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06.11.2008 Feature Article

Lessons for tyrants of the world

In a concession speech as mature as President-elect Obama's was inspiring, Republican rival John McCain summed up, in his concession speech, what the world has come to admire about the United States of America over the past one year a land of equal opportunities where colour or creed or gender does not matter.

The Times joins the rest of the world to express its admiration for this system.

America may have its faults as a nation, and may be hated by all manner of people for all manner of reasons; it is even possible that its electoral system may not be faultless, after all. Nothing is? We take note that African Americans constitute only 15 per cent of the American population.

Any system that makes it possible for a representative of such a minority group to offer himself to lead an entire country must be a system which all nations must aspire to emulate.

The Times could not fail to take note that among the personalities of the world who hailed the American system yesterday and were the first to send congratulations to the President-elect were tyrants who have demonstrated by their rulership that they are admiring the very system which they have refused to implement in their country.

We could, for instance, not fail to be amused by a remark by a Kenyan who called into the BBC yesterday that if Obama had lived in many countries in Africa, he would either have been killed after being seized from his home at dawn by faceless men, or he would have been hounded into exile at his very first attempt.

At the very “best”, he would have lived the rest of his life in maximum security prisons, always wearing the tag: “enemy of the people”.

This is the work of power-drunk, corrupt megalomanias who have arrived at a point in their lives when they begin to think they have a divine right to rule; African rulers who, once in power, never want to step down, and who, therefore, see every critic as a threat who must be eliminated.

This is the lesson the Times draws from the victory of the 44th president of the United States. As African leaders pour congratulations into America, we pray that these lessons are not lost on them.

Credit: Ghanaian Times

MyjoyOnline, © 2008

This author has authored 338 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: myjoyonline

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