For how long are we the black Africans, going to be barking at our hounders any time the opportunity present itself, and turn around only to run after the same people with bowl in hand, begging for mercy? The president of Ghana Nana Addo, recently did what others before him have been doing over generations, at the Europeans, during a press conference while hosting the French president Emanuel Marcon, in the capital of Ghana, Accra.
The French president Macron, though much younger than his host, stole a mature glance at President Nana Addo to portray a question like "I hope he knows he is only barking as such talks don't go anywhere!" The Ghanaian president on his part, was very mature, careful in the selection of his words, clearly demonstrated to have learnt from the ill fated experiences of those who got the barking wrong, took every step not to dare the wreath of his powerful guest and manage to humbly drive home is case. I then imagine how President Donald Trump would say "America first" to the Chinese president, without using diplomacy to beat about the bush, if he were to be Nana Addo's shoes. Then it down on me that, there are presidents and there are real presidents of countries, who are not the same as caretakers of colonies.
It then became clear to me that in politics, we have politicians that only bark but never bite, and those who bark and bite. The continent of AFRICAN is blessed with politicians that are capable of barking whenever they are frustrated to, but don't bite. This then leave the shallow minded Africans complaining daily of why their leaders only bark, but not bite. Ironically, the black man wanted the toothless dogs to bite, without the common sense of knowing that dogs that lack teeth, do not bite. The innocent but ignorant ordinary AFRICAN want his toothless dogs to bite, especially when the African interest is clearly attack, but the mystery of never biting is yet to be clear to the past and present generations.
The above reminded me of Nigerian political scientists who have a habit of referring to their government as a "toothless bull dog", for barking at any external provocation but incapable of biting. It is however strange that these so called Nigerian political scientists, who boost of all kind of egoistic titles, have the same brain with the illiterate market women, to be incapable of evolving the mechanism to make their toothless bull dog of a government into the type that barks and bite, when it has to.
In fact, the only ones the Nigerian government is capable of barking at and biting as necessary, are the university lecturers themselves, who are clamp down anytime they try to have a stand off with the state, on demand for the state to treat them with dignity, like lecturers in more civilised countries get from their governments. The government beats the illiterates and intellectuals alike, like beating wild animals. The only way to describe how the Nigerian government treat its academic and none academic population, is best describe as the way a drunk labourer brutalises his wife and children to keep them in order.
One can then say as I watches Nana Addo delivering what most of us will agree to be a great speech, the Nigerian disease of inconclusive thinking that produces toothless barking dogs in form of government, has now infecting the whole of West Africa or better put, the entire continent. This also help to emphasise the common phrase of "African leaders say what they don't mean, or even mean what they say". Either way, the African has a big problem with anyone the people call a politician or a leader.
In fairness to the poor African, any dick and harry can just open his mouth to speak to the wild world, on behalf of Africa and the African. So any black man can assumes the legitimate right of speaking for anyone call an African, with or without, a mandate from the one who the speaker claim to be representing.
President Nana Addo presented his speech as an African president, speaking for all Africans, mimicking the habit of most people who pretend to be speaking for the continent. My president of Ghana is the head of state of Ghana, who was elected by the people of Ghana and given the highest mandate of officially speaking for every Ghanaian. This authority makes the president of Ghana a credible person to command the respect and recognition, accorded to anyone who deserve to speak for all Ghanaians. People therefore listened and take president Nana Addo serious when ever he speaks, for Ghanaians. So whatever the president says, any serious person who hears him, limit the issue to Ghana and Ghanaians. Since no one has given president Nana Addo the mandate of speaking for the fifteen countries of West Africa as a subcontinental union or Africa as a spokes person for the AU, my president only ends up like any clown anytime he assume the role of speaking for anyone beyond the sovereign jurisdiction of Ghana.
President Macron visits to Burkina Faso, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, where each person legitimately representing a defined people, engaged with him, confirmed the falsify impression that anyone can just speak for Africa or ECOWAS and expected to be taken serious. This raise the question of which of the "We", "Our" and "Us" matters when it comes to who speak for the AFRICAN. Is it the fake delusionary "we" one have focus on or the genuine political "we"?
In Nana Addo's speech, he exploited the use of the "We"' "Our" and "Us" to unfairly take advantage of all sides. The shollow minded folks who long for a genuine political to serve as a legitimate political leader of the AU or the ECOWAS, but with none yet, thrive on empty political rethorics heard from those who pretend to be one. Here, Nana Addo provided the voice of God as savour of the African. They heard him reminding the Ghanaians that the country cannot continue to be dependant on the French tax payer for the nation's education and healthcare. This honest talk from a genuine politically mandated person, speaking for the Ghanaian electorate, left President Macron confuse of whether to accept the speech on behalf of Ghanaians or ignore it as another imposter pretending to be the spokesperson for Africa.
Every concern Nana Addo raise with his guest, are the problems the Ghanaian elected Nana Addo to address. One would have preferred the president to move beyond the barking act, to give us a glimps of how he is biting to convert the unemployed masses of Ghana into employable Ghanaian tax payers, to practically replace the Frech tax payer, in funding the nation's healthcare and education. Rather we couldn't hide our bordom of our president resorting to the old boring story of how Malysia took some palm kennel seed from Ghana in the 60s that then transform the whole of Malyasia in an advanced modern state.
It's important to remind ourselves that President Macron was on his way to Cote D'ivoire to join others for the AU-EU Summit. In fact, Nana Addo told his guest and everyone in Ghana, what the AU was to tell the European counterpart at the Summit. Most of us therefore did not bother ourselves to know the outcome of the Summit, after we seem to be trilled with the Accra version of the barking. We never bothered ourselves with the fifty three members of the AU Assembly barking without biting at their EU counterparts.
As we patiently listen to the wisdom from the mouth of our Ghanaian president, I found myself confused on whether my president was talking about Ghana and the twenty seven million population Ghanaians when using the the collective pronoune "we", or he is talking about the over eight hundred million population of the African continent? I wondered why the Ghanaian president engaged in telling anyone about how resilent African youths are, in daring to risk everything, to gain access into the "greener pastured" of Europe. Most of us missed out on why our president could not give us the details on how he is removing every Ghanaians strandered in war thorn Libya.
I could not however miss the opportunity of trying to brood over what my president meant when he said "We have to charter our own new course." I could not stop asking myself who the president was referring to by the use of the pronounces "We" "Us" and "Our". I spent time asking no one but myself, whether the president is including the youths in Ghana and across West Africa with the use of "we", "us" and "our" in chartering a new course for the future of the West African.
I struggled with whether my president Nana Akufo Addo was talking about the traditional approach of limiting the decision making at the ECOWAS level, solely to himself and his fellow fourteen heads of Economic Community of West African States that his predecessors have employed in perpetuating what has continue to fail us all. I started hoping whether Nana Addo will understand that to charter a new course, a new approach has to be employ to involve every ECOWAS citizen directly, if he has to mean what he is saying.
I also started reflecting on the manner by which the predecessor of President Nana Addo, former president John Dramani Mahama made mockery of turning the ECOWAS parliament into a legislative body in place of the the current advisory institution, without giving a damn about allowing the Gnanaian citizens to vote directly for the regional MPs, anytime the concern to do so arose. I wonder whether Nana Addo is capable of understanding that the Ghanaian youths and their counterpart across West Africa, are the resources who are resilient he is appealing to. As I wonder whether my president is not wasting everyone's time by saying what he never meant, like his predecessor did, I also could not ease my faith off the energy Nana Addo committed to ECOWAS on his assumption of office. I explore the memory of president Nana Addo visiting almost all the 15 countries, in search of a more realistic ECOWAS market, with a sense of conviction of what good lie in the over three hundred million citizens of ECOWAS, if properly harness.
Mr. President, if your predecessor has lived up to his words in turning the ECOWAS parliament into a legislative institution like the EU parliament, by allowing Ghanaians to be voting directly for the ECOWAS MPs, the barking president will have been biting as well. Your job would have been easy as a president who believe in his people, then a president running around the world for one form of loan or the other.
In addition to being a very strong country with enough capability of its own, president Marcon has a working EU to back him up, when need be. President Jean Claude Junker of the EU Commission is more than capable of getting all the 27 member states behind one, against any enemy. President Nana Addo, you are on your own, as the ECOWAS in its current state is not fit for purpose. President Marcel De Seuzi of the ECOWAS Commission lack the legislative laws to mobilise anything to back you up.
You can change the course of destiny by standing up to insist Ghanaians must vote directly for their ECOWAS MPs to the regional law making institution. We can not afford to have these individuals selected indirectly from the Ghanaian parliament.
Probably president Nana Addo genuinely believe in Ghanaians enough to trust them to vote directly for their regional MPs. So if Nana is honest about moving us away from the tradition of barking dogs that don't bite, then the direct regional MPs vote to convert the ECOWAS Commossion President to work with laws that make great leaders barking and biting bull dog, is the key. The USA president Donald Trump barked and bite when he said America first. The EU Commission president Jean Cloude junker barked and bite when he said EU citizens first. Nana can make the President of ECOWAS Commission Marcel Alan De Suzie bark and bite with a legislative ECOWAS parliament by making Ghanaians vote directly for their regional MPs. We just have to wait to know whether our president mean what he says, or he is just another toothless dog.
Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin
(ECOWAS Citizens Right Advocates)