*Over Alpha Conde’s removal
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOR
Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency , Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) should be blamed for the overthrow of Prof Alpha Conde by the Guinean Special Forces.
He also laid blame squarely on other international communities indicating they failed to speak out when about 13 Presidents of some African countries tried to change their constitution in other for them to stay in office for a very longer time.
Ablakwa explained that, ECOWAS and AU, were quiet when 83-year-old Alpha Conde, through the amendment of the constitution tried to make himself president.
“Back to the failure of the African Union, ECOWAS and to some extent the United Nations. Since the 1990s democratization wave, it was clear that the African people have had enough of the coups from the first coup that happened in Ghana, February 24, 1966, all the way to the 80s. The 1990s ushered in a new era. According to the African Centre for Strategic Studies, there were about 50 constitutions that were drafted in the 1990s. Thirty of them had term limits.
“It will surprise you to note that only from 2015, over the last six years alone, no fewer than 13 countries have amended their constitution to extend the term. The sad thing about Guinea is, he (Alpha Conde) was preparing to even run for a fourth term. He wanted to make himself President at 83 years for Christ sake. What he did was to say this is a new constitution. So it doesn’t matter what has happened, my two terms will not count. So this will be my first term, I’m starting afresh and he would have gone again. I mean, holding the Guinea people to ransom.
“What is the AU saying about it, nothing. What is ECOWAS saying about this? Most of them are West African countries,” the North Tongu MP said.
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee noted the what was happening in Guinea was very sad and in no way did he endorse coup d’etats.
“We do not endorse coups. We do not wish it. Coups take us back and they do not and should not have a place in any democratic construction. His (Alpha Conde’s) story is such a sad one because he would have emerged as one of the success stories of Africa because he is one of those few grand old men who have spent all their lives in the trenches. For more than 30 years he has been fighting for a democratic order. He has paid the price himself. He was sentenced to imprisonment for five years. He was only lucky to be pardoned,” he said.
Okudzeto Ablakwa observed, despite the achievements of Alpha Conde, he should have expected his overthrow due to his recent actions that did not please many citizens in Guinea.
“One would have thought that with this rich history, where he can become an inspiration to a lot of opposition politicians and African democracy activists, he would have been a shining example.
“You (Alpha Conde) managed to secure a second term, that is enough. But instead of bowing out after your second term, you then amend the constitution, go for a referendum and that was a dubious referendum.
“This has been coming. You should have taken steps to avoid this. You have a situation where President Conde decided that he will totally abandon the constitution that brought him into power,” he stressed.