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Opinion | Apr 7, 2019

Why I Hate Many African Leaders

Sorngmene Charles

One cannot refuse to eat just because there is the chance of being choked.

Good morning, afternoon ,evening fellow African men and women . If today I have taken my pen to write ( my usual business though) it is not for nothing but an expression of the untold backwardness and hardships we are suffering, as a result of laxity on the part of many of our leaders, the reason for which I hate many of them. Let me hasten to say that I do not hate their personality, why because if it comes to grandeur and social status, I am not fit enough to even kiss their feet. What I hate about them is their serpentine behaviour in power.

As a young writer, I have read, heard and sometimes witnessed the rot in Africa. I crave your indulgence, therefore, to succinctly and clearly, if I may say, walk you through the ugly happenings in Africa your continent my continent. For the sake of this paper and in the interest of brevity permit me to put them into the following general terms :

CORRUPTION
In the briefest of definition, corruption is the use of public office for personal gains. Primitive accumulation of wealth in power. In Africa, there has never been a government which comes to power without using corruption. I think you would bear with me here. African corruption has now gained worldwide prominence and your ego would be deflated if you read about it. Some African leaders, it must be confessed, do not see corruption as a demon but a practice. I wish for a miracle to tell African leaders that, that "black boy" called corruption has left Africans disease-ridden, poverty-stricken year in year out. Corruption in Africa has grown out of proportions such that one would think our leaders are tearing into pieces the body of Jesus Christ as if the Jews did not treat Him badly enough. It requires some plain speaking and for the sake of Africa, let's speak plainly.

ANGOLA AND CORRUPTION
José Eduado Dos Santos is Africa's second longest serving president. This man has often run his government like it's his personal, privately owned investment holding company. For all Angola's resource wealth, vast majority of Angolans still live in the most horrid socio-economic conditions. The current statistics is that 68% of the Angolan population lives below the poverty line because of corruption. Unemployment levels are very high but the president is unaffected.

NIGERIA AND CORRUPTION ( ALHAJI UMAR YARDUA) IN RETROSPECT

In this country, it would send you running for cover to hear that Mallam Ribadu who attempted to use the instrumentality of a public institution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate, arrest and convict through the law courts some public officers engaged in corruption was persecuted. Instead of the Federal government to publicly acknowledge this man, the regime of president Yardua continuously persecuted him. This is the greatest embarrassment for Africa. Here, we celebrate the corrupt and vilify good men and women. The irony is so pronounced.

GHANA AND CORRUPTION
In my home country, the difference between successive governments and the current government is that president Nana Akuffo Addo has perfected corruption. President Akuffo Ado is ranked among 10 most corrupt leaders in Africa by " Tour de guet ( A Gabon-based Anti-corrutpion group) as Ghana drops 3 points in the latest Transparency International Corruption Perception Index published in February 2018. In Ghana, ministers receive double salaries, people have to pay 20000 dollars before they can get to the president. In Ghana, the Electoral Commission ( EC ) Boss and Director of Operations are under trial on counts of corruption (something to be ashamed of).

AFRICAN LEADERS AND THEIR CHEAP TALK - UNGUARDED LIES

Apart from the deadly black boy called corruption, many African leaders gloat in cheap talk which I call palpable lying. The rate at which many African leaders tell lies and make "unpunctuated " promises can be likened to counterfeit being distributed at a wedding ground.

In Ghana my country, research has shown that the current vice president( H.E Bawumiah) is a stinking personification of lies who has dedicated his body and soul to the demon of lies (Beelzebub) such that when he greets you good morning, you have to look at the position of the sun before you respond. This is humorous and in my own wisdom sarcastic.

In Ghana, the sitting President came to power pledging to eradicate corruption but most of his close aids , appointees and relatives are tied to corruption and corrupt acts while he coils back in a cocoon of not being in the knowing. COPEC and for that matter Ghanaians, are calling for the sack of the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko for lying to Ghanaians that fuel prices will remain stable in January 2018.

Workers were promised that they would be paid their salary arrears three months on assumption of power only for me to gather that it was a well cooked lie. This is how our democratic leaders talk loosely. What has become of the many factories and jobs the president promised to give Ghanaians? What of bringing inflation down and also providing each constituency with US$1million?

We live in sad time. African leaders say with their mouths what they don't believe in their hearts , the reason for which the outside world laughs at us . I solemnly suspect that God Himself will be very harsh on some of these things on the judgement day.

CAN AFRICA BE SAVED?
I think not. If our leaders cannot be bold enough to restore the value of truth, then, we cannot have justice and that is why we are suffering. I don't need Mahamat Ghandi to tell it to me anew . He said, " he was looking for truth in God only to discover that God was in truth".

EXHORTATION TO AFRICAN LEADERS
Continent men and women, I wish to tell it to African leaders that running a nation in this supposedly 21st century is not teaching form five boys why some Frafras have Dagaati names or where the Anlos settle when they retire. No! It goes beyond that.

"Time no dey" said Kofi Kinaata and so I also say. The time is now to wake up and fine African solutions to African problems. It is not about Presidents Buhari and Nigeria, Akuffo Ado and Ghana, Pombe John Magafuli and Tanzania et cetera, but it is about Africa and transparency, Africa and honest, Africa and morality .

I therefore challenge African leaders especially Ghana my country to place high on their agenda, and to give Africa the most thoughtful and creative considerations, for Beyounce (Ghanaian musician) reminds us with her words: " I wanna bare my footprints on the sands of time . When I leave this world, I will leave no regrets. Leave something to remember so they won't forget. The hearts I have touched would be the proof that i lived. That I made a difference, and this world will see that I was there". This is an admonition to African leaders.

African leaders should not be oblivion of " yen ara asaase nie" preached by Ephraim Amo. I am of the strongest conviction that Africa can be rejuvenated because it was not the intention of God that Africa looks like what it is today while Germany et al look so shiny. It is a matter of change of mind and it largely starts from our leaders, now and never.

Fellow country men and women, I rest here until I return to you next time on why I think Democracy is not good for Africa.

Deep down my heart, i wish to dedicate this article to president Pombe John Magafuli (Tanzanian Buldozzer) , Dr.Kwame Nkrumah (the Pan Africanist who never reaped the fruits of his struggle for African Liberation but whose toil and sweat continues to feed millions of starving Africans ) and to my comrades in penship (University of Winneba, Kumasi Campus).

Long live ccorruption-free Africa my continent
Long live corruption - free Ghana my country
And long live my grammar lecturer ( UEW-K)
Writer: Sorngmene Charles ( Campus Bulletin Columnist )

Tel: +233549889149
Email: [email protected]

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