Time to Clear Out the Garbage!
I have been meaning to comment on the commendably mature and civilized and politically progressive decision by Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Dramane Ouattara not to prolong his presidency by seeking another term in office, and thus courting the certain possibility of creating more tension and chaos in his once prosperous country. Unfortunately, the hectic business of studiously observing and critically commenting on Fourth Republican Ghanaian political culture has kept me away from promptly doing so. I shall, God willing, find some time in the near future to at least briefly comment on the post-war politics of the former Ivory Coast, in particular regarding the integrity of whose stability, progress and democratic functionality ought to matter to all Ghanaian citizens, especially the country’s Akan ethnic majority; for both Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are more organically culturally intertwined than our inescapably destructive and patently false Euro-colonial boundaries would make it seem.
For now, I want to briefly focus on the protracted Merry-Go-Round situation in the Republic of Togo, Ghana’s immediate eastern neighbor – it is actually a “Messy-Go-Round” situation. Strictly speaking, Togo is not really a “Republic,” not even a “Banana Republic,” that is, not a Republic in the salutary or healthily functional use of the term. What we have there, in Togo, presently, is an “atavistic” – and I use the latter terminology in the most primitively regressive sense – that is, the junta enforcement of an anachronistic faux-monarchical political system that ought to have ended with the 2005 natural demise of President Gnassingbe Eyadema, the old dictator and father of the present faux democratically elected one, who did a diddly little to absolutely nothing to significantly advance the quality-of-life standards of his people.
Unfortunately, as has been characteristic of many Third World countries, in Africa, since the 1960s up to the end of the Twentieth Century, Togo has gone the heavily benighted way of countries like Uganda and Kenya, among a host of others, that do not seem to be apt to finding any healthy headway out of the Stygian mess of the junta distortion of stable and civilized democratic governance. This irredeemably regressive and parasitic system may very well have been blindly borrowed from Latin America and elsewhere around the globe, a bizarre phenomenon that yours truly has yet to scholastically interrogate and verify or conclusively ascertain. Anyway, from the get-go, I have to emphatically note here that I have absolutely no personal or vested interest in the question of which individual Togolese leader or politician gets to occupy the helm of that strip-mall of a country’s affairs.
What I want to see, if the ECOWAS Alliance Federation is to be deemed worthy of its designation and its activities are to redound to the short- and long-term benefit of all West Africans, is to progressively ensure that the political systems and practices of all the member nations that constitute the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are progressive and organically synchronized for the achievement of the sort of common purpose that originally informed the very foundation of this otherwise most meaningful assembly of the 16 balkanized erstwhile Western-European governed or misgoverned polities. “Balkanized” because the shape and contours of the 16 countries that make up the Economic Community of West African States were primarily determined by the inordinate expansionist greed of late 19th Century European leaders.
The imperative need to constructively reconfigure our collective destiny as one people cannot be overemphasized. And the first obstacle to the realization of our organic unity – in the immortalized words of Senegalese scholar-scientist Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop – cannot and must not be lightly overlooked. In short, we need to frame up a formidable political working tool that calls for the immediate removal of all beneficiaries of the old neocolonialist dynastic system of the kind that continues to seriously and significantly hobble and regress the collective development of the West African subregion. We need to promptly back our ideals with the necessary military force, if our recent postcolonial political past is not to harmfully continue to dog our generation and those of posterity.
To be certain, I have absolutely no illusions that a seemingly progressive opposition political agitator like former Togolese Prime Minister Agbéyomé Kodjo could very easily become tomorrow’s Faure Gnassingbe, unless, of course, a definitive and effective statutory measures are put in place to strictly ensure that the civilized rule of law will prevail, once dynastic deadwoods like President Faure Gnassingbe are promptly and swiftly gotten out of the way. We need to forcefully and assiduously demand the kind of governance system that, first and foremost, places the highest premium on democratic merit and electoral fair play, and not the crass bastardization of our electoral system or process for the primary benefit of junta hijackers and greedy political operatives who only care about their individual paychecks and bank accounts. Which is clearly what we see in Togo and other similar bogus democracies in the West African subregion and on the African continent at large.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 24, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."