The name Lansané Conte might not mean much to you but he was, until his death yesterday, the president of Guinea since 1984. He was 74 years old, reputedly a chain smoker, had diabetes and leukaemia.
(A point to note; Evil tongues will say that it was smoking that killed him..not the diabetes, his advanced age or the leukaemia, otherwise he would have lived forever, as every anti-smoker knows.. sorry.. digression ends. Where’s my pipe?).
He was a bit of a dictator, our Lansané, having ensured his staying in power by making frequent use of his army in the face of protest against his regime. A kind of mini-Mugabe. The world is probably better off without him.
However, that’s not the really interesting bit. Hours after his death, a group calling themselves “The National Council for Democracy”, dressed in military uniforms, promptly seized everything they could get their grubby hands on and declared themselves in charge of the country, the courts and the parliament.
One dictator is promptly replaced by another. This dictator is like all the other dictators in Africa. Which is why Africa will never get off the ground. The strange thing is, that they all call themselves democrats.
This National Council for Democracy has acted in the truly African democratic way. The mindset is simple; I grab the power, the army is behind me and so then, are the people. At least, the ones that don’t want to be shot dead, raped, arrested and tortured to death or otherwise be molested by the state are.
I wonder when Guinea will be holding it’s first “democratic” election? Surely, that must be the goal of the National Council for Democracy?
Don’t hold your breath while you’re waiting.