President Yar'Adua: Heal Thyself

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[Black Star News Editorial]


Nigerian President, Umaru Yar'Adua, who was illegally "elected" President has reportedly condemned Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe for “disregarding the rule of law.” 

If Yar'Adua was not a head of state, the news would sound comical. Yar'Adua knows he came into office in one of the most farcical and fraudulent elections even by African standards where traditionally entrenched leadership do not want to yield power. His predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo wanted Yar'Adua to succeed him. His “election” was a mere formality. Put another way, Yar'Adua’s business cards and his inauguration speech were prepared before the voting.

Yet Yar'Adua sets a Guinness World Record for hypocrisy. He was speaking Sunday at something called the “Germany-European Partnership with Africa” in Wiesbaden, Germany when he criticized Mugabe.

Of course, he is trying to ingratiate himself with Europeans and the United States to deflect from his embarrassing “election.” By most accounts, the Nigerian election was flawed. Western countries have note pressured Yar'Adua because the country is already a powder keg—oil prices are nearing $100 per barrel. More instability would push world prices to $150 or $200.

The West has made a Faustian pact with the Devil. This does not give Yar'Adua license to abuse Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s economy has been destroyed by Western sanctions because Mugabe’s government does not see eye-to-eye with the British. The big falling out happened when Mugabe’s government seized the land from the super-wealthy white minority elite and redistributed the land to Africans. The land had been stolen from their forefathers.

To suggest that the economy collapsed because Africans in Zimbabwe are not capable of farming is ludicrous. It would imply that Africans, including Nigerians, are incapable of running their economies. Is this really what Yar'Adua believes?

The economy has been ruined due to the Western economic sabotage; no African country could withstand such an onslaught. The more Mugabe’s government is backed into a corner, the more undemocratic the nation’s political environment has become. The country has been cut off from access to International capital, finance, commerce and trade. That’s why commercial agriculture collapsed. The twin Mafia of The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has put Zimbabwe on their Hit List.

Tourism, once a major source of convertible currency, has been destroyed as Western countries discourage their nationals from going to Zimbabwe. The corporate media, where articles are written and edited by Europeans, have rabidly demonized Mugabe. Zambia’s elder statesman, Kenneth Kaunda recently called on the West to seriously talk with Mugabe’s government and to stop demonization.

It is not about “democracy” or “the rule of law.” How do we account for the fact that during the entire period of Ian Smith’s entire apartheid regime in what was then Rhodesia, the Western countries never imposed economic sanctions? The argument was that sanctions would “harm” Black Africans the most. What has now happened to that argument? Is it a coincidence that Smith’s was a minority white regime? Of course not—It’s all about kith-and-kin.

If the West cared about “democracy” in Africa how do we account for the silence over Meles Zenawi? He is an enemy of democracy in Ethiopia. Witness his violent abuse of the political opposition and on-going genocide against the people in eastern Ethiopia.

How do we account for Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s dictator? He removed presidential term limits from the East African country’s constitution in 2005; he stole elections last year, much like Yar'Adua did in Nigeria; he invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and as a result four million Congolese have died; the International Criminal Court, which is now trying Charles Taylor, is investigating alleged crimes against humanity by Uganda’s army in the Congo as a result of Uganda’s occupation of DRC between 1998-2005; the International Court of Justice already ruled in 2005 in DRC's favor and ordered $10 billion in compensation; and, there is an on-going genocide of Uganda’s Acholi people, almost two million of whom have been confined in concentration camps in the north for almost 20 years with 1,000 excess deaths per week according to the WHO.

How does the West react to all this? Meles has been annointed as a U.S. ally in the "war against terror" as has Museveni, who was a recently a visitor to the White House with George Bush. On November 23, the Ugandan gets to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Uganda. There was no on-going genocide in Zimbabwe when it was suspended from the "Commonwealth."

Does President Yar'Adua need any more examples? Thank the African creator for Thabo Mbeki who is a thoroughbred African and has rejected machinations against Zimbabwe. If more African countries stood by each other like the Europeans band together, the continent would be in a far better place today.

Yar'Adua; heal thyself!



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