By Tola Adeniyi
I AM seriously amused by funny organizations that were specifically created to massage the ego of both their founders and members. One such organization is the so-called 33-year-old Council of World’s Ex-presidents. Another funny organization is the African First Ladies’ Forum. I really cannot fathom what these two organizations are meant for or the justification for their existence.
The African First Ladies’ Forum may be tolerated on the ground that they have little or nothing to do in their respective home countries especially where some husbands have consigned them to irrelevance and they have no other avenue to show their powdered faces or opportunities to partake in the spending spree for which most African leaders are notoriously noted.
The World Ex-Presidents Council is a different kettle of fish. It has existed for about 33 years and hardly has anyone ever had of the council. Its membership is open to all ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers without any discrimination whatsoever. It does not matter whether while the member was President or Prime Minister his actions or inactions contributed to the death of hundreds of thousands of his people or whether the individual is morally depraved or even insane! By the way, insanity is not limited to people who go naked in the streets. There are indeed millions of bipolar individuals who are crazier than lunatics; very weird individuals who behave irrationally, always at loggerheads with other people, incapable of keeping friends, and who are in the main wild and loquacious megalomaniacs.
This particular body harbours characters like bleary bimbo Blair who foolishly and thoughtlessly followed, like a zombie, the equally thoughtless and blood thirsty George Bush to plunge Iraq into bloodbath. There are so many despicable characters in this Organization; many that their country men and women rain curses upon on daily basis.
Going through the profile of this toothless body one finds that it has little or nothing to show for its 33 years except expensive suits and other features of ‘has been’. The body, like I said earlier, is merely an ego boosting forum for people who longer have any relevance in their home countries or on the world stage. Their voice does not carry any weight on global issues.
It was before their eyes that Iraq was wracked to rubbles. It was before their very eyes that blood flowed like water in Libya. It was before their eyes that Yemen was put on the guillotine and millions of innocent women and children were thrown into agony and starvation. Syria, once a prosperous nation has been under fire for over five years. And yet some aged ‘have been’ who constitute that Council would want to be seen as having relevance on global matters.
I don’t want to comment on some African members who parade themselves as members of this irrelevant body. There are some Africans who see the so-called Whiteman as god. They are always craving for a nod of approval from Europe or the US. Such people of low self esteem believe that it is when they are seen in the company of pink skinned people that they have arrived. It is sheer ignorance of history and world politics that would make an African with very rich history believe that he is inferior to any other race in the world especially the Caucasian who was nowhere to be found when Africa, India and China dominated the world’s civilization and science.
It is a great pity that some ignorant African ‘leaders’ celebrate tokenism. What is there to celebrate if an African emerges as best footballer in the US or an African is voted Mayor in Rome? Weren’t there African Senators in Rome in the years of yore? Didn’t African Muslims conquer and colonize Spain for 500 years? In 711, troops mostly formed by Moors from North Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. [Wikipedia]
My concern really is not whether the Council of World’s Ex-Presidents exists or whether the First Ladies of Africa find something to occupy themselves other than being in the other room, it is about any member or chairman of such bodies beating their chests that they have achieved something tangible by that position. It is no big deal that one is made Chairman of a very irrelevant inconsequential body. It is different from achieving a Nobel which at least is based on some merit, even though that body itself is getting politicised somewhat.
Africans at home and in the Diaspora should stop being led to celebrate irrelevancies. Of what relevance is the so-called Council of Ex-presidents to Africa? Of what relevance is the body to Jamaica or to Angola? Of what use is the Council of ex-presidents to Ibadan or Ilugun? What does Adamawa or Akwa Ibom benefit from the toothless Council?
Even in Europe and the Americas of what relevance is the Council to Canada or to even the US? I doubt if ex-Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would care a hoot about this kind of charade. Jimmy Carter, who will be 93 on October 1, is doing a great job with his Global NGO.
If people want to seek relevance at all costs or they need their ego to be massaged they should explore other avenues. Going cap-in-hand to seek foreigners to confirm legitimacy on one is the height of inferiority complex.
How I wish some Africans know that they are just being tolerated by people who look down on them at every turn and treat them always as ‘our former slaves’. It does therefore make no sense, nor does it confer any dignity on any African worth his salt to be foolishly ingratiating himself or herself in the colony of the pink skinned.
For this columnist, there is nothing to celebrate about the Council of Ex-Presidents; the likes of Taylor, Gbagbo, George Bush and Tony Blair. Let Ex-Presidents spend the rest of their life regretting the good they left undone and the damage they willingly did to their countries.
As for the restless ones among them, let those exchange places with prisoners and commit the rest of their lives to hard labour on plantation farms. The world has seen enough of them in the past and has tolerated their idiosyncrasies when their occupation of state houses lasted.
World Council of Ex-presidents my foot!
– Sept 25, 2017 @ 15:17 GMT