The Oasis Reporters
August 8, 2020
The latest announcements by Ivory Coast President, Alassane Quattara that he is going to run for a third term, against the country’s two term limit has not come to many Africans as a surprise.
Shortly after his announcement, Africa watchers heard another item in the news that 82 year old Guinean President, Alpha Conde said he too is going in for a third term, beyond what his country’s constitution says.
But why can’t they do the gentlemanly thing that Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Jonathan did to earn global acclaim ?
Why are majority of African leaders of the belief that their case would be different or that they are smarter than everyone else, when even their reigns are mostly lackluster and their service are with a monumental lack of distinction ?
A few years back, the whole world stood on the side of democracy to see Ivory Coast through a frightful civil war to ease out Laurent Gbagbo who was looking for excuses to stay on in power after losing the election to Alassane Quattara. Gbagbo ended up in the ICC, and in jail. Quattara eventually became President. Now he wants to sit tight, obviously under the excuse that his prime minister, Mr Coulibali who should have been his party’s candidate and possibly the successor, suddenly dies.
Is it that without Coulibali, there is no other person ?
Or is Quattara anointed to lead for ever ?
One former African leader, Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza tried that stunt, at the huge cost of lives and the chase of opposition figures into exile and a cowed media. He succeeded against African and global opinion and succeeded in having a disastrous third term that never appreciated the lives of Burundian people, one jot.
One way or the other, Nkurunziza commenced his third term, but probably heard some esoteric inner voices, hence he refused to do a fourth term in office. A few days to the end of his tenure, he died.
Assuming that he had defied public opinion and did a fourth term, then died at its commencement, Burundians would have spat on his grave, leaving his wife and children in a discomforting condition.
How good a legacy would that have been for his family ?
Despite the tortuous political history of Guinea, the announcement by Alpha Condé, an 82 year old man to run for a third term does not augur well for the politics of his country. After all it is quite known that the Guinean politician who has been President of Guinea since December 2010 did not turn his country into a reasonable utopia. The Mandinka born politician who spent decades in opposition to a succession of regimes in Guinea, finally failed to cure the ills of Guinea that he often spoke about. Is it in this advanced age that his magic wand would work after spending ten years in power without improvement ?
Guinea has a potential for political combustion. An attempt had once been made against his life. It shows how unstable Guinean politics is. Not everyone would be pleased with the decision to run again, beyond the two term limit. Africa needs to embrace the full tenets of democracy that respects term limits. African leaders must not always wait to be forced out. Let all of them respect term limits.
With Agency reports