The year 2020 is one which African Leaders never imagined would confront them. They had to do some actual governance.First, they were confronted with Covid-19 an enormous challenge for the healthcare sector, which they had failed woefully to manage. Then, an unexpected awakening of ahitherto docile population. The African population which had hitherto been known for suffering and smiling finally decided that they had had enough of the suffering and spoke up. Africans also never expected that their leaders lacked the sheer creativity or goodwill to pretend to try to solve actual problems they were elected (rigged themselves in) to solve. Across Africa, citizens have now called global attention to the various challenges they have had to stomach despite the existence of a caricature called government. Despite all these African leaders have shown that they have absolutely no iota of shame.
In, Nigeria, after 12 days of impressive peaceful protests that demonstrated how governance ought to be, by showing utmost transparency and accountability, government forces shot live ammunition at peaceful protesters who merely were sitting on the floor holding nothing but placards and the National flag and all singing the National Anthem. Amnesty International reports that at least 12 people died from what is now known as the Lekki Massacre of 20|10|2020. May the souls of all departed Martyr rest in peace. The protests were aimed at calling for an end to a rogue police unit known to commit the crime it ought to prevent – armed robbery – and call for an end to bad governancein Nigeria. Interestingly, the government responded by sponsoring armed thugs and men of the Nigerian Army todisperse (kill unarmed citizens at) a peaceful protest of young Nigerians asking to stay alive. Have you no shame? In any event, no one has been held accountable for these heinous crimes’ days after.
In Cameroon, children were killed merely attempting to get an education! Despite public outcry, the government has paid lip service to fishing out the perpetrators, as always. In Guinea, an 82-year-old man has imposed himself on the country for the third time amidst violent resistance. For a man who used to be in the opposition, who has now become the oppressor he opposed. Just like his colleague in Nigeria. Is he not thinking of retiring? Well he would not, he does nothing but lounge as President in any case. Have you African ‘elders’ no shame? In the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of God’s most blessed place, one of the world’s greatest deposit of minerals is currently experiencing a genocide and the government is on looking with the active connivance of western thugs and neighbouringcountries. In the same vein, Congolese children are forced into child labour to access the enormous deposit of minerals such as cobalt in Congo. Africa and its leaders have turned a blind eyeto this genocide and have continuously egged on the perpetrators. African governments have no shame. The African Union has shown that it is nothing more than a dead cat, not capable of even biting.
In Ghana and Ivory Coast, child trafficking has been on an astronomic rise. African leaders have also carried on withbusiness as usual. Paying lip service to the issues on the groundand never taking real action. In South Africa and Liberia, cases of gender-based violence (GBV) and rape have been the order of the day. For context, in South Africa, a hospital patient was raped inside the hospital facility. Such horrendous sight. The Government has also played the ostrich and has acted as if all is well. Liberia experienced a 50% increase in rape cases in the past few months and the government has made the statement and set up bodies (as we always do in Africa).
These are some of the few challenges that social media has helped young Africans to shed light on. African leaders in theirusual fashion are now seeking ways to muzzle social media and press freedom for this generation not to embarrass the government. African leaders need to wake up and smell the coffee. Times have changed, the old men must take due noticeand let capable African hands manage the affairs of Africa for the benefit of Africans. Africa is not a zoo or jungle! Have you no shame? All you old men who gained power as young people but have held on to power for centuries? The African Union must also come alive to its responsibilities and demand accountability from its member states.
The author is an Editor at The PALM, he can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org