Political Fights in Africa, for Democracy or Development?

February 10, 2023
political fights people voting at the ballot

By Nneka Okumazie

Across Africa, people in different countries disagree with each other over elections, political parties and candidates, forgetting that whatever they complain about in the quest for change is not unique to their country.

There are several disagreements too over the state of the nation in respective countries, but they forget that most of the same ways that things are at present run parallel to what they were hundreds of years ago in ancient Africa.

People in those times, it seemed, had a low threshold of satisfaction. It was not that they were not intelligent or diligent in the ways they did their work or lived, but the fastest satisfaction they found, in their community or elsewhere, seemed okay, without much interest, in advancement towards new collective heights, in advantage and for beneficial progress for their own.

This may have made many of the communities in those years only adopt new tools that were brought from elsewhere, or were uninterested in exploring new paths, or even unprepared for circumstances beyond their current situation.

This is similar to current Africa for the most part. It should be a discredited idea that government is the problem, but most people continue to peddle it or recommend new forms, accusing others of being unintelligent.

The government now, or tribal leaders then, cannot pull off backwardness from every angle if people in every angle improve their systems. The same way many did not improve then makes it similar to the lack of improvements now.

There are no better ideas than government ideas in every sector. Across sectors, housing, agriculture, infrastructure, health, business, technology, manufacturing, education, etc., those working there have not found cheaper or surpassing methods that the government would have adopted. It is mostly either along with what government would do when brought from elsewhere or worse than what government would do.

People who criticize the government in the past and continue to do so now are no better than those in government. They do nothing at the source. Human rights activists, entertainers, religious leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, journalists, politicians, etc. They should have understood that in a country or continent where there is little fairness, where the satisfaction threshold is low, where courage for selflessness is difficult, where self-hypocrisy is concealed, and the show is above sincerity, no government can move much.

There are African countries without the same problems that others have, yet they are not developed. The problem is not the shortage of people who can criticize, or with knowledge or observation of the African story, or those who see their point, but that there are fundamental characters that are lacking in small or big groups that should be concerning.

Even the religion that is often said to be a problem was widely relied on and adopted in local forms hundreds of years ago.

The same way people want or expect miracles, or want things to happen fast, or seek out luck, safety, and retaliation, in those days, is the same way religious influences of different forms continue till the present.

It is possible that the lack of collective perseverance, in Africa, towards efforts for major progress rose from attitudes from relationships with local religions years ago.

Those who say religion is the problem are worse in their deceit than whatever they claim religion is responsible for. There is much more to do than complaint or campaign.

Africa is satisfied, it is obvious, and the governments know.

[Job 14:11, As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up:]

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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