Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has strongly advised African leaders to leave the political scene when their time is up and ripe. Speaking at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa in Abuja, Nigeria, the respected diplomat warned African leaders that their over stay in power could endanger democracy as well as bring conflicts on the continent.
While praising Africa for the good job done in the area of democracy, which has resulted in the end of a coup and other unlawful takeover of the government by the military, the Nobel laureate cautioned about the overstaying in power and the winner-take-all approaches of African leaders to elections on the continent. This undemocratic approach has effectively blocked citizens from holding an opposing view, thereby causing tensions and political conflicts around elections. Opposition, he argued, is necessary for good governance and healthy democracy.
“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” the Nobel laureate said in an interview at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa.
“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets.
But Dr Annan was so surprised when African leaders at the conference accepted his advice without hesitations or protest. “No protest or challenges?` He whispered to Former President Obasanjo of Nigeria, who had ruled his country both as Military and civilian leader. Even though he willingly handed over power to a civilian Head of State, Obasanjo was accused of masterminding his alleged unconstitutional third term project, which collapsed after it was vehemently resisted by Nigerians. Since then, General Obasanjo has suddenly become an African political Saint, a mediator and peace envoy, who is often called or sent to political hotspots to solve African political problems. He is now a frequent face in many African countries as an election observer. Kofi Annan was shocked that African leaders, many of them, known as sit-tight presidents who are allergic to the democratic principles and oppositions, could willingly accept his advice without protest.
“Tell me my friend. Why are my brothers, so submissive, having in mind they are often anti-democracy? Are they now political Born ““ Again? It seems they have abandoned their selfish ends and power thirst. If so, this is good not only for Africa, but for democracy on the continent as a whole. We are indeed making a democratic progress. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said happily.
President Obasanjo looked at him and smiled sarcastically.
“You advised them to leave when their time is up. But you never said who will determine when their time is up. Sure, very common in the African political culture, the leaders will let you know when the time comes. It could be in 30 years` time ““ or through a bullet.“
The above story is a parody. It is entirely fictitious; therefore none of the characters mentioned in the story are real.