Friday, July 13, 2007

Coup d'Etat

In the sculpture park of the National Museum in Ghana, there are a number of pieces. Here is a damaged piece of sculpture: a statue of Dr. Nkrumah with his arms broken off during the first coup d'etat in 1966.

Is there any justification for coup d'etats? Since the end of colonialism, African countries and Latin American countries have had an amazing number of coup d'etats. Ghana in its 50 years of independence has had the Kotoka-Afrifa coup, the I.K. Acheampong coup, the Akuffo palace-coup (debatable if this counts as a coup d'etat), the JJ Rawlings coup 1 and the JJ Rawlings Coup 2. -all this in 50 years of independence. For about 20 of those 50 years, JJ Rawlings was the head of state of Ghana, first as an autocratic self-imposed leader and then in his rebirth as a democratic leader. JJ is still fighting for behind the scenes control...ugh!

Recently when I was in Ghana there were frustrated party members of the opposition breathing coup d'etat in the national newspapers. Even in private conversation with a Christian, highly educated woman ex-politician, I was amazed to hear her preferring a coup d'etat as a likely solution for current governmental mismanagement, or whatever. Eiii! When some of us are praying that we could go through the next 8 years with succesful elections, bringing our fledgling democracies, whatever their problems into maturity!

Good governance is key to our survival as citizens of today's world, within our countries. It is important to our health, prosperity, social and mental well being as people. Those aspiring to leadership should know this and commit to this. They ought to study, think, desire, dream, design, debate and hold themselves up to the highest moral standards and commitment. It is important to remember that these days, coup d'etats, no longer involve a small group of leaders and a quick change. More and more blood is spilled in long civil wars and nothing can justify the years of loss, pain, devaluation, devastation, destruction, decay and death.

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