The election of the Chairman of the AU Commission by the 54 members of the AU Assembly to deal with the day to day concerns of the Union (Article 9, Section1, sub (i) of the Constitutive Act of the Africa Union, 2002), is a clear indication that, yes we all want the same thing but realistically, only one person must be chosen to do it on behalf of us all. The question of how to choose this one person has been a challenge to us all since 1963 when the OAU was formed. So for 49 years into the life of our Union, we have continued to have just the 54 members of the AU Assembly, by default, to choose the AU Commission Chairman. And all along, the Chairman of the AU Commission has continued to fail us all. We have ended up with either traitors or fools as the administrative leader of our Union for 49 years.
This continue to be the case now with the African Union puppy still barking from faraway Addis Ababa whenever anything goes wrong on the continent. But haven't enough gone wrong already for us to understand that 54 equally potential guilty people cannot democratically continue to be the exclusive determinant of who will be heading a Union of 986 million guilty people? If every one of us is a criminal of equally questionable character and we need one criminal to lead us all to solve the problem of criminals, how sensible is it in allowing just 54 individuals, as if they are the only saints among us, to be the ones choosing our common head of criminals than every one of us? Are these 54 individuals actually the saints among us? If every criminal is not allowed to be participating in how the super criminal of the AU Authority is arrived at, in this case Dr. Jean Ping, then who blame us the excluded criminals, from doing away with our democratically elected “angel” by military means? Who in the AU or the so called “international Community” can claim to know Malians and their problem than the Malians themselves? How can Dr. Jean Ping on behalf of the Africa Union claim to know the problem of a people who do not elect him into office? Is it not obvious that the only problem of Mali in the AU that Jean Ping can claim to know is the version of the deposed Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure, as he (Toure) is the only one from Mali that voted for or against Ping? Doesn't this in itself explain why the masses of Mali are trooping out on the street to express their solidary with the coup plotters for coming to their recue? Is this not the reason for the coup plotters claim of rescuing the Malian “democracy” and suspending the constitution? If democracy which is the government of the people, for the………, really mean so much to all the parties concern, how far are we really then prepared to go with it? If the Malian masses themselves, the coup plotter Captain Amadou Sanogo, the corrupt deposed President Amadou Toumani Toure, the barking AU Chief Dr. Jean Ping, and the AU Assembly; are all considering military means as viable options to the restoration of democracy, why then are the masses of Mali like any part of the Union not also participating in the single continental democracy?
Contrary to possible misconceptions, nobody nurse the belief that coup or any violence means of obtaining authority to run the affairs of a people is a way forward and the Malian coup is not the an exception. We are all aware of the saying “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword” translating into “violence begets violence”. It is common fact that violent and sudden means of occupying and sustaining leadership position is normally associated with a higher sense of insecurity. Our life experience also proves that any violence is a form of attack, mainly to gain control over something, out of fear or greed. The witch hunting from suspicions out of this insecurity only put everyone on the edge leading to wasting scarce national resources on security with its subsequent societal neglects at the cost of socio-economic development. We have all suffered a fate of employing naked forceful means in assuming authority of the people that got out of hand, to become messy. Cases of coup and counter coups resulting in chains of uprising giving birth to painful memories of civil wars like; Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, Ruanda and Somalia to mention just a few, still lives with us. We are also aware of democracy when genuinely practice results in peaceful transition of a people and their shared dreams.
It is however very difficult for any genuine African Union continental democrat not to notice the naked inhumane oppression the masses of the Africa Union are being subjected to by the few elites under the guise of democracy. We live by the democratic government of some few people than the government of every one of the people. The whole of the African continent's ninety-five per cent masses live at the mercy of some few super rich that connive with their non-African partners to exploit the masses. These corrupted super-rich few, imposes their misleading self-centred version of democracy on us that does not in reality address the suffering of the masses but tamed a whole population into money minded individuals looking up to the masters for a share. In fact, this unhealthy influence of money just serves to make mockery of democracy, human right and justice.
The trend on the continent of Africa today is indeed very sad. The picture reflects an expanding private sector at the cost of a shrinking public sector. Those in the helm of state's affairs cunningly sell these public ventures to one another or to their foreign partners with the excuse that such ventures are no more viable to the public. The scam is arrived at with the so called democratically elected officials planting one of their own cronies strategically to run down these public establishments, into socio-eco-politically mal-functional ventures that then form the basis for closing them down or selling them out. The poor performance of these rundown public industries is then use as an excuse to deny them fund from tax revenue to provide the public essential services. The same fund on the other hand are then made available to private contractors to provide the same essential services hitherto provided by the public sector, but at a private cost to the consumer, resulting in a higher cost to the poor and the vulnerable. The purpose of taxation and the state then only exist in Africa to serve the private interest of some few than the common interest of all.
At the time of election, this looted wealth of the people is then reinvested into institutionalized electoral malpractices to sustain the statuesque thereby making the whole scam frustrating to the masses. It is even becoming worse when the Africa Union Commission Chairman, headed by the mandate of these same Africa Union member states scammers, calls for the restoration of a political bandits the masses have succeeded in relieving themselves of. In short our Africa Union version of democracy is a pure form of capitalism base on free for all struggles, to the advantage of the few strong elites that spend a whole four year term in officer robbing the nation of resources for reinvestment into wining another election, than developing the masses for a real national development and growth.
The elections we have in each member states of the AU basically serves to choose who will be getting us deeper into foreign debts and further dependency on external interest than actually governing our people to be able to take their destiny into their own hands. Our so called democracy only serves to enrich the few further while marginalizing the masses. The Malians coup plotters like most coup on the continent before now, have made it clear that democracy is not what we have problem with but, the current insensitive Africa Union and AU member states version of democracy that just serve to exclude and exploit the masses.
Ironically, the Africa Union administratively headed by Dr. Jean Ping democratically and officially excludes the majority of the Union masses from its election. The only ones that can participate in the election of the Chairman of the AU Commission are the 54 individuals that have perfected the exploitation of their people and emerged as the head of state or government of the AU member state. Just like the heads of the member states themselves, the AU and it Commission Chairperson continues to be insensitive to plight of the ordinary person. The current system of exclusion makes it difficult for citizens of member states to use their voting power to reshape things at the AU Commission level. This unfortunate democracy of representatives by the few that starves the continental body of the confidence of the masses as a place to seek redress for member state anomalies by the citizens of the Union makes sudden and violence means of changing government a conditional option.
The recent evidence of military and civilian skirmishes in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Niger are all indications that the current system of exploitative democracy is not the way forward for our children. It is also important to imagine the future of our children fighting against internal oppression in their respective Africa Union member states and having an African Union elected commission chairperson by the minority like Jean Ping, ganging up with those desperate for raw-material from outside the continent putting sanction on us in the name of the Africa Union, to re-instate oppression. It is even unimaginable to think of our future with an AU Commission Chairman elected by the “nightmare of the African masses”, coming to force these same state leaders on us.
What we all need on the continent of Africa today is peace and prosperity which is not the same as forcing financial gangsters on the masses in the name of African Union democracy. What we all need is a humane nation of Africa Union with expanding public sector, which functions to carter for the needs of the vulnerable and the poor, as against mass poverty to the advantage of the expanding private sector. This is not the concern of anyone alone but the core concern of every one born and bred on the continent of Africa.
We all desperately need this democracy everywhere on the continent of Africa and the AU presidential election cannot continue to be an exception. This is far long overdue and each day delayed, another recipe for coup plotting or civil unrest is being brewed. The victim of any civil unrest is every one of us with the heaviest burden on the poor masses. The ACTION GROUP OF AFRICA (AGA) has been championing the right of all AU citizens direct vote in AU presidential election. What are you also doing?????
Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin
Chairman/Coordinator Action Group of Africa (AGA) and
Leader of the Africa Redemption Centre (ARC)
[email protected], www.aga4fed.com