Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cote D'Ivoire, now a banana state

I had a lively conversation with a taxi driver on Thursday (6th April, 2011)afternoon. I was on my way to sample public voices about the crisis in that West African country for the BBC's Newshour programme. Incidentally the driver had visited Cote D'Ivoire thrice and so it was easier for us to trade ideas. He was sad how the country is being battered by two persons who are supposed to know better. He talked nostalgically about the beautiful scenes of Cote D'Ivoire's capital, Abidjan, their women and how difficult it could be for them to recover. Starting a war is cheap or easy but putting the flames out is more difficult. He said his first visit to that country made him discard the notion he's often carried with him about the Ghanaian capital,Accra being the cleanest in West Africa. He said he was impressed with the high rise buildings, the green vegetation and the night life. And as we made our way through the thick traffic, he wondered how come those two foolish characters; Gbagbo and Ouattara can't simply accept to allow peace to prevail.J He was emphatic the needless sufferings they have plunged their people in is all because of the control of wealth; they both want to have control over the country's resources so they can plunder whilst leaving the people in squalor. Laurent Gbagbo claims to be holding the office in trust of the citizens so why is he taking them through these sufferings? Same as with Alassane Ouattara. His personal ambition is ending the life of those he desperately wants to control. So what sense does that make? When news reports emerged that Gbagbo has given up the fight and was ready to leave the country, i said to myself that is fine but he should be hanged. It may sound harsh but that is what i believe in. He should be hanged though that may not compensate for the needless lives that have been lost but will serve as a deterrent to other irritant who might wants to follow his footsteps. And for Ouattara he should brace himself for a long haul of conflicts because remnants from Laurent Gbagbo's camp are not going to hand in their weapons that easy. He will find out that his stupidity has brought caused him to inherit a mess. I wish him nothing but tough times ahead. My only prayer is with the ordinary people of the country-both displaced-who have been thrown into the madness for no apparent reason. And as for the African Union and the regional body, Ecowas, the least said about them the better.