By Adeola Aderounmu
My pain in writing this essay is the little knowledge I have on the exact nature of the political crises in Ivory Coast. By that I mean why Gbagbo is really sitting tight and why the country’s Electoral bodies would falsify election results in favour of either Gbagbo or Quattara who are both claming to be presidents of the same country. I’m also not sure why Quattara enjoys foreign support and Gbagbo national support.
I should ask my friends including Kola Afolabi to tell me more about Ivory Coast. It seems that those who understood French language have a better understanding of the situation in Ivory Coast than the rest of us. One day I hope to become a student of political science.
Any day now ECOWAS may use force and military actions to unseat Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast. Brothers will kill brothers and sisters will murder sisters. Africans don’t realize that they are one big family. The disorientations created by goods and slave trade, imported religions, colonialism, and decades of unsuccessful self-governance are some of the reasons that Africans continue to misunderstand their common ancestry.
But where was this useless organization called ECOWAS in 1993?
In 1993 Africa was presented with a golden opportunity that could probably have led to the liberation of the continent for all time.
At that time ECOWAS was probably sleeping and OAU was in coma.
In 1993 one tropical gangster called Ibrahim Babangida committed treason in Nigeria. That was not his first time but it was more serious in 1993.
On June 12 1993, millions of Nigerians voted in the best election ever conducted in the history of Nigeria, or perhaps Africa. The Nigerian people voted and the results were rolling in more to the favour of MKO Abiola. When it became evident that Abiola would win, Bashir Tofa (the opponent) was said to have sent him congratulatory messages.
Records have it that as the results were been announced, the prices of goods and services were dropping. There was a tailor who refused to be paid for the services he had rendered. He was so overjoyed that “at last” hope has come to the people. Some private bus operators were offering free services. Happiness and gladness was spreading on June 12 1993.
People were elated. Everyone was smiling and things were looking up and good despite the fact that Abiola has not been declared the winner.
That was the spirit and mood until Nigerians received a rude shock from the nonentity called Babangida. This useless man cancelled or annulled the best election in our history. There were many theories to this annulment including that Abiola was a creditor of the government, or that a few idiots would not like to see him become president of Nigeria. Some people said it was because of what he did when he was in NPN that he betrayed Awolowo.
As far as democratic principles are concerned those arguments are classified as animal talk.
The fundamental thing about June 12 was that an election held and Abiola won. The crime about it was that some cabal headed by Babangida secretly plotted against Abiola and eternally denied him of the mandate that the Nigerian masses gave to him. He was asked by the people to give them hope, but a few hopeless and selfish persons, some of whom unfortunately are still around the corridors of power decided otherwise.
We were denied the wonderful opportunity of knowing what the next 4 years with Abiola would have meant. Shivers are running down my spine as I write this. Tears are close because we were denied the chance to see “what would have happened with 4 years of Abiola”? One day with potentially Abiola-led government, June 12 1993-was one of the best days of my life! On June 12 1993 my prospective future was finally stolen away from me. No one will understand this but I never regained it!
Many people died in the struggle to actualize that mandate popularly called JUNE 12. Where was ECOWAS when Babangida rolled out the tanks and murdered Nigerians who were protesting the annulment of the June 12 1993 elections?
Where was ECOWAS in 2003 and 2007 especially, when Iwu and Obasanjo arranged a charade for 140m people?
To me ECOWAS is a useless body and this new songs of war must definitely have some undertones. That brings us to the circumstances surrounding the murder of MKO Abiola.
I don’t like to be misquoted. I am not a fan of Abiola. I will never be a fan of any politician whether they perform or not. I curse the day I behold people because of their positions or statuses the same way I have cursed the day I decide to steal public funds. My comments are essentially on public services and how such services must be executed-primarily for the good of all. To understand my opinions, you must read between the lines.
I’m wondering what Wikileaks will come up with concerning the murder of MKO Abiola. I am still wondering why he was murdered while a delegate from the United States was visiting him. How did a cup of tea become a poison? Does Bill Clinton have anything to do with the murder of Abiola? What was in for the US that Abiola was murdered?
We have been warned as Africans to be wary of the roles of the so called “faceless” International community in Africa. It is not a new call. For example you can wonder why there is a lot of international pressure on Gbagbo whereas Babangida suffered no personal loss or any form of pressure when he committed treason in Nigeria, more than once. Where were the French, the UK and the US in 1993 when the will of the people was thrown to the wind in Nigeria?
Stupid ECOWAS, Stupid International community! The world will never know peace because of social injustice and inequality of this nature.
Africans have a long way to travel. They are light years behind the developed nations. Africans must unite and speak in one voice. Africa must find a way to reclaim her position as the citadel of technology. Many elements of human development emanated from Africa. It therefore remains a mystery how Africans allowed the rest of the world to overtake her as she stood still.
Africa must rise again. She must overcome.
The leadership question in Africa leaves a lot to be desired. It is a leadership without the required orientations. It lacks focus, it has no plans and it is built on extreme egocentrism. It leaves no room for tribal integration and collective goals aimed at development and progress. African leadership problem is a major issue affecting the development of the continent.
Africa must retrace her steps to where she started getting it all wrong.
In Yoruba folk tradition we say that if the wall is not opened the lizard has no place therein. This was the case with colonial rule, imported religions and neo-colonization. It may also be the case with imperialism and the underdevelopment in Africa.
The people and rulers of Africa must realize that they are the walls and the International community is the lizard. The meaning of that expression is beyond the scope of this essay. It is an extensive area of discuss. If Africans unite, our true heroes will emerge-without the fear of being killed by national or international killer squads-and we will be free.
It’s a long thing brethren. We must encourage and protect our heroes. Some of us must give up our “freedom” for the rest of us to have it, for now and ever more.
The manipulations of the African continent from within and without must end, if Africa ever dream of catching up with the rest of the world or even to claim her rightful place.
Millions of us are living in poverty as a result of the bad governments across the continent. The situation will not change soon. We have not paid the price for the mistakes of the past and present stupid rulers.
If ECOWAS is a defender of justice and freedom I challenge the Jonathan-led ECOWAS to arrest Babangida for crimes against humanity and for his roles in the murder of Nigerians protesting the annulment of the June 12 1993 elections.
After all charity should always begin at home.
I know Jonathan cannot dare because he doesn’t seem to be the one propagating the war songs. It is obvious he is a tool in the hands of bigger factors. In addition, people who have skeletons in their cupboards will never be part of the true African revolution. Instead they will be brushed aside as we see now in Tunisia.
…Tomorrow will always belong to the people who prepared for it today (Malcolm X).
But we must learn about the truth. It is our passport to freedom. It is the best gift we can give our children, born and unborn. For their sake we must give our today. At any cost, we must!
This post is adapted from my views about June 12