President Condé, the military and Guinea

In an interview to the BBC, President Alpha Conde denounces the thievery and corruption of the military regime. He gives no names. However, we can assume that he means both the CNDD (Dadis Camara) and the transition (Sekouba Konate) governments.

In so doing, Mr. Conde’s move reveals further the disagreements between him and circles in the military.
During the presidential election, the president and the army became secret accomplices, all the while denying cynically any contacts among them. Yet, the latter delayed and brutally imposed the former’s victory in the blatantly rigged vote of the second round…

But today, it appears that Alpha Condé wants to rule alone. He feels no longer bound to, or dependent on the armed and security forces. No gratitude. To the victor all the spoils…

It took the president nearly sixty days to discover that the coffers of the government were empty, courtesy of his predecessors: Moussa Dadis Camara, Sekouba Konate and Jean-Marie Doré. However, the finding should not surprise him. Everyone knew about the military junta’s financial mismanagement, rapacity, and embezzlements.

Furthermore, reliable sources allege that candidate Condé himself was a beneficiary of the looting of the state treasury by the transition authorities.

Today, Mr. Conde is appalled by the State’s bankruptcy. However, such statements are all but a disingenuous tactic and, frankly, an annoying yawner!

That said, his claim remains vague. He contends, with exaggeration, that the army officers had spent more money in two years than in half-a-century of postcolonial Guinea. In his own words, “Under the military council, more money was spent than from 1958 until the death of Lansana Conte.”

Alpha Conde didn’t elaborate on such a frivolous assessment. He would be hard pressed to come up with accurate facts and reliable statistics to support his sweeping generalization.

As time goes by, Mr. Conde seems to obey to his worse habits as a so-called “historical opponent”. Only this time, he fighting against his personal shadow and dooming his own regime.

The president is eager to fault others and criticize everyone, except himself. He forgets that, for the next five years, his sworn job is to rule and govern a country, not a political part.
How can he achieve anything unless he tackles Guinea’s dire situation with realistic plans and adequate projects
What are his policies regarding agriculture, health, water, energy, education?

President Conde’s major weakness is no secret. He advertized it to the world when he declared his intention to follow the destructive policies of Sekou Toure and Lansana Conte. Talking nonsense, he goes around promoting the virtues of his two forerunners. Forgetting that they were political foes, he sees them today as his role models. A true demagogue, he would like to mimick South Africa and institute a so-called truth and reconciliation commission.
Again, he doesn’t care that, in the absence of justice, his proposal is a blunder and a cynical charade.

Thus, the world knows what will happen to justice under your administration, Mr. President.

However, be warned: if you follow such a dumb, dreadful, doomed and tragic strategy, you are bound to fail. Just like your tyrannical predecessors, whom you embrace today as your “mentors.”

In the interview, President Condé announces that there is “no agricultural production” in Guinea. That’s be a given for decades.
He then adds: “The customs officers have not been paid.” That, too, is familiar to Guineans.

Last but not the least, Mr. Condé proclaims: “We have inherited a country but not a state.”

No! You will enjoy the protocol, privileges and trappings of the presidency. However, you should not delude yourself into thinking that you bargained for anything but poverty, corruption, human rights violations, crimes against humanity, impunity, chaos….
In other words, you should realistically admit you have neither a country nor a state.

For, as a country, Guinea lays in ruins, following half-a-century of dictatorship. Take a look at the environment (water, land, forests, flora, fauna). We see that Guinea, the Waterhouse of West Africa, has become a pale shadow of itself.

As for the state, I grant you that it ceased, way back, to fulfill its role and duties to the citizens. That means, foremost, justice, peace, alternance, and good governance.

It is up to you make it your top priority the resuscitation, rehabilitation, repair, and restoration of Guinea’s lost state.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to succeed in that gargatuan task by finger-pointing, scapegoating, and demonizing your fellow countrymen.

Conversely, you may gain a modicum of success, should you bring yourself up to positive energy, imagination, empathy, truthfulness and commitment to be the servant, and the master of the Guinean people.

But, so far, all of the above ingredients or prerequisites are missing in your presidency.

Is it too late already?

Tierno S. Bah

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