Alpha Condé, the “Mandela of Guinea” and journey of 3rd term

When one refused to go honourably through the door, he ends up being forced out through the window. Unfortunately that Alpha Conde has just learned this lesson the hard way.

The circus of violations being played out in Guinea has gone on too long in the eyes of the special forces military. Led by their leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, they put their hands on Alpha Conde, sounding the end time for his regime.

One of the African proverbs says: ‘When we do not know where we are going, at least, we know where we come from’. These words remind us, on February 13, 2020, about Alpha Conde. At that time, the former militant turned President had begun by showing his desire to violate all his previous oaths to embark on the perilous path of the third term.

Alpha Conde’s 3rd term dream might have been halted, and he learned his lesson the hard way. The man who, a few months ago, forced his way into a third term against the will of the overwhelming majority of his fellow citizens, was captured by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya and his Special Forces men.

Images of the old man in a simple shirt and jeans, surrounded by the military continue to make the rounds of social networks and international media. A sad end for the man whose election to the supreme magistracy had carried the hopes of an entire people, in 2010.

On his quest for the third term in office, Alpha stated in 2020 that “we value our independence, we will not accept orders from other countries. We don’t need to ask a country’s opinion on what we should do. The only one we need to ask for advice, the only advice that counts is the advice of the Guinean people. And we did the elections without any outside help”.

In response to the reservations expressed by the European Union and France about his 3rd agenda, he said: “don’t be surprised by the behavior of certain States. But it doesn’t matter, we are going to continue to develop Guinea,…. Guinea will go very fast. Within a few years, Guinea will be the second power after Nigeria”.

The historic opponent, the champion of democratic change imprisoned for the just causes he defended, disavowed his past, swallowed his vomit to become a power-hungry president once he came to power.

This about-face is still difficult to explain today, except to conclude that the man was not convinced of the fight he was leading, that he was simply monkeying around. Once in power, he revealed his true face.

Alpha Conde had everything within his reach to triumphantly enter history and be the future “Mandela of Guinea”, as he himself liked to say at his first inauguration in 2010.

But, at 83 years of age, he preferred to hold on to this third mandate, which was obviously one too many. Isn’t it said that an old man sitting down sees further than a young man standing up? Well, Alpha Conde is living proof that this assertion has its limits, for the older man did not see this blow coming, which caught him off guard.

When one has had the course that was his to finally fall into the same crosses as those whom one was fighting, then one is nothing but a traitor. And traitors belong in the dustbin of history.

The fate of Alpha Conde on Sunday should serve as a lesson to other African heads of state who cling to power, trampling on the provisions of their country’s Constitution.

The trio Alpha Conde, Alassane Ouattara, and Faure Gnassingbé, which appear to be the bad examples in West Africa, has just lost one of its members, who moreover is the oldest.

What to give cold sweat in the back of Alassane Ouattara and perhaps less for Faure Gnassingbé who seems to have, like his father, found the mechanism to hold the Togolese people in his pay. Other presidents, such as Senegal’s Macky, who is about to follow in their footsteps, should quickly use their tongues to count their teeth.

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