Niger: A test of Africa’s resolve

By August 16, 2023 August 17th, 2023 No Comments

The crisis in Niger is no longer solely the concern of the people of Niger; it is becoming ideological and a precursor of Africa’s response to neo-colonialism. Will Nigeriens win? Will the military leaders truly affirm the will of the people by good governance and offering the people the long awaited sense of pride for being a Nigerien and an African? From the crisis, what will the outcome be for Africa and Africans?

A closer look at the crisis and the pattern of breaking free from the stranglehold of France by the people of old Songhai empire, not only an attempt to bring back the connection and possibly the brotherhood of the defunct empire into a one unit of aspirations but also a start of what will become of Africans resolve to break free. Although it is still early to conclude, the spirit of the people of Niger seems unwavering.

Already, The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union – the body responsible for deciding on issues of conflict resolution in Africa, has come out against the deployment of armed foreign troops to Niger as RT reported.

Niger has become significant for the West, where for the abundance of natural resources and uranium in particular along with their established military bases and other interests, these western countries seemingly want to use Niger to stop a hunger of breaking free that is sweeping across Africa. The peoples of Africa hunger to be free from the choke-hold of the Western and Asian interests, exploitation and domination.

Africans see themselves as brothers. What affects one, affects another. They have one fate and one consequence. “Despite the indisputable cultural diversity that arises from Africa’s ethnic pluralism, there are underlying affinities in many areas of the African life…” stated in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “I was born here (Rwanda), I grew up in Uganda, my wife was born in Burundi, we met in Kenya and we are here. So, Africans, that’s who we are. We are brothers, we are sisters,” Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president said recently.

For centuries, Africans have borne the inhuman and immoral treatments ever meted out to humans; conquests, domination both from the Asia and the West. Africans have suffered untold dehumanisation to the extent they have become so weak to rise and pursue their total independence and emancipation.

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The people of Niger are rising and that is the ideological background of the crisis. And, they should be supported in assurance that they are not alone. The springboard for total redemption and independence has started. If Nigeriens win, it is a win for the Africans but if they lose, it becomes a point for the continued exploitation and dehumanisation of Africans.

The rise of Africans is imminent; from the chorused-voices to discourage military intervention to the seeming acceptance of Niger’s military takeover. It shows that Africans have started to understand the root cause of Africa’s problem. It is the connivance of the outsiders and the local collaborators to milk and deny Africa her heritage, resources and pride.

Despite several statements from some African leaders in condemnation of the coup, and apparently, coups must be discouraged, Nigeriens have shown enough courage and determination to push through and stand by their military leaders.

“As the Africa union, we are against the undemocratic removal of any government. Coups are not a solution to the challenges we have as a continent. We are taking a very firm position and advise that any undemocratic removal of any government immediately earns the expulsion from the African Union,” said William Ruto, Kenya’s president.

Democracy in Africa can only survive from the purity of the ballot. Rigged elections undermine the principles of democracy and it can’t survive if delivery of good governance is minimal. Africans want jobs, affordable housing and food, healthcare and education, good roads and a sense of pride in who they are. Africans want peace, security and the ability to chart the future of the continent without intrusions from foreign powers. Africans react to the inability of these elected leaders to deliver and the many corrupt practices they are involved in.

According to the Economic Development in Africa Report 2020 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Africa loses about US$88.6 billion, 3.7 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), annually in illicit financial flows. These illicit financial flows worsen inequalities. So, when the people welcome military coups, people see it as a pathway to good governance. This is the feeling of Nigeriens.

As much as Africans want to root out the choke-hold of the foreign powers, they also want liberation from the corrupt local leaders. As Nigeriens fight for their liberation from local and international neo-colonisers, it is a test for Africa’s resolve to be free and independent.

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