man in the sixties still at play today, where foreign forces from out there infiltrate local security circles and influence the snitches among them with money and power to disrupt the stability of the country so they can take control of its resources and economy?

Of course, these potential junta don’t go about asking people to share their opinions about the state of affairs of the economy so they can rescue it. That’s not how to glean facts about what portend to the country. Rather, they ride on the sentiments of the common people. The social media is fairly a good place to heed to. People don’t advertise their secrets there though, but they certainly display their frustrations there.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. It might seem they are there for the likes, subscriptions, and following. They equally come there to vent what’s in their hearts. And as they do so, the comments sections reveal a lot more interesting concerns.

Today’s world is vibrant indeed. Messages travel to everywhere in real time. Most of these decrepit rulers who claim to be democrats are indeed backward in their appreciation of the things that stir the youth of today. They are strangers to the contents that live in the hearts of the youths.

Today’s youth are the products shaped by yesteryear leadership. Both in the home and the state. It is not surprising, therefore, that leadership could turn deaf ears to the concerns of security analysts. Thinking that the old order of doing things is still relevant in producing new results. Certainly, results would be produced, but in whose favor?

A couple of years back, an Aljazeera journalist interviewed a Dogon leader about some conflict escalation between government forces and some rebels in northern Mali.

These escalating battles had seen an unprecedented migration from the north into the southern part of Mali. The Dogon leader had expressed that for thousands of years they’ve coexisted with the Fulanis, although with minor skirmishes between them.

However, he emphatically stated that this recent incident was because of the discovery of some precious minerals in the northern part of the country. This had attracted foreign security forces and terrorist organizations to the area.

They had engaged in activities that destabilized the locals so these foreign forces could take advantage of local natural resources. Hence their migration to the south. There were even speculations that these foreign forces were planning to divide the country into two—North and South. So that they could completely dominate the northern part and have their field day with the natural resources there.

It’s not known how many African leaders heard him, but his concerns about the manner these foreign powers treated them seem to have resonated with those who shared in his sentiments.

Historically, the West African region has been the playground for foreign predators. Many centuries ago, the story of the West African wealthy king, Mansa Musa, seems to have attracted the world’s attention to this area.

Research into his story will hammer home the point. The continent of Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, is bulging with precious natural resources which are vital for today’s global economy. This is the area where the

Gold Coast used to be. This region has had the misfortune of attracting poor, greedy, wicked, and shameless groups of savages who came to raid it, killed its inhabitants, plundered and stole its resources, destroyed their lands and water bodies, and left its babies orphaned, hungry, thirsty, diseased, and dying.

This has gone on for centuries. For the colonizers, that’s how they wanted it to be so that they can continue to exploit, loot, and share their stolen goods for their singular benefit.

However, the amazing thing is how African leaders are able to look away while their countries are being plundered by these greedy forces through colonial pacts that benefit only the colonizers.

The neo-colonialists are so greedy that it has never occurred to them to look at the living conditions of those whose land is providing them with their high horse privileges. Nowadays, the youths see these things and get trapped in their unexpressed frustrations.

This feeling swells and remains pent up in them. The youths think their leaders don’t care about their future, but about how they can always entrench themselves in their high puppet positions and serve their puppeteers well.

How can they be faulted even if they are wrong? When a leader is unwilling to face consequences for the benefit of his people, why should they not force him out of office?

The social media is well fed with such sentiments. But as usual, leadership is more concerned about the next election than the angst of the electorate. Today’s youth may be impatient, but they are not that stupid.

They are getting awake for all unsavory reasons. They may not know how to govern but they can feel the effect of a good or bad governance. They cannot know the challenges their leadership faces until they share those challenges with them. Leadership doesn’t know that the structure of modern arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of our society is the playground of modern youth.

Leaders overvalue the power of the state against the rising tide of change. Don’t they see the posturing of the youth? Who are always leaning forward with heads bent over mobile devices, absorbing information for good or bad. Every hour of the day comes with a new set of perspectives. The youths are seeing the injustices of colonial history, and the reason things don’t go well in Africa.

They see the great grand babies of the plunderers still exploiting and cheating them in their countries today in a different guise, encouraged and supported by their local leadership. This infuriates many to the core.

Leadership can use force to dissipate the organized wrath of the youth, but can they sustain that pressure forever? How long is leadership going to remain docile while wickedness controls their nation’s wealth? See how the youth risk crossing desert and sea just to slave for money and help take care of home?

Meanwhile, they know their continent is fabulously wealthy, except that it’s presided over by stooges, who have allowed themselves to remain divided into anglophones and francophone and Arabic speaking vassals.

This way, the colonizer has cemented the division of Africans against each other. And while Africans remain in their disagreements, their neocolonial masters could go behind the feuds and steal the resources of the fighting factions to build their empire in peace. The youths are now crying for what Kwame Nkrumah proposed: Africa must unite now.

The youths will rally against disparagers of the African unity. They now know that the betterment of their future depends on the unification of Africa. Force against the single mindedness of the youths won’t work.

There’s an enormous problem that the actions of foreign interests have created on the continent of Africa, and reinforced by the inaction of local leadership. African youths are asking questions.

If only leadership would listen carefully to the youth, and share in their feelings, they would know that the youths want full control of what is for the nation.

They believe they can negotiate a better deal with their resources to maximize profits in order to make their lives better in Africa. Endurance is running out of them. They are not welcomed abroad, and they feel it is not fair to suffer in the midst of plenty on their own continent.

They may not have evidence to prove, but they are inclined to believe that their leaders have sold them out for money and comfort. Besides that, they believe that the string pullers have promised to keep their leaders in power if they would do their bidding.

The youths think that all these back doors diplomacy ultimately affect the future of the continent of Africa negatively. They hear and see arthritic ridden joints usually left with a few days before kicking the bucket, accumulating so much wealth. They wonder whether they will bury these sorts with their accumulated riches.

Or are they piling up for their children’s, children’s future? What about their own? These are some questions on the sidewalks.

By Julius Kwesi Hamenoo


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