Sunday, July 8, 2018 5:58 am
By Tunde Asaju
Usually, when the 41-year old president of a developed nation visits a president old enough to be his great grandfather; one who was recycled from retirement, it’s more of an odd moment than good news. So, Emmanuel Macron has visited Naija and left. That’s as it should be. Years ago, Naija announced with glee that it was adopting French as its second official language. As usual there was no thought to its planning or implementation. France welcomed it and its attaches were all over the place encouraging their language to flourish since we have no pride in ours. Years after that policy stands, a mere horse on paper.
Practically, it looked like a necessity when surrounded by French colonies. Let the reader pay attention to the deliberate use of the present tense. Unlike other colonial puppeteers who diplomatically left after setting up systems for failure, France kept its vassal states on leash. It lied to the citizens that they were French and even adopted some of the rulers as members of its parliament. Like other colonial overlords, it left policies that killed indigenous languages and elevated its own.
Above and beyond that, France held on to the purse strings of its vassal states. Francophone African states compulsorily belong to a monetary union, the UEMOA with one currency – the CFA. Even when France dropped its Franc for the Euro, its vassal economies had no such luxury. That smart economic control allows France, and its larger hegemon, Europe to determine how much that currency exchanges with others in the global market.
So, when Macron comes out to tell African youths to take their destinies in their own hands, what exactly was he saying? Taking him literally tantamount to treason. Africa is free to do as it’s told. France remains the bastion of support for despots in its vassal states. It makes no bones about it’s lack of support for the true definition of democracy.
It unscrupulously continues to exploit the mineral and intellectual resources of its vassal states for a pittance or nothing. The sitting despots it supports make it impossible for any youth to rise. Its mercenaries there to keep the despots in power.
Macron does not pretend to be a friend of Africa. Even at home he does not brook opposition or disrespect to his so-called authority. Macron’s France is a colony milker while he is a colonial denier always quick to mention that his generation did not witness colonialism and so did not benefit from nor could be blamed for its horrible socio-economic or political effects on the continent. If half that had been said about the Holocaust there’ll have been outrage and apologies. But Macron goes where he wishes stiff-necked.
Nobody takes Africa seriously because its so-called leaders fully exploit the privileges of leadership while denying the added responsibility. Macron could get away with petulant insult of our people, our continent and indeed our race without consequence.
Totally unshocking that he was welcome in Naija. With the barometer of tolerance of the Buhari regime unable to raise the mercury of expectation, they would accept anything. Shocked that Buhari did not follow him to The Shrine. Macron is unlikely to ruffle Buhari’s feathers and he did not.
If Sarkozy had not received money from Gadaffi and endorsed his killing to hush it all up; if war criminals Tony Blair and George Bush had not decided to use Libya as a testing ground and dumpsite for their expended war arsenals, less people would be making it through the desert or dying in the Mediterranean. The demise of Gadaffi, with France’s help created the unprecedented insecurity from which the West, and indeed other parts of Africa and the Middle East are unlikely to pull out. The destabilization of resource-rich but politically deficient democracies is a boon to economic marauders and their home governments.
Thanks for visiting, Monsieur Macron, but no thanks. Africa does not need your self-righteous indignation nor your silly lectures – stay home and make your people happy first.