PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

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by Dr Togba-Nah Tipoteh

The military takeover in Guinea is most relevant for telling us that we should have done better to prevent violence, including Coup d’Etats and Civil Wars. Where were we when the “powers that be” changed the Constitutions of Burkina Faso and Guinea to allow for a third presidential term of office? There are so many condemnations of the military takeover in Guinea coming from governments and international/inter-governmental institutions who facilitated the constitutional changes by just standing by and doing nothing to stop the unconstitutional changes. If we had acted together constitutionally, we would have prevented the military takeover instead of making condemnations in expectations of curing the unconstitutional changes.

Guinea Conkry’s coup leader – Mamady Doumbouya (Centre)

Having struggled to end colonial rule, the “powers that be” have only acted to change national flags from the colonial flags to African flags, but colonial domination continues with the production of raw materials mainly for export from Africa to the colonial masters, as there is no prioritization of the value addition system in Africa. The current societal situation is called neo-colonialism, in conventional terms, but the colonial beat goes on. It is this beat that continues poverty generation instead of poverty alleviation.

A few days ago, I spoke with a former African Head of State who went to Guinea to advise the Guinean Head of State to step down and set up an interim arrangement to have elections later this year. The Guinean President said NO and continued with his foreign mercenaries, while Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, the Coup Leader, and other Guinean Commanders were left in a quandary. This former African President who acted proactively, by stepping down constitutionally, lamented at the stupidity of African Presidents who insist on sustaining themselves in State power unconstitutionally/undemocratically. If this stupidity were to continue, there would be more Coups d’Etats and Civil Wars in Africa. When the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) alerted the government to the fact that the longstanding and widespread poverty would become the pretext for civil war. the government ignored the warning of MOJA. Then the Civil War came to Liberia. killing at least 300,000 persons and leaving an economy worse off with no recovery to the pre-war level.

How do we prevent non-constitutionality and bring in constitutionality to end the unconstitutional/undemocratic rule of African undemocratic rulers? We can end this unconstitutionality by working together as people who love Africa to make use of our knowledge to raise awareness among African people in ways that motivate them to take non-violent/constitutional actions to change the electoral system from an UNFAIR one to a FAIR one. It is only through a FAIR electoral system that good persons can get elected. The good persons will take action not to help themselves but to help other people to help themselves in improving their living standards sustainably. It is only when good persons are elected that value addition will be prioritized to move society away from poverty generation to poverty alleviation. As this movement is a process and not an event, it takes time. But progress is in the wind as seen in the non-reelection of all of the Legislators from the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures in Liberia. With rising awareness of the voters, the likelihood is high that nearly all of the Legislators of the 54th Legislature who seek reelection will not be reelected.

Prevention is Better Than Cure and this is the reason for the presentation of this Commentary to be part of the Awareness Raising process that will bring Justice for All, the only ingredient for Peace and Progress.

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