On a continent where human beings are engulfed in poverty with unapologetic religious dogmas filling almost every space, one might think each would be a brother’s keeper and share the little they have with others. But, no! That is not the reality. The reality is that a privileged few squander with all their might and eat with all ten fingers, forgetting the average sufferer.
Such is the greed of Dr. Mohamed Diane’, Defence Minister in president Alpha Conde’s ousted administration in Guinea. Dr Diane’ had acquired over $1.2 billion worth of asserts in government in a country with highly impoverished people and almost broken economy that is apparently hard to fix.
The ex-Defence Minister, who was also in charge of presidential affairs, acquired numerous properties including 47 Villas, 53 buildings, 7 luxury hotels in Conakry, 7 bottled water production plants, 16 poultry farms, and a total of 13 gold, diamond, bauxite, and manganese mining companies.
He also acquired 18 new luxury cars, 75 plots in Conakry, among others. Beside the numerous ill-gotten asserts, Dr. Diane’ had a whopping $60m physical cash in his home vault, 75.8 kilos 0f 22 karat pure gold with an estimated value of not less than $20 million. The new Col. Mamady Doumbouya led National Committee for Rally and Development (CNRD) military government traced the asserts and confiscated them on the grounds of embezzling State funds.
Such is the system that overwhelms Africa. Greed! Greed continually lures many Africans into politics. Greed also lured some presidents to extend their stay and loot the more, even in their fragile state. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe of blessed memory easily comes to mind. The most ironic part of the whole debacle is that most of these longevity-seeking presidents came on the backs of coup d’état, ousting presidents who had extended their stay as Conde’ did, or were trying to.
The sad fact of the issue is that while extension of rule is undemocratic, the coup d’état ousting the government that is extending its stay is also undemocratic. Such instances become a case of problem chasing another problem out of rule. In a simpler term, it is a matter of “problem go, problem come”. This is so because the military that takes over the government is a slapdash to governance, and tend to mess up the more.
One of the widely espoused arguments for the high poverty level in Africa is the emergence of coup d’état in several countries. Proponents believe that military intervention in politics create unstable environment for economic growth.
In all these nuances, ECOWAS embodies a toothless old woman who becomes restless when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. In the same strain ECOWAS could not do anything to stop Alpha Conde’ and several other power-drunk African leaders from unconstitutionally tweaking the constitution and extending their stay in power, same vein it could not stop the coup in Guinea, the ‘kidnaping’ of president Conde’, and the nonchalance of coup leaders to the threats of the Community.
God save Africa!