I am so passionate about this story not because I want to make mockery of some of my leaders but after a carefully
considerations, I have come to accept that this issue is one of Africa’s biggest problem; a problem that is hindering the progress of the continent.
The continent boasts of being endowed with natural resources in commercial quantities; gold, bauxite, diamond, timber and cocoa. Yet, citizens of most African countries are struggling to have one meal a day. Most youth are denied of proper education; some schools under trees. For some, they are lucky to be in a class room but the buiding itself is a trap.
Yet, the first thing governments officials think of their free accommodation, free fuel and travelling allowances. Huge sums of money are channeled towards these areas even before they start thinking of implementing their “political” plan. It is good to make your ministers feel or look good, but do you do it to an extreme disadvantage of the ordinary person on the streets?
In my country Ghana, illegal gold mining is on the ascendance. Yet we have a whole Ministry for Environment, there is the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. Sometimes they make some of us believe they are being “bought” by some of these illegal miners in order for them to have their way out. My assertion could be true as per the recent revelations by the Multiple Award Winning Investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas. According to his Fool’s gold research, it was alleged by one of these illegal miners (also a gold scammer) that they could buy everyone with money; security agencies, government officials, lawyers, government agencies and banks officials. Yet, after all these results, no one is heard saying I have resigned and government’s position on this is not clearly known.
In Sierra Leone, the office of the Vice President, Mr. Samuel Samuna, was used to help Anas (Undercover Journalist) to register a company in less than 24 hours. In fact, Anas met the Vice President, and he promised to speak to the Minister in Charge on their behalf. Two men who said they were the middlemen for the Vice President, wanted to extract $50, 000 from undercover Anas and his team. The Vice President has confirmed that he knows those men but says he did not authorize them to receive the cash on his behalf. Here too, no one resigned. And in fact will not, because this is Africa, you don’t resign even if you are wrong; it does not happen that easily!
According to reports, Sierra Leone could lose all its forest by 2018, yet illegal timber business is still happening and most top officials are believed to be behind these practices, Anas revelation confirms it.
I am citing all these instances because, one problem that the African continent is facing now is that leaders and most importantly politicians do not see the need to resign when they are not performing well or struck by alleged corruption practices or actions that may not pave way for fair investigations. This is not common in Africa. So you always find the same people in power all time, even when power is changed. People are not made to quit office or their positions for wrong doing; it is not easily done. We easily make noise about it but with time, it is seen as normal and same corrupt practices go on always.
Opposition leaders do not find it appropriate to commend the ruling government on successes “chopped”; because, they may not win power from them if they do so. Ruling party virtually sees every comment or suggestion from the opposition as inappropriate and believes only their ideas could help the continent.
Our attitudes have made the continent weak to the extent that most Africans do not see the work of the African Union (AU). Are we only good at providing peacekeeping forces to the UN? The recent development that lead to Mr. Gbagbo to be taken to the ICC in The Hague should have been protested by AU and even Mr. Ouattara, Cote d’Ivoire President, himself. Couldn’t he have provided a fair trial system in the country? Even the “milk teeth” NTC government of Libya protested Saif Al-Islam being trialed out of Libya; claiming they could set up a proper justice system in Libya and Mr. Ocampo, ICC prosecutor, agreed. For me, the west does not necessarily hate Africans, but Africans hate themselves and leaders/politicians must be blamed for these. If Africans love their selves and politicians see the people as the reason for being in power, the continent will progress in terms of development and the west will begin to revisit their foreign policies.
The African Continent can only see much progress if leaders “see human beings” when they are in power and not when they need their votes; why would a government be in a hurry, only in election periods, to construct feeder roads, provide toilets facilities, and beg for extra years when these are not really the needs of the ordinary person gnashing his/her teeth with the back against the rough wall?
Article by Prince Baah-Duodu for: www.baahduodu.wordpress.com