I had taken a rather more serious rather than casual interest, not as a Christian though constantly trying to be one, in an excerpt of outrage, in one from recent several anonymous pass-on texts through the handset phone. I think the sense of the matter is a total outright write-off of African leaders. It derives from the resurgence of coup-mania in West Africa. There are continuing digestions, ECOWAS intent to intervene to set an example is gone. Notably there is a recession of loud predictions about which countries are next. In any case the text for my discourse states: ‘’ON THE SEVENTH DAY WHEN GOD WAS RESTING, SATAN CREATED AFRICAN LEADERS.’’
The contention declares that the leaders are evil from start. As it stands, it is wrong on all fronts. On the ‘’wrong’’ interpretively, for example, religion, I suspect ardent believers will , on one hand may be incensed to reach out for the authorship with fury, a shade stop short of the Moslem world’s anger over ‘’Satanic Verses’’ by Selma Rushdie. On another hand, unbelievers may have a field day. Within the two contradictions, I thought I could knock about it, deeming the statement not to dismiss it as of no merit. I recognise I am not either pretending the leaders’ ‘’fidei defensor’; but prefer to thinking aloud both in the light of successive and general continental failures since independence mid-50s. I believe it is pertinent to state that the principal cause of the statement is exasperation, referring to what looks like the resurgence of coup-mania. It becomes a rather complaint than categorical. I can discuss for or against to establish how true from the earlier stated prisms—religion and politics during the past to present years. It is recalled there had been a picnic of overthrows. All of the scatters simply had a litany of said similar complaints.
Interpretively, it would seem the craftsman of the statement was expressing a thought resonant with the similar disappointments. The story in the narratives has a serious overlook. That is a grotesque failure to examine the disappointments, the real casus belli which is that the colonial inheritance is not grafting and the nations have failed to re-adjust the systems of government to suit. The succeeding military and civilian missed that opportunity but continued ditto. They had hope. The meaning of independence was lost on the leaders. It is to carve your own. Nkrumah’s declaration that the ‘’African is capable of managing his own affairs,’’ had become still-born immediately after. He tried and his record eloquently stands unmatched. This remains the continuum of historical failures. Yet, it is the key for turning around.
A miscarriage of fairness occurs in labelling only leaders, let alone as creatures of Satan, the buck stopping at their desks notwithstanding, definitively. A quick example is that both civilian and succeeding coups are supported by civilians—experts, administrators etc, as happens all over. They are not evil either. That points to not designing innovations to correct what had gone wrong priorly and uniformly throughout the continent. The distinctions those were hand-picked from the previous opposition to the ousted group. Therefore, the outcome of overthrows is a circus for power only per se between principally, Left and Right ideologies. Also, none of the sides had lacked bevy of external advisors whose only interests are their pursuits, but blind ensuring previous errors are cleaned, needle stuck in the same groove, borrowing broadcast terminology.
I am assuming each of us knows about creation. I won’t hassle scrupling backwards. The hymnist wrote God is ‘’un-resting’’ [’Immortal, invisible, Lord God only wise]. But the script in the quotes said + when God was resting+. Our common knowledge in the beginning stipulates that confirmation on the ‘’seventh day’’ the Old man rested. But that quotation threatens the bedrock of how creation proceeded. The contradiction which foxes language and meaning as a construct, lies in the hymnist’s ‘’UNRESTING’’ [Immortal, invisible..’] and credo’s immutable. Did the omnipotent rest as in sleep, or relax, taking a breather for resumption late, making man Adam. The scripture says ’when…had finished’’. That removes any doubt. He finished creation. He did not leave another creation for someone else and specifically Satan for the claim to be congruent with political leaderships.
Satan is identified as evil. A wrong-doing and ultimate non-deliveries are equated with evil and therefore Satan. Indeed, stories from the courts have plenty of found guilty accused blaming Satan in pleading clemency before sentenced. However, it is clear the crude or subtle difference is between ‘’create’’ attributed to the supreme Deity and ‘’cause/ or reason’’ for inescapably labelled as failure. How Satan as ‘’cause’’ and ‘’creator’’ of African leaders, become unsustainable. It is deductible that God did not sleep as in ‘’resting’’ but he took a break for the next, Adam whom he ‘’made in our own likeness,’’ as written categorically. That also negates the assertion that Satan ‘created African leaders’, For three significant counts, Satan falls. The unproven structure is not corroborated by the evidence. That is not the end of the issues deriving, which are grave.
In the absence of its authorship for humour or not; and indeed it cannot be for laugh, leads only to draw in to consider other cause(s). You see, the African culture has double speech, both in its brevity. Applied wisdom discloses or clue meanings from its interpretive. The guessing which is interpretation could be in error but the positive or negative meanings are embedded in the many sided ‘’ors’’ and ‘’maybes’’ within the interpretation. Let me go for my favourite which says ’’the crab does not give birth to a bird.’’. Interpretively, it is true. But the unstated blandly is more truthful. Stated in pigeon it is saying ‘’like father like son’’ Well, at Kindergarten we learned ‘’I’d like to go awand…ering….traralii tralalaaaah’ The long and short is ‘’African leaders have not led well’’ and that error is held as standing apart in succession, not getting things right ruling. It is an innuendo derived and to that cocktail of scathing sentence which is damaging, injurious slighting countries and together runs down the African narrative, since the mid-60s.
I have argued repeatedly in this column that no one undertakes to be elected to mess up. There are three sides to any story. In politics for the leader, the agenda pre-entry are: my intentions, my inheritance and the participation and or responses from country at large. None of the first two is usually critically scrutinised. The reasons are in the nature of party politics—its ruthless partisanship and the preferences for voiced slogans and scare-mongering deter scrutiny. The whole facade ends ultimate non-performances.. The third is a reaction in two parts: [i] the gradual mutters of doubts rise into louder complaints, swelling disenchantment that hurls in condemnations, distancing and the initial expectations with wishing well fade into forfeited and lost. These spell the erosion of confidence and or trust and even both. With reference to Ghana, in ‘’Ghana: Nkrumah’s Legacy’’: [Rex Collings London 1974] Kwesi Armah describes it as tide ebbs; but states its unique characteristic is uncertainty. I think that is when the devil would be the culprit. I recall Dr Nkrumah once screamed in a nation-wide broadcast that ‘’there is a devil in this country.’’ Beyond that, there is an overlooked aspect of examining this intriguing statement— during …’resting’. He is “all seeing’’, its scripture fundamental Satan would have caught at whichever hideout
A more notable source also of the Africa’s latter day travails was noted by Armah’’: the right to vote means a share in government’’. Here is part [ii]—after the voting has ended, the ‘’right’’ ends. The people will not take any more interest. Participation and consultations cease. If that arms-folding led to wrongdoings, then the Satan is the people who made it—not Satan. I am not saying leaders are Saints as soon one became. On the same line an inadvertent overlooking is that it forgets the collective Opposition is also led, whether it is the alternative or ‘government in-waiting’ euphemistically called. So far, I have laboured about Leaders in situ, narrowing the reference to think they can’t be the Satan- Truth is also that no opposition is a Saint either because they are also led. Relations between the two has never been cordial—each incidentally thinks the other is ‘’no good’’, evil.
Christianity holds from the WORD that the Old Man said after creation: ‘’NOW LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR OWN IMAGE.’’ Man, leader or not, was ‘’MADE.’’ Why do African Leaders get lumped together as ‘’Satan’s creatures? We always consciously have selected that to equate with failure. How does that equation square- up. ? The answer is broader than cursory –bad governance, the colonial inheritance does not graft; we are ridiculed as the only beggar-continent overseeing our every endowments sold out, grossly disrespect our traditions as primitive; and deftly scheme THIEFOCRACY. Conclusively, Satan did not create African leaders. Their default, is the not learning the past mistakes. But in spite, there is a continental renaissance to recovery. The difference is it is not fighting for freedom but a movement to claim our own; and delete Satan from the conversations.
Prof. Nana Essilfie-Conduah