Frisky Larr

Sharing my thoughts and putting my message accross

The Shame of Africa’s Political Inferiority

African leaders

Let’s fess up to it! That Africa hardly wields any political significance in global politics and diplomacy is an unspoken secret. A lot of incidents happen within the African continent that is comparatively better handled elsewhere in the world. The discerning African mind has been waiting for decades, to experience moments of joy, pleasure and upliftment at one remarkable deed by African political leaders that will make it proud. Such moments have hardly ever been replicated since the wave of independence declarations from colonial intruders in Africa since the 1960s.

The hopes aroused by Kwame Nkrumah with his doctrine of Pan-Africanism, Leopold Sedar Senghor with his intellectual strain of poetic liberation verses, the passion aroused by Kenneth Kaunda with his emotional bond to the black race that dominates Africa, are today, only a far cry from all the expectations that were reposed on the future of the continent.

A continent that lived through years of supplying human slaves to the pleasure and benefit of foreign invaders has a carefully documented record of raids that were conducted on its shores by the same white-skinned invaders who chased fleeing able-bodied Black African men. Men that were captured, transported thousands of miles across the sea to be subjected to subhuman and animalistic treatment in sugarcane plantations! It is the same continent today, which unwittingly transgresses the honor of its own and willfully enslaves its people in a modern setting.

Today, the slave masters of old no longer come docking on the shores of Africa’s commercial hubs. They no longer have plantations where the Black African is deployed on the basis of classifications along the line of physical features, age, and health. Today, our people run to the white man begging to be enslaved in a different manner, to afford the cost of quick wealth and the basic feeding of families at home as the case may be.

They throng like a herd of sheep, into waiting boats on the shores of North Africa running after the greener pastures that Europe imaginarily portends. They die in their hundreds in the middle of the sea traveling on ramshackle vessels provided by profit-hungry monsters, who rip the last bucks off the desperate sojourners hoping to replenish their purses when the promised land is reached.

Then you ask yourself: “Do they have governments in Africa at all?” The massive drift of Africans in recent years and months would have long been sufficient reasons, to prompt a call for action by a joint forum of political leaders in any frantic bid to address the situation or seek assistance from more influential countries. Unfortunately, this is negated like the operations of domestic gangsters across the continent, which routinely attack, rob, maim and more often than not, kill their innocent victims.

The latest count of Black African victims, who sought to cross the Mediterranean to access Europe in search of affluence and improved living standard, stands at 800 dead Africans on one single day. Hundreds of Africans rescued on make-shift death-trap boats provided by organized smugglers are not uncommon news any longer. Hundreds dying over several days and weeks do not shock the mind any longer, which attaches importance to the sanctity of human life.

Yet 800 deaths in one single day were enough to unsettle the European mind and warrant emergency summits of responsible leaders to find solutions. Not in Africa.

Some African leaders took a supportive stance when the illegal overthrow and assassination of Muammar Gadhafi in Libya was the subject of international debate. No one pressed for an African solution with foreign support. Today, Gadhafi is no more. Libya is as good as non-existent as a functional state. The consequence is the aggravated loss of African lives across the desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Yet 800 deaths in one single day did not spur African leaders to action to find a lasting solution.

An African leader is on record to have hurried down to Paris to attend a summit with the French President on finding a solution to the brutal cases of insurgency in his own land while he was so indifferent to the need of visiting the scene of the mass abduction of children. The same African leader would hasten to express condolence to France at the loss of 12 individuals to terrorist attacks while scores were killed daily in his own country in the hands of terrorists, without a care in the world where and how it happens.

Today, tomorrow or the next day, a number of foreigners are due for execution by firing squad in Indonesia after being found guilty of drug smuggling. The foreigners include Africans, Australians, and French citizens. For months now, Australia has been fuming and rampaging like an elephant in a china shop protesting the imminent execution of its just 2 citizens with threats of ‘dire consequences’. The French engaged in quiet diplomacy threatening ‘dire consequences’ as well if its citizens were executed. Yet several Africans have been executed in Indonesia several times before without any African country raising any of its most feeble voices in earnest protest.

All over the world except in Black Africa, dictators who refuse to embrace democracy as a viable system of government run their country, with a tremendous sense of welfarism. The absence of democratic institutions, which stall processes and the absence of the rule of law is often exploited to uplift standards in the country to the benefit of the citizens. We remember Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gadhafi, governments in China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirate etc. The alleged quest to install democracy ended up destroying landmark achievements in Iraq. The same is true of Libya.

China, Saudi Arabia, and many other examples uplifted their individual countries by taking advantage of easy but oppressive dictatorial leadership. Yet in Africa with the highest record of dictatorships over several decades, poverty, infrastructural decay and corrupt enrichment are the norm, not the exception. Indeed, there are no exceptions.

Then you ask yourself: “Do they have governments in Africa at all?” The same Africa that inspired hope when educated and intelligent minds swore that they could manage their own affairs and forced independence from colonialists! Expectations were high. Unfortunately, intolerance, immaturity and greed often led to chains of civil war across the continent with no hope of redemption. Over 50 years since the wave of independence across Africa, what is left to write about when talking of Africa south of the Sahara?

The latest low is brother-against-brother. It is black men spilling the blood of fellow black men in the most barbaric spate of primitivity ever imagined.

The dust has hardly settled on South Africans with their recent history of oppression in the hands of white minority rulers, who Shaka the king of the Zulus allowed a free hand in settling in prized territories across the Transkei, Natal and Zululand. The pains of Apartheid were suffered not too long ago. Hungry black boys in search of quick bucks often collaborated with the white racists and served as informants spying on the resistance movement. Any such informant caught was subjected to necklacing – the binding of a vehicle tire around the neck and setting ablaze of the informant to die in pain and agony.

No one cried out against this practice at the time. No one spoke up. The pain of Apartheid suffered by the black man was just too immense that we all thought such informants deserved their plight. Using this same infamous method as a tool of barbaric expression of hate is beyond any scientific expression.

It is true that the unusually massive presence of foreigners in a single country bears a huge potential for provoking resentment and violence by the indigenes. Scientific studies in different climes have uncovered the sense of insecurity felt by indigenes and how easily foreign elements can be the scapegoat in the society as ready excuses for the failure of governance. It is also true that the presence of a huge number of foreigners like Nigerians from a specific social stratum will most likely boost the spate of crime as is evidenced by many countries including European nations that are able to cushion such a hike. Drug-peddling as in Indonesia and the marketing of prostitutes in addition to fraud (the so-called 419 activities) are typical examples. In spite of all these though, it is also true that home-grown crime in South Africa is not of an insignificant dimension.

While rational understanding can be invoked for the reasoning of South Africans over the influx of so many foreigners into a country with such a huge problem of its own, it is impossible to comprehend the repugnant act of stoning and burning to death of a fellow man. “Ghana must go” is a sentiment that is not foreign to Nigerians. Yet, no Nigerian dreamt any idea of killing Ghanaians simply because they came as guests to earn a better living standard. It is simply as barbaric as it is crude primitivity at its very peak.

Yet, you do not hear African leaders calling for or summoning any emergency session of the African Union. It does not seem to matter to them. If such an incident were witnessed in any European country, the continent would be boiling with a flurry of political activities. If Africans were slaughtered this way in any other continent with the authorities tacitly or openly collaborating, some African countries would have summoned an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council. But an emergency session of the African Union is not deemed worthy of summoning. No collective cry of anger.

Is this Africa of Kwame Nkrumah’s dreams? Is this political inferiority what African brains bargained for in the struggle for independence? Where is hope and how long more shall it take for the ultimate spark of positive development to erupt and pick steam?

One comment on “The Shame of Africa’s Political Inferiority

  1. Ehigie
    May 10, 2015

    Thank you Mr. Larr for this exhaustive and thought provoking write up. It cannot be better said!

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This entry was posted on April 27, 2015 by .
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