? ? ? wpid-ed6b4f7cd1b865df43ba1be3f74d2d0a.jpg? ? ? It was bad enough for the leaders of the so-called Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to have waited for France to literally lead them by the nose into militarily intervening in the Malian crisis, in which some allegedly Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist terror-mongers have been fighting to take over the government of Bamako, before sheepishly pretending to flex their largely flabby muscles.


Still, it was even more pathetic and cognitively embarrassing and downright shameful for these ECOWAS leaders to presume to insult the intelligence of democracy-loving Ghanaians and our teeming allies and sympathizers around the globe, by congratulating the patent electoral fraud that saw Mr. John Dramani Mahama declared winner of Ghana?s Election 2012 and sworn in as substantive president of West Africa?s most democratic polity (?ECOWAS Heads Congratulate Mahama on Election Victory? Ghanaweb.com 1/20/13).


You see, nobody can really blame the leaders of this toothless association of some 16 African countries, most of which are governed by dictators of various shades who have sat in the seat of power for two decades or more. And then you have those countries whose level of governance barely rises above that of a 15th-century absolute monarchy in the same region. In other words, the rag-tag conclave of cynics that met in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan to help do the bidding of the former colonial power of Francophone West Africa could hardly be characterized as leaders possessed of the sort of exemplary statesmanship with any remarkable modicum of credibility to qualify them to make decisions bordering on the security and development of the region.


Fifty years of postcolonial political culture later, the average West African leader has yet to fully appreciate the salient rudiments of democracy, much less be capable of either supervising or causing a viable and functional implementation of the same.


Anyway, in presuming to decide for the 14 million, or so, Ghanaian voters who got criminally cheated out of their electoral mandate by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the country?s Electoral Commissioner, this was what President Alassane ?Dramane? Ouattara reportedly had to say in a speech read on behalf of his fellow West African ?democratic? dictators: ?We Heads of State and government in an extraordinary session of the Authority of ECOWAS wish to congratulate President Mahama for the free, fair and convincing victory he chalked in the 2012 general election of Ghana.?


Now, I don?t want to herein get into the quiddities of whether Mr. Ouattara possesses either the moral credibility or legitimate authority to lecture Ghanaians as to whether, indeed, our 2012 general election was convincingly won by the legally embattled Mr. Mahama, who may well be the clansman of the Ivorian puppet of President Hollande. But, of course, compared to the kind of Darwinian electoral mandate that brought the former Houphouette Boigny (Offei Boahen) lieutenant to power, it is strikingly in character that Mr. Ouattara should be lauding the kind of refined travesty that occurred in Ghana in 2012 as the finest of its kind in the West African sub-region, and one that ought to be keenly emulated across the entire African continent.


Indeed, nobody ought to be surprised if the Ouattara-scripted ECOWAS insult to the intelligence of the Ghanaian electorate, notably those 50-odd percentage of voters who decisively voted against ECOWAS poster-boy Dramani Mahama, sparks a national conflagration down the road that eventually converts the entire West African sub-region into a war zone. I earnestly hope that I am grossly in error, the dogged demand of the 1.3 million cheated voters to be judicially redeemed notwithstanding.


What appears to be a bit refreshing here is the clearly remarkable appreciation on the part of the Ivorian leader of the fact that most of the ECOWAS leaders who met in Abidjan to congratulate themselves and their Ghanaian fellow trucker had absolutely no moral heft to make such a decidedly adult or oversized decision. On the latter count, this is what the Ghana News Agency (GNA) had to report: ?President Ouattara added that President Mahama?s victory symbolized the victory for democracy in the entire sub-region, worthy of emulation by her peers yet to organize national elections in the coming years.?


Well, I have said this before and hereby repeat the same: that the queasy tendency of leaders of other African countries, particularly those in Francophone Africa, to make a convenient rhetorical guinea pig out of Ghana ought to cease forthwith. It does Ghanaians and our national objectives and aspirations no good, whatsoever, to be tied to the fate of a bunch of corrupt robber-baron dictators who have shamefully demonstrated, time and again, that they have absolutely no intention or will to divorce themselves socioeconomically, culturally and politically from the proverbial apron strings of their Gaullic-European masters.



*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

Jan. 20, 2013



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