——-E D I T O R I A L
The Liberian Listener notes, that as Africa seeks answers to the many issues this continent faces, the least that the African people should be worried about is term extensions by African leaders. In Guinea, this is exactly what is playing out in the West African country, because President Alpha Conde is determined to extend a third term, in violation of the country’s Constitution, yet Ecowas and the African Union are quiet. These days the AU that is controlled by African Presidents make sure there are no longer coup de tats on the continent–which in essence protects African leaders’ tenures to stay in power, but the same AU will now allow African PRESIDENTS to violate their countries’ laws, steal elections and persecute the opposition. These maneuvers are nothing but “constitutional coups”. Alpha Conde two terms come to an end next year, but he is seeking to change the constitution. The opposition is resisting these maneuvers, and already about 20 persons have died in the country, over Conde’s determination to stay in power, never mind how much blood is wasted, he and African leaders do not care, once political power is secured for themselves, at the expense of poor Africans.
The African Union and regional bodies like ECOWAS seem to be Africa’s problems on this continent, because not until African countries begin to go up in flames do they start to intervene. These are early warning signs of conflicts, and something genuine needs to be done. The Ecowas and the AU will sit and keep an arms-length against these deteriorating situations in Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Gambia and many of the regional countries. In Togo, the President there is also seeking to change the constitution to extend his term, yet African leaders are quiet. Where is the leadership and voice of our continental powers: Nigeria, South Africa, and Ethiopia?
The Liberian Listener observes, that what is interesting is that, as an opposition leader, Conde was jailed and exiled for his opposition to Lansana Conte’s military rule. Conde’s criticisms against Lassana Conte’s was ironically based on attempts to extend presidential terms – he ruled from 1984 when Guinea’s long-time leader Sekou Toure died until his own death in 2008. Now that he is in power, the 81-year-old Conde wants to do the same things he opposed yesterday.
African leaders in the DRC, Burkina Faso, Sudan have made attempts to change their countries’ constitutions while refusing to leave power. In Zimbabwe, the late Robert Mugabe like many African leaders refused to cede power and not until the military intervened after he had destroyed every fabric of the country, did the reins of state power was taken from him, a grudge he took to his deathbed, the country was supposed to be his little farm or “fiefdom”, the term in which African leaders think of the countries they lead— that actually belongs to their people. Liberia went to war because its own president General Samuel Doe refused to also turn over-power, beyond his initial three years promised mandate to return the country constitutional rule, hosting an election in which his political party was the judge, and jury, and which he rigged and won, this act plunged the country into conflict, killing over 250, 000 Liberians. Condé who also 81 years old is hell-bent on pushing in a new Constitution, which have been publicized on several occasions, to keep him in power.
Consequently, there are too many issues on the African continent to deal with in terms of bridging the sustainable development gaps by giving the African hope for the future, esp the poor and vulnerable, but African leaders will not let up, and let their people live in peace. The Liberian Listener is wary that African leaders are doing everything to drag African countries into conflict, while the AU and Ecowas are silently looking on. In many quarters today, Africans are of the opinion that the African Union has lost its relevance. The African Union and the Ecowas must say no to Alpha Conde’s brazen power grab. The African Union and the Ecowas must stand with the people of Guinea that are being brutalized in the streets by Conde’s security forces, that kind of tyranny and bruality is un-necessary and unacceptable on the continent which has seen the African people endure so much sufferings!
Main Photo: Guinean Pres. Alpha Conde, Reporter Sans Frontieres