The auguries are dim and dire. 63 years after Ahmadou Sekou Toure, the founding father of Guinea, this West African country remains in perpetual turmoil.
Ironically, this solid minerals-rich West African country is plagued by the selfsame mundane, existential issues she had grappled with at Independence in 1957.
Chief among these are poor leadership with abiding tendency to turn authoritarian and sit tight in power, as well as endemic corruption that has left the country prostrate and underdeveloped.
It is sad to note that this is the legacy of Guinea’s founding leader Toure who wrested Independence from France in 1957, even ahead of major countries of the zone like Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
But Toure, who came as a nationalist and champion of freedom and liberation for his people, was to go bad, so to speak, soon after ascendancy to power.
Through misrule, repression, corruption and power-mongering, Guinea relapsed into near-anarchy by the time Toure died of a heart attack in a US clinic in 1984.
At his death, Toure had morphed Guinea into a one-party state with his Guinea Democratic Party (GDP). The GDP was in the process of selecting a new president when a certain Col. Lansana Conte led a coup that upturned all democratic structures in the country.
LIKE LANSANA LIKE TOURE: Conte toed the path of Sekou Toure, bloody dictatorship, which included repression of the opposition, execution of opponents and sit-tight syndrome.
The sweeping global democratic fervour of the 1990s forced Conte to consider civil rule and to hold election in 1992. He transmuted to a civilian and of course he won the election he conducted.
He died in 2008 of an undisclosed ailment aged 74.
Though he had ruled for 24 years at the point of his demise, he had perfected a scheme to continue in power in perpetuity.
ENTERS ALPHA CONDE, SAME OF SAME: Conde, a long-time opposition figure against Conte, managed to grab power through a sham election process after the demise of Conte.
Conde has not disappointed, he has maintained the noxious trajectory of Sekou Toure, power and consolidation of even more power.
Today, at 82 years of age and having ruled for nearly 10 years, Conde has brought Guinea to a sorry pass.
Though his first two five-year terms of 10 years ends in December, he has wangled a referendum that may afford him another two terms of 12 years.
If he manages to stay alive, he would be 104 years old. Already he is sickly and incapacitated, and doing little else but tending to his health. Yet, like those before him, he would rather die on the seat of power than loosen the country from his vice grip.
Guineans have been on the streets protesting Conde’s tweak of the constitution for a third term quest. Scores have died, but the more the uprising, the more desperate he is to remain and crave for power.
Guinea is in tatters from over six decades of utter misrule. Though rich in solid minerals, it is among the poorest countries of the world. More tragic, a new and present danger of disintegration is palpable.
Though this may well be the story of African nations but Guinea’s is a bit peculiar because she has never received a ray of bright sunlight right from inception, not one true, patriot to boast of. Rather, the eggs of misrule laid from the beginning have continued to hatch.