GUINEA: TRIUMP FOR DEMOCRACY.
The victory of the Rally for the people of Guimea (RPG) led by former veteran opposition leader Professor Alpha Conde,72 in the Presidential election is outright victory for good governance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Republic of Guinea is one of the poorest in west Africa. despite its abundant mineral wealth as leading exporter of bauxite;since the attainment of independence in october 2, 1958 from France had been in dictatorial rule.
Post-Independence leader Sekou Toure, a socialist, is aligned with the defunct Soviet Union, an ultra Marxist-Leninist and ruthless to his people, during his 26 years of misruled,lost grip on Guinea's economy, political opponent were violently suppressed, summarily executed and press freedom curtailed and power rested in the hands of Sekou Toure,his family,his ethnic group Malinke and top memebers of Guinean Democratic Party until death took him away in march,1984 in cleveland clinic Hospital in the united States and buried in Conakry.The Guinean capital.
However, he was a great admirer of pan-Africanism.
In April.1984 a bloodless coup led by Colonel Lansana Conte and Diarra Traore ousted the interim government of the disciples of late President Toure; were there was a power struggled between his co-horts. The new government openly acknowledged that the government of late maximum ruler Toure had violated human rights and widespread corruptions. It was estimated that his regime had been responsible for thousand of deaths during his reign of terror.
There is no primary objectives for the coup leaders to siezed power. Democratic government is the best form of governance were the electorates vote the candidates of there choice to rule for a greater participation in government by the people.
Coup d'etat is the continue exploitation of the people by the agent of imperialism.Anytime, when the military toppled democratic elected government through the barrel of the gun, it was in the name of the defence for the rights.Overtime, it led to personality of cult,economic hardship and social deprivation of the masses by those at the saddle of power.
In 1985,Colonel Conte accused his Prime-minister Diarra Traore,whose post he abolished as unneccessary of plotting to overthrown him and was summarily tried and executed ,while others were given lenghthny sentences.
In 1990's he introduced two party system and when presidential elections were conducted General Conte was the sole candidates for the race and re-elected in 1998 and 2003. The ruthless leader during his ruled of public disorder, he solely relied on the support of elite red berets Presidentials guard mainly dominated by his own ethnic groups to propped up his collapsing regime,just in case everything else failed and political opposition were exterminated by the agent of government operating, in Alpha yaha Dialo military cantonment.
But, despite the Iron-hand and disregard for the rule of law in the early 90's, Guinea played a significant military role during the Liberian and Sierr-Leone brutal civil war.
Guinea is one of the main contributors of troops to ECOWAS Monitoring Group called ECOMOG Peace keeping mission led by the Nigerian government, Nigeria's principal supplier of military and logistical support to wade off rebels advances and expansionist policy of the former Liberian leader Charles Taylor popularly called Ghankay now in the Hague,The Netherland for charges of war-crimes and crimes against humanity over his alleged role in the bitter civl war in neighbouring state of Sierra-leone, where he is accused of backing rebels of Revolutionary United Front (RUF) led by a deserter from the Sierra-Leonean Army late Foday Sankoh responsible for widespread atrocities.
RUF is knowned for hacking off the hands and legs of innocent civilians during the decade long war of terror.
The Guinean strongman Lansana Conte passed away december,2008.two days after the death of the longtime ruler; the Guinean's military led by unknowned Army Captain Mousa Dadis Camara siezed power which is synounmous with Guinea's politics.The nation has been run by soldiers since a military coup in 1980. Immediately, the coup was widely condemned by the regional body Economic Community of West African States "ECOWAS", The African Union, Former colonial power France, European Union and The United States.
The Ghana President professor John Atta-Mills also condemned the coup, describing the military rule as unacceptable in Africa. He said the entrechment of the rule of law would hasten democratic stability in Africa, then Ecowas chairman and former president of Nigeria late visionary leader Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'dua; in Ecowas meeting held in Abuja where the decision to suspend the world biggest bauxite exporter from the group was taken said, Ecowas will not recognised the miltary government and had opening warned the miltary junta that they should immediately handed over-power to democratic government.
There, arises therefore need for greater vigilant co-operation among democratic states.
General Lansana Conte had ruled 24 years, since the demise of the autocratic leader Toure.
The Irony that follow suit is laughable,the most shameful acts of the self-styled military president, the former Nigerian dictator General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida alias IBB or anti-democratic on his returned from Guinea leading a Nigerian government delegation that negotiated with the khaki-boys which siezed power illegal, has applauded and encouraged the military coup in the west African states, saying it is timely and patriotic ,and justified as a saving grace for the people of Guinea,after he accused the previously government of having bastardized the economy of the country.IBB,a master coup-plotter and agent of imperialist was a close-ally of late General Conte.
The anti- democratic should had frankly told the military authorities that if Captain Camara and colleaques want Guinean people to revere them they must pave the way for a quick return to democratic civilian rule and then return to the barracks.
From his quoted thoughts and orchestrated move; it is quite apparent that IBB is a grossly misdirected oppurtunist.Inevitably, there will also be questions about IBB'S role in the whole affairs-largely, because he has made no secret of the fact that he will not miss the young disciples,Camara's regime.
Technically, that to show, he had his own ambitions and at such a crucial stage in the country's political history his emotions would have overcome any sensible or logical approach to the violent situation. IBB, regime is the genesis of Nigerian predicament,now flexing his political muslce to context a presidential election due in early next year in a country,he annulled a freest general elections.does he sincerely have his people at hearts?
For myself. I have always admired IBB physique,but his politics has for a long time dubious to say the least the 90's.that is why I was not susprised with Badamasi comment however, his comment has been crticized by Nigerian's and human rights groups in Sub-Saharan Africa's,of course no right thinking person would say that ant-democratic forces are not behind the takeover.
In this light the stand and action on this issue, must be commended by all lover of good governance. Even if, for the sake of argument, the masses of Guinea are fervently opposed to the military junta, it is only a minority which supports the illegal government.
But the pertinent point here, is that there is a lesson to be learned by bad ruler that the power and looters of state funds are temporary, that society is dynamic.while those who professed the doctrined of democracy should please follow the norms of the game. The former Head of states,now had been preaching democracy on lipstick, and at the same time engineering an army to under a wicked anti-people enterprises what a self acclaimed democratic.
Babangida's anti-democratic chronicles are legendary. He has a record of involvement, one way,or the other, in practically every coupd' etat in Nigeria. He played a significant roled that truncated President Shehu Shagari in the second Republic and heralded the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari in the last day of december,1983.
It did not take long for him as a master dribbler to get rid of his boss; Buhari in a bloodless palace coup in August 1985 and started his looting of Nigerian treasury which last for eight years. Badamasi, during his ruled of bad government, the security forces loyal to him ruthless oppressed political movement nation-wide and unaccountable innocent people were killed.
In 1993,the most successful elections ever conducted in Nigeria, which was won overwhelmingly by Chief MKO Abiola, IBB political deceit decided to ignored the wish of the electorates and ride rough shod over the interests of the entire masses of Nigeria.
The international community rated him as one of the most corrupt and richest African dictator in the world. The military junta leader Camara, first he has involved foredoomed from the start and has promised to ceded to an elected civilians government in 2 years time and also pledged to rid the country of the bane of the ordinary Guinea's corruptions, nepotism, and drugs trafficking and improved living standard of the country citizenry.
The eldest son of the former president, Ousmane Conte, a colonel in the Guinean Army and president's brother-inlaw were arrested, both openingly confessed to drugs trafficking on state run Television that to show how an African family had been a stumbling to economic development of a nation. However,some observers had said that Camara is not normally expected to handover power, after the coup,the general complained by the masses is that camara was acting without regard for human rights and political freedom. In turn, a month later civil protest.
The junta leader Camara later said that he will delay handling over to civilian rule and protest organised by pro-democracy supporters in Conakry staduim were violently suppressed and hundred's of people killed and women sexual assaults by uniformen as a weapon of war. when a nation constitution is being violated and rape by irresponsible political leadership and decided to oppressed those that you proffessed to rule,The good news is that camara later survived an assasination on his life by his dreaded former ADC and flowned to Morocco.
Few month's later then French foreign Minister Bernard Kouchiner condemed camara's home coming after the treatment in Rabat,Morocco could sparked an all out civil war. later, flowned to Burkinabe capital Ouadougou home to an African sit-tight ruler Blaise Campaore who has been on the throne since 1987 in a bloody -coup that killed the Pan-Africanist,visionary and Charismatic leader Captain Thomas Sankara.
In Conakry, caretaker junta leader General Sekouba Konate was appionted and on assumption of mantle of leadership accepted to work with a Prime-Minister from the opposition in a transition government that would hold democratic election.It looks as if it will be a battle that will never erupt one may, however, express happiness for triump over the soldiers and international observers said they were general satisfied with the conduct of the run-off elections and world leeder's had described the vote a victory and changes for democractic governance, as the nation returns to civil rule and politics moves forward. Words are in adequate to express the heartfelt congratulations to the Guinean nation from military to democratic government.
The new President Prof Conde, Malinke belonged to the same ethnic group of the first president of the nation Sekou Toure, and had pledged to ensure the implementation of all decisions to be reached at the national assembly, which is expected to established a sound basis for multi-party democracy and create the right condition for good governance and determination to honour its obligation to other countries and international organisations, adding that commitment to their principles would enhance the attainment of a shared desire to strengthen bonds of friendship and co-operation between Guinea and the world community in the years ahead.
Kudos should be given to the element of the armed forces transitional government to organised election free and it a new dawn for the country to regains some its former prosperity.
an Ecomog Veteran and Social commentator
writes from Ogu Town, Port Harcourt,Nigeria.