Dear Mo Ibrahim, take your money go. Once again, this year, the Mo Ibrahim prize went unclaimed as the telecom billionaire’s foundation informed us that not one of the recently retired African leaders had done well enough to deserve it? Or is that really the case?
For the second year running, Mr. Mo, you have been sitting your somewhere and after having some pizza and wine, you engage in this game of dangling your money before our eyes. You excite our libidos and just when you succeed in turning us on, you withdraw with one flimsy excuse or the other. You obviously must be enjoying this game, right? Well, we the African leaders, who have become the butt of your cruel jokes, are not amused at all.
We want to service notice, and we are doing this in no uncertain terms, that henceforth, we won’t take kindly to any such ludicrous game, targeted at our individual and collective persons.
First of all, it is imperative to educate you, in case you are ignorant of this fact, that we here in Africa and our people, are very comfortable with the kind of leadership we have. We have no reason whatsoever to complain about political governance, as we have come to understand it in these parts. We therefore do not need you or your organization to determine for us, what good political governance is.
Number two, just so you know, in our part of the world, that thing you refer to as corruption, is a normal way of life. It is ingrained in our culture and we do not intend changing that anytime soon. Indeed, we have conducted extensive research and we have established that in actual fact, corruption has been here since the days of Adam. This research was led by an eminent son of our soil, the former President of the Republic of Ghana – also one time Chairman of the African Union – H.E. J A Kufuor. So how dare you want to convert us to this your later day religion of a corruption-free political leadership in Africa?
Mr. Mo, May we also use this opportunity to tell you, that indeed, none of us African leaders, is interested in that pittance of 5 million USD you keep tempting us with. You know why? By the time we are done with one term in office – and we often manage to do at least two terms or more – we are able to accumulate and store enough cash in offshore accounts, enough to last us and our families for the rest of our lives. So if that chicken change is a means to lure us to stop working hard and making hay while we can, we are sorry to burst your bubble. You can take it and shove it down where-light-don’t-shine, for all we care.
Mr. Mo, you see, what you don’t understand is that we all know these petty tricks. We know you are broke and cannot continue vaunting your so-called generosity anymore. But because you need to save your-holier-than-thou face in the public eye, you have devised this means of creating the impression as though all of us presidents here in Africa are just some bunch of crookish monsters. Masa, we beg you, drop that line. We’ve seen through it.
By the way, if it is so difficult to find a single non-corrupt president in Africa, as you are making it look, what in heaven’s name is stopping you from directly donating this money to the people who need it most? Your roots are from Somalia, right? And if you actually mean well for the people of Africa with this your whatever, why do you insist on giving this money to the same political leaders whose sincerity you doubt anyway?
Mr. Mo Ibrahim, you know what? We are sick and tired of this nonsense. Just cut us some slack and keep your money; you can set it on fire if you don’t know what to do with it. We don’t need it, and we don’t give a toss what you use it for. But by all means, leave us the heck alone from this self-gratifying senseless apology of a barometer.
We have served you our warning for the first and hopefully the last time; take your money go!
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