What Advice Did President Rawlings Give Mali Coup Makers?

Mali's top court declares coup leader Goita Mali's top court declares coup leader Goita

The events in Mali over the past few days that led to the arrest of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, is like page taken out of the book if former president of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings.

The circumstances that have led to Assimi Goita, becoming the interim president of Mali, was a similar script that played out Ghana in on December 31, 1981.

Col. Assimi Goita, declared himself the President of Mali, after yet another coup, which is the second in nine months.

Before the constitutional court of Mali, rubber stamped his presidency, Goita detained Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and President Bah Ndaw.

Moctar Ouane and President Bah Ndaw, were arrested along with other government leaders a few hours after the president named a new Cabinet.

Goita who has been serving as the transitional vice president since September 2020 after he led a military coup, assumed full control of the country when he deposed the president and prime minister in an unprecedented move.

The above narration is a familiar line in most coups in Africa and Ghana is no exception. Former president Jerry John Rawlings travelled the same path in 1981, when he overthrew a constitutionally elected. Mr Rawlings was very instrumental in Dr Limann becoming president. The coup of June 4, was to end all coups, but that was not to be.

As it happened in Ghana, as in Mali, both President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, were not harmed, but only arrested and ordered to resign.

In Ghana president Hilla Limann and his vice, were not harmed but detained and later released. Dr Hilla Limann came back to contest the 1992 election on the ticket of the Peoples National Convention (PNC).

After the August last year coup that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a four-member delegation of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) led by its Chairman, Colonel Assimi Goïta, visited Ghana and called on the former president.

According to a statement issued from his office, the former president urged the coup makers to use the transition period to exhibit exceptional leadership for the country and usher her into a prosperous era.

Former President Rawlings urged the Malian leadership to mobilise their people into taking up productive activity through a positive vision to boost the country's development.

He also advised them to empower and encourage the people to own their political climate and to improve on the quality of multiparty democracy that Western powers "have hung around our necks".

"The level of corruption that has become an integral part of multiparty democracy has created a general climate of stress and tension that may destabilize some areas in our region.

"It is unfortunate that the world is being forced into multiparty democracy with corruption and violence rather than other forms of democratic practices with none or minimal corruption.

"Unfortunately, the West appears to favour corruptible political tendencies in order to continue to dominate our security and economy," the former President stated.

I am sure in my mind that, president Rawlings told them to go back and monitor the situation, should the new leadership fail or make any false move, they should cease power to restore sanity, as he did.

Ten months after they left Accra, with the assurance to ECOWAS leaders to return the country to constitutional rule, the coupist were back again at what they do best.

Once they taste power, they get intoxicated and will always find an excuse to come back. President Rawlings, who is no stranger to this act, met the leadership, and what he told them could have motivated them on to stage a comeback.

As it was in the beginning was so it in the second coming of Goita, this time around like former president Rawlings, cease power for himself.

It is sad that in this era and time, in spite of the devastating effect of poverty and other diseases, occasioned by worsening levels of insecurity in most of the African countries, the continent still has to contend with military coups.

History, has thought us that, those who come in, in the name of cleaning the system, leaves it worse than they came to meet. Examples abound in Africa, where the tyranny, corruption, opulence, they promise to fight assumes a rather disturbing and alarming rate.

There will always be discontent with every leader, even the most advanced economies, are still grappling with some of the problems bedeviling Africa, but that notwithstanding, elections are held through democratic means, so that people can freely choose whoever they wish to govern them.

Coup d'états wherever they happen are certainly not part of the solution.

Coups are no longer fashionable, and must not be entertained. Africa continues to become a laughing stock in the comity of nations, because of the entitlement mentality of the military, who think they have the God-given right to cleanse the system.

The political uncertainty in Mali will no doubt have a devastating effect on the residents when one considers the fact that Mali is one of the ten poorest nations of the world.

Mali is among the 37 heavily indebted poor countries in the world and not surprisingly, relies heavily on aid from different organisations including World Bank and the African Development Bank.

The need for political stability that will allow residents of Mali to engage in harnessing the nation's vast mining potentials and other viable agricultural venture is paramount at this time.

ECOWAS leaders held an Extraordinary Summit on the crisis in Mali on May 30, with the aim to find a holistic and amicable solution to the impasse in Mali.

Colonel Assimi Goïta and all those thinking like him must be made to understand that, the era of coup d'états are over.

Coups were the defining features of the African continent at the dawn of the 20th century, but it is no longer fashionable and certainly must not be tolerated.

If it is becomes necessary for sanctions to be imposed on Mali, so be it, except to say such an action may ultimately have a more devastating impact on the poor masses who are already feeling the negative impact of the raging instability.

All the actors must come together to ensure that political stability returns to that country.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com