Kenya typifies Africa’s woes

Adeola Aderounmu.   

Some life stories are the same. In April 2007, Nigeria conducted a very shameful election. The result is that since May 29 2007, Nigeria is being governed by an illegitimate government. Majority of Nigerians are resilient people, they would rather go about their normal life than fight for their rights.

Indeed, there are pockets of violence here and there in Nigeria but generally Nigeria is peaceful. No one is asking for violence but there ought to be forceful ways to ensure that the peoples’ voices are heard and that their votes should count. In the history of election in Nigeria (since 1959), votes have never been counted. Usually, a candidate is forced down the throats of the populace. It is the same for military regimes. Governance and leadership in Nigeria is by force. 

In Kenya, there is now a threat of ethnic cleansing and genocide looming in the air. The incumbent government has conducted a very questionable presidential election. The opposition and some of the people in general would not allow the election to stand. More than 300 people have been reported dead and imagine that a few dozen people were burnt to dead in a church. The church is supposed to be a place of refuge as I thought. 

A few years ago, we saw how these kinds of scenarios spiraled into large scale violence and civil war is some African countries. Recuperation is not near completion in countries like Rwanda. Sudan is still battling with Darfur. Militants or freedom fighters in Nigeria are still creating fuel crises worldwide.  

In general, the pictures that continue to emanate from Africa are very disappointing. Sometimes, I can’t help to agree that African leaders are useless, thoughtless and senseless. The thirst for power at all costs and by any means is one thing I will never come to understand. Is it that easy to be a public servant? Obviously, I know that it boils down to greediness and corruption and insatiable evil tendencies.  

At the end of the day, some people will organize themselves and start to blame the western world for the problems in Africa. Nonsense! Africans are the architect of their own woes and problems. They should stop blaming their lack of initiatives on slave trade and neocolonialism. 

What are the leaders doing to curb the intrusion of western powers? What are they doing to eradicate poverty on their continent? If truly they are deceived by the western world, it means the leaders are fools for falling into evil. 

Kenyans have a right to protest a useless election and they have the right to demand that their votes be counted appropriately. But it is so unfortunate that there are prices to be paid. I am not sure when countries like Nigeria and Kenya will be able to conduct credible elections. I don’t know when elections in Africa will be devoid of violence and unnecessary killings. Is life no longer precious in Africa?     

One can argue that this is not limited to Africa alone but I have made Africa my business and I refused to measure the successes of Africa by the failures of other struggling nations.

As many parts of Africa continue to battle poverty, penury and widespread underdevelopment, it becomes hard to believe that Africa is the cradle of civilization.