The call by ECOWAS Chairman and President of Ghana that an ‘illegal’overthrow of the Burkinabe authoritarian dictator Mr Blaise Compaore would not be countenanced by West African leaders came too late and frankly unhelpful to the citizens in the ECOWAS region. ECOWAS leaders were not only sleepy, but tacitly approved the dangerous constitutional amendment supervised by the dictator Blaise Compoare to extend his illegitimate rule from 27 to 32 years.
This message from ECOWAS leadership particularly smacks of a return to the pre-independence rhetoric that made the creation of political kingdoms a greater priority than development and fed the overwhelming urge of many leaders to remain in power long after the colonialists were gone. At a time when the continent and sub region strives to liberate itself from the expansive powers of the state and the ravaging threat of Ebola, the last thing Burkinabes desire is entrenched dictatorship.
Whilst every citizen must abide by the rule of law, it is important to make a bold statement that the leadership of ECOWAS must be seen to challenge themselves to discard this dangerous political system and work towards integrating themselves into the present competitive global political and economic order. The status quo in Burkina Faso which ECOWAS seemed to tacitly approve threatens to exploit, denigrate, and humiliate ordinary Africans who want to live in peace and be prosperous.
ECOWAS citizens should stand shoulder to shoulder by the citizens of Burkina Faso and say that these ideas as supported by ECOWAS leadership are as dangerous today as ever. Meanwhile, Ghana and all other West African nations must secure their borders against any possible attempts to smuggle arms into Burkina Faso to perpetrate the illegality of Blaise Compoare.
West African citizens must support Burkinabes but advice them to challenge the plunderous rule of law as supervised by Blaise Compaoare for several decades without losing their lives.
Credit: Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President & CEO, IMANI – 31 October 2014
Photo credit: www.flickr.com