AU@50: Time For African Leaders To Think On Their Feet
By Joseph Ziem
“…..Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds. Have no fear for atomic energy, 'Cause none of them can stop the time. How long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look. Some say it's just a part of it: We've got to fulfill de book. Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?……..”
The above lyrics of the song titled “Redemption” composed by the legendary reggae musician Bob Nesta Marley is loaded with lots of wisdom which the current generation of African leaders ought to use as reference point anytime they’re lost in their attempt to actualize the dream of Kwame Nkrumah and the others.
Dear Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mobuto Sese Sekou, Emperor Haile Selassie, Gamel Abdel Nasser and all those who helped nurtured the dream of African unity but did not live to see it grow, may your souls rest in perfect peace. A true pan-Africanist like me, remember you as heroes because; you fought very hard and conquered the battle. You tried very hard to make Africa a one state governed by one superior leader with a single military force, a common currency, and so on and so forth and you almost succeeded.
But unfortunately, most of those who came after you and were supposed to actualize the dream of a United States of Africa were self-centered and so are those who are ruling now, because they either don’t think on their feet or outside the box.
The current generation of African political leaderships have failed to realize that anytime a visionary leader like you Nkrumah, arises somewhere on the continent and those so-called western leaders begin to find unnecessary faults with his style of dressing, the way he talks and how he governs; he suddenly becomes a target of such western imperialists and they’ll do anything to overthrow him just like they did to you through the C.I.A Mr. President.
These western nations particularly the Americans, British and France have so many ways of toppling a democratically elected president who refuses to dance to their tune or satisfy their whims and caprices.
Mr. President, please inform Gamel Abdel Nasser and the rest that not too long ago, France and America attacked Libya and killed the President of that great nation Brother Muammar Gaddafi. I believe he’s currently with you and perhaps might have told you what happened to him. These western imperialists realized Brother Gaddafi had the wherewithal to unite Africa, create a single currency for us, establish a common bank for us and perhaps establish a single military force for the continent.
But rather, they told Libyans that they were not properly treated by Brother Gaddafi and so, they should oust him. These two western imperialists armed opposition members [terrorists], joined forces with them through the corrupt NATO and they murdered Brother Gaddafi. Please inform Brother Gaddafi that Libya’s economy is in a worst state and perhaps would not recover for many years to come. It will cost the current political administration of Libya billions of dollars to reconstruct the country he built for them with their own natural resources.
Mr. President, Africa’s myopic leaders [with the exception President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and others who think like true pan-Africanists], failed to realize that Brother Gaddafi was a threat to the west [capable of making Africa an economic super-power] and that was why they attacked him, killed him and destroyed his country.
Mr. President, if it were left to Brother Mugabe and the few honest ones, the continent would have united and the people do things their own way as you wished many decades ago. It’s only Brother Mugabe who can tell any western multinational that “you either accept our terms or go away. If we’re not able to mine the gold, our grandchildren will come and mine it”. But surprisingly, in your own country Ghana, all those who came after you including those ones that connived with the C.I.A to overthrow you find it difficult to take such hard decisions when they’re shown briefcases filled with hundred dollar bills.
Mr. President, it will interest you to know that Brother Mugabe and others are never consulted when it comes to taking decisions that would inure to the benefit of the west instead of Africa. They are often sidelined and even betrayed. The western puppets who call themselves presidents sit and watch the western imperialists impose sanctions on their own brother [Mugabe] and his children [Zimbabweans] just because of small grants they give to them.
Mr. President, in fact it will also interest you to know that there are presidents in these western countries who behave the same way or are worst than your sons and daughters. For instance, George Walker Bush Jnr who ruled the USA before Barack Hussein Obama [a half African], has committed more crimes than Brothers Charles Taylor, Gaddafi, Laurent Gbagbo and all those former African heads of states who have been hauled before the ICC. But then again, you’ll ask why Bush who attacked Iraq, Afghanistan and sponsored attacks on other nations is not arrested and prosecuted at the International Criminal Court?
Mr. President, there is no denying the fact that the western imperialists knew your worth. They knew you were a messiah sent to liberate Ghanaians and Africans from the shackles of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The British and particularly the Americans knew it was possible for you to succeed with your dream of African unity. And so, they masterminded your overthrow through the C.I.A which was ably supported by some of the myopic minds of the Ghanaian political elite class in 1966.
In your absence, I continue to tell Africans that Africa has done it before under the leadership of great visionary and selfless leaders who came before you. As far back as 2000 to 3000 BC, Africa was leading in education and civilization with unusual feats accomplished in architecture and medicine [building of the pyramids and preservation of the dead -mummies]. Africa was the heavyweight of quality education globally then, but somehow we lost our place in education and began to lose our place in civilization as well. It is a fact that all Greek mathematicians, historians, archaeologist, sociologist, architects and among others came into Egypt to receive formal education. And so civilization moved to Europe and by virtue of enlightenment Europeans began to rule the world.
So Mr. President, as the continent celebrates the 50th birthday of your O.A.U which was recently renamed AU, we the citizens want to know from our presidents, that how long shall they [western imperialists] continue to kill our prophets [visionary leaders like Gaddafi] while our presidents stand aside and look. How long shall we [Africans] continue to wait for a United States of Africa to be realized or actualized by our presidents?
Mr. President, you did indicated in one of your powerful speeches when you were alive that united we stand but divided we fall. Africa still has half of the world’s natural resources including gold, diamonds, manganese, bauxite, timber, agricultural land, cocoa and among others, but still remains the poorest since your death. Malaria, HIV, maternal and infant mortality and among others are taking a toll on the lives of fellow citizens and millions are dying every year.
Mr. President, I have decided to suggest to all African heads of states to start uniting by opening up their borders to neighbouring countries so that they can be free movement of goods and human beings. I also want to suggest to them to start uniting through regional groupings such as ECOWAS, COMESA, etc. For instance, all 16 countries that make up ECOWAS should begin to come together by establishing a single military force, get a single currency, elect one President and gradually, we’ll be there. Long Live Ghana, long live Africa.
The writer is a freelance journalist. Views or comments may be sent to him via firstname.lastname@example.org/ +233 207344104.