In most countries, democracy loosely translates to a system of government whereby a majority of the populace choose or elect their leaders or representatives. The nascent democracies of Nigeria and Ghana may be among the few one could look at in Africa, but the picture is very bleak when one looks at any country that has French roots.
Anyone with a fresh memory will remember that in 2011, the French Special Forces decided on who became Ivory Coast’s president after Laurent Gbagbo fell out of favour with them. In the same 2011, the French where leaders in deciding that Libya’s Gaddafi had lost legitimacy, and led a bombing campaign that reduced the country to ruins, setting its developmental clock back to about 200 years and leaving it a failed state.
It is therefore interesting that recent reports state that a French parliamentary report says Paul Biya of Cameroon’s continued stay in power has become “illegitimate”. It is stated that it is Elisabeth Guigou, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, presented the report to the the French parliament.
If these reports are credible, it would raise mixed-feelings from Cameroonians and Africans in general. The first feeling would be a sigh of relief that finally the kingmaker has decided it is time for another dictator to leave power. There is no gainsaying the fact that many would be glad to see Biya kicked out of power, by all means possible.
However, if Africans have anything to learn from history, then it is that the French have not been involved in anything in Africa that actually benefited the African. “Former’ French colonies remain the most undeveloped in Africa as a clear testament to the fact that the French never left. Their continuous meddling in African affairs is a real problem and the case of Libya and Ivory Coast makes it more scary.
It is therefore good news that the Kingmakers have finally lost patience with Biya which might translate in him leaving power, but how the this is done is a cause for further concern for any Cameroonian or African.