Politics and Society
“Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God. Africa Must Unite” — Kwame Nkrumah
Hardi Yakubu recently visited the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa and paid a courtesy call to Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah. The letter assesses how the organisation that Nkrumah helped to create has fared since its formation and the trajectory the AU is on.
I went to the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. I couldn’t be in Addis and not pay a call to Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah. When I got there I was refused entry. Even after I gave them my passport, they said the passport was not valid to obtain access to the premises and that it would only qualify if it was an AU passport or a diplomatic passport. In the absence of that I needed a security code to enter, which meant being invited by a big man/woman “up there”. They asked me to call someone “up there”. I said no, I’m an ordinary African who needs to sit at the feet of Kwame Nkrumah whose statue stands in the AU compound. I refused to leave without completing my mission. I argued that if the AU is “African Union”, then every African must have access to it, not just diplomatic passport holders, and asked them if it was okay to restrict access to the AU for Africans in the manner they were doing. They agreed that it was grossly unfair but that those who made the rules are those “up there”.
After back and forth with the security officials and supervisors, I finally got to enter the compound but they said, “you only get to Kwame Nkrumah statue and then out”, I said, “that’s enough”. They then got one of the officers to escort me.
When I got to Kwame Nkrumah, I made sure a number of points did not escape me.
1. I reported to him that Africa is in the full grip of Neo-colonialism now as he warned and that the systems have been entrenched where our institutions and power structures are tailored to serving the needs of others rather than us. Our resources in firm control of the Neo-colonialists, which means that in the abundance of water, we are thirsty and in the midst of plenty, we are poor.
2. That African unity remains a far cry and that the lack of unity has made us beggars when we could be the richest continent on earth. That even the AU headquarters where he was standing was built not by us but by China. In other words, the Organisation of African Unity which his colleagues insisted in 1963 could be the one to work towards unity had been changed to African Union and had become so incapacitated that it could not even build its own headquarters. That the generation that took over from them had become local oppressors, they could not harness the economic potential of the continent, they failed to build an Africa that could feed itself despite its vast arable lands, they failed to build the economy to accommodate the teeming youth, they failed to take advantage of the bustling energy of the youth to build the Africa we want, above all they squandered the political kingdom which he and his colleagues had secured for us.
3. I assured Osagyefo that despite the immense challenges and the monstrous beast of neo-colonialism, a new army of youth among the generation of his grandchildren are rising to bring to fruition the total and final liberation and unification of Africa, for the prosperity of Africans everywhere. This determined cadre draws inspiration from him and other grandfathers and grandmothers to forge ahead to the promised land.
4. I then invoked the spirit of Kwame Nkrumah and other ancestors to deal decisively, ruthlessly and mercilessly with all those Africans who are working day and night to undermine our common future for their own selfish and parochial interests. These unworthy sons and daughters in their daily lives through their actions and inactions derail the progress of the African people through corruption, maladministration, misgovernance, mismanagement, ill-will and nepotism, connivance and conspiracy. These people need to be punished for their crimes against mother Africa.
5. May the people who wish Africa well and work day and night for its progress receive all the strength and courage. May they be in the best of health. May they never lack the material well-being and resources needed to carry the relay baton to its finishing line. May they be rich and resourceful. May they be skillful. May they defeat the enemy, whoever the enemy may be at whatever point in the struggle.
“Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hand unto God. Africa Must Unite”.
– Hardi Yakubu
Son of Africa
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