THE Rise and Rise of Power-sharing Deal Nonsense in Africa

Laurent Gbagbo: Is he going to be responsible for the next heavy bloodshed in West Africa?
Laurent Gbagbo: Is he going to be responsible for the next heavy bloodshed in West Africa?

The Rise And Rise Of Power-Sharing Deal Nonsense In Africa

Just like wild fire razes down dry grasses in the harmattan, this horrible nonsense has caught up with us and we are now stuck with it. I am talking about this crazy ‘solution’ to political quagmire that is gradually becoming the norm in our present day Africa. It is the nonsense called power sharing deal!

What is power sharing deal?

I don’t know how to describe it to you but in the simplest definition I can come up with, if you ask me, I’ll say it is the perpetuation and abuse of power by any sitting power-thirsty African leader who does not want to let go of power even when the country citizens have said so with their votes in the election polls.

Why do I call it nonsense?

Of course! Look at it closely; it is what it is – absolute nonsense! Look at it this way. You are the president of this African country and you must have been in power for quite sometime but now it happens that your people don’t want you anymore – at least a majority of your people has demonstrated thus. Your opponent is their choice but unfortunately for you and this opponent, he is in the opposition. And so what do you do as their leader after the poll result show that you have been thumped very badly? You introduce another confusing yet ludicrous dimension to the story either by using the state power entrusted upon you to challenge the result or you even go as far as using the constitution or the courts to make a free and fair election into what it is not supposed to be.

And you are doing all these for what purpose? For your wicked and self-serving purposes only and that is where the rubbish in the scheming lies.


All of a sudden the trend is developing all over Africa. It started in East Africa, i.e. in Kenya to be precise with the Mwai Kibaki – Raila Odinga case. As if the blood letting and political crises that followed was not enough to teach the people the people’s wish must be upheld, little did we know that another African leader(?) in the person of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was busy studying and strategizing on how to do the Kenya example in his country (should the need arise).

And did the need arise?

Kibaki/Odinga: The Ugly power sharing pacesetters or victims?
Kibaki/Odinga: The Ugly power sharing pacesetters or victims?


Of course! Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who was generally acclaimed the winner of the presidential run-off election contest of 27 June 2008 between him and Robert Mugabe of the ZANU PF was never installed as the rightful leader. He ended up having to do the power sharing deal with the incumbent octogenarian President of that Southern African country who has been in power since the early eighties!

What a mess!

What is responsible for this unhealthy tenacious clinging on to power by most African leaders against the popular wish of the majority?

I think the answer lies more or less in the (un)natural desire of everyone who has attained power to hold on to the so called benefits that come with such position namely the retention of these privileges and advantages, and honour connected with the office of President.”

Now what is the developing pattern like? As an African leader, you don’t need anything much to perpetuate yourself in power (till death?). You just go ahead and organize and contest in an election which deep within you, you know it nothing other than a factual charade. You are not supposed to be bothered by the outcome of the elections because you know that as the incumbent with the maximum power of incumbency, nothing can make you relinquish power…not even the threats of UN sanctions or even the use of military force to force you out. So you are comfortable no matter what may happen.

At this point, you might be wondering or thinking what is the big deal with this trend but I tell you everything is wrong with it. In Igbo land, there is a saying that when an abomination is allowed to last for a very long time, it automatically becomes the norm and tradition and this is so true concerning the present precarious political strife and strange development going on today in the Ivory Coast.

The incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo against the popular wish of his people which is for him to relinquish power and step aside for Alassane Ouattara, the generally acclaimed winner of the On 28 November, 2010 election held in that West African country, has stubbornly decided to hold on to power just like his power-thirsty colleagues found everywhere you look in Africa like he is expected to. This has led the rest of the world led by ECOWAS under the chairmanship of Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, to start calling for his removal from office either by force or otherwise.

Mugabe vs Tsvangirai: Who is deceiving who?

Mugabe vs Tsvangirai: Who is deceiving who?
Mugabe vs Tsvangirai: Who is deceiving who?


This is no good omen at all because the stage is gradually being set for another round of blood letting and turmoil and war again in West Africa following the heels of such political anarchy as in the recent cases of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Now some days back, I heard over the news that the strongman Gbagbo is ready to have talks with Ouattara and I tell myself that it is nothing but just the beginning of another power sharing deal…actually, another dirty power-sharing nonsense deal as a matter of fact!

No matter what you think, no matter how much you think the power sharing deal is for the purpose of peace, fact is that the power sharing deal which ultimately translates to unity government is rarely the answer. Using the examples of what is seen in both Kenya and Zimbabwe as case studies, it can easily be found that the unity government fosters mistrust and ‘divided-we-stand’ kind of government instead of the unity it was supposed to bring about. The reason for this is simple: the so-called unity governments are built on falsehood in which case the true representatives of the people’s choice as demonstrated in the election polls and results are not allowed to take up such mandates by the incumbent government!

My point is that we have to put a stop to this whole power-sharing deal in Africa now. Let us learn how to uphold the election results. We have to be constantly prepared to spot this ugly power sharing deal nonsense of a thing and make serious and committed preparations towards arresting this ugly monster whenever it rears its ugly head before it arrests all of us!

n in rsfHbearly eighties!

What a mess!

What is responsible for this unhealthy tenacious clinging on to power by most African leaders against the popular wish of the majority?

I think the answer lies more or less in the (un)natural desire of everyone who has attained power to hold on to the so called benefits that come with such position namely the retention of these privileges and advantages, and honour connected with the office of President.”

Now what is the developing pattern like? As an African leader, you don’t need anything much to perpetuate yourself in power (till death?). You just go ahead and organize and contest in an election which deep within you, you know it nothing other than a factual charade. You are not supposed to be bothered by the outcome of the elections because you know that as the incumbent with the maximum power of incumbency, nothing can make you relinquish power…not even the threats of UN sanctions or even the use of military force to force you out. So you are comfortable no matter what may happen.

At this point, you might be wondering or thinking what is the big deal with this trend but I tell you everything is wrong with it. In Igbo land, there is a saying that when an abomination is allowed to last for a very long time, it automatically becomes the norm and tradition and this is so true concerning the present precarious political strife and strange development going on today in the Ivory Coast.

The incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo against the popular wish of his people which is for him to relinquish power and step aside for Alassane Ouattara, the generally acclaimed winner of the On 28 November, 2010 election held in that West African country, has stubbornly decided to hold on to power just like his power-thirsty colleagues found everywhere you look in Africa like he is expected to. This has led the rest of the world led by ECOWAS under the chairmanship of Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian president, to start calling for his removal from office either by force or otherwise.

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