Marabout economy and resources’ debility
Marabout economy is what you sometime read in the works of Sembène Ousmane especially in Xala and Mandat; while it rendered governance impotent in the times of Senghor it made the entire Guinea in Sekou Toure’s time almost human resource and mineral resource-wise like flies drowned in honey pot.Marabout economy is the economy that prays only for the wellbeing of the supreme leader and the Mara bouts that surround him with no interest in neither wealth acquisition nor wealth generation as well as no interest in human resource development so as to avoid any challenge from humans based on knowledge input. Only the Marabouts know all. Human capital as a resource, mineral resources for some countries, land and sea resources for countries like Nigeria, and even wind energy resource for those in the Sahel are all dependent on what leaders make out of them for the well being of human beings now and in the future.
However, when in this current world that is no more dependent on seasonal agriculture’s wealth production, as knowledge and technology reign supreme, Marabout economy that is based on how competing marabouts on the playlist of the leader direct the leaders so as to always keep the leader’s food silos ever full, for the marabouts never to go hungry, is archaic and anachronistic. Nigeria is heading that way if not arrested. Guinea was one of the expected buoyant emerging countries at independence, 1958, when Sekou Touré decided to prove that Africans could do it alone or should break with the colonial past and embrace the socialist regime for an alternative. It resulted in witch-hunting as advised by the marabouts around him who found in the people of Peulh origin the enemies that Sekou Touré must hound so as to remain in power, and throughout his reign he made sure the brightest of the Peulh remained in exile. It was continued by General Lansana Conté through to the army captain that took over at the demise of Conté to the General who assumed the interim to usher in civilian regime to the current civilian regime under Alpha Condé who is requesting for third term as president; and surprisingly, without being snubbed, came to celebrate in Kano for 3 days. Marabout economy is a vindictive one meant to create fear in those who are perceived rightly or wrongly as the enemy of the leader or enemy of his anointed marabouts.
It doesn’t really work on intelligence or knowledge process; it works on what the group of marabouts in the playlist of the leader sees as good for the leader. The Sahel region countries bordering Nigeria on the north just finished their meeting and ended up blaming their woes on the West that orchestrated the downfall of Kadhaffi as according to them it has enabled the free flow of drug and arms trafficking as well as human trafficking for multiple purposes including organ harvesting – the African population is now serving for organ harvesting purposes.
It is not quite different from harassing and forcing those not wanted to fall into the hands of organ harvesters. The human capital decimation process that made Sekou Touré and Guinea the laughing stock of the civilized world. Burkina Faso under Kaboré, Mali under Keita, Mauritania under Ghazouani, Tchad under Deby and Niger under Issoufou, are listening to wrong marabouts telling them that the fall of Khadaffi is the cause of their collective failure and before you know it Nigeria could follow in that cry. Well, what Sekou Touré stood for still remains what they see as governance. Note that for the whole 5 countries that could be a problem to Nigeria, the youth population is enormous and it is over 70% non-employment and illiteracy level. When Sekou Touré made himself the utmost in Guinea, poverty became the norm in Guinea, and their intellectuals migrated to neighbouring countries or abroad for fear of being hounded by the “Supreme leader” whose great grand father was also known as supreme leader – Almamy Samory Touré.
Marabouts instructed the Almamy that he would defeat the colonial soldiers at the Mount of Kurufi, and unfortunately he failed to know that their firing power was going to be superior to his horseback riding followers; and army. Today, they are blaming Macron and his ally for their woes and at the same time they are asking the same Macron to give them the funds the West promised them as if they are blind to the mineral resources they have allowed all the competing forces beyond the West to exploit in their countries. All intellectuals and academics, as well as journalists, are meant to remain silent or be hounded, and, so, human capital is decimated or allowed to enter debility for possible organ harvesting. They know the organ harvesting process and they do nothing about it. Africa should wake up to the challenge and let the leaders know that Marabout economy is an economy that sucks the blood of their young ones towards leading the whole continent to human debility aka population decimation. It has turned worst than trans-Sahara slave trade and transatlantic slave trade. Hampaté Bâ reasoned it this way. In an argument between a farmer and a Marabout, the Marabout expected the farmer to exchange the knowledge he was giving him with the whole food in the farmers house but the farmer refused. So, the Marabout went on hungry and had to humble himself to beg the farmer to give him any amount so as to avoid dying in hunger.
The farmer retorted by telling the Marabout to rely on spiritual food or the knowledge he had and remain alive and leave him to keep living without such knowledge provided by the Marabout. The lesson there is that the stomach is like the society in collectivity. It must be fed with agricultural resources and no matter the “Maraboutage” you propound, as long as it is not helping to feed the society, your relevance will be discarded. However, a Marabout as a supposed sage must never be selfish. Sekou Touré and his Marabout remained selfish and even his inheritors remained so, also, and today Guinea that hounded the most productive population of hers remain downtrodden like the five Sahel nation close to Nigeria who just ended their meeting in Niamey; and who can not make out a knowledge process to enhance the human capacity of their populace. What a shame! How are they to be stopped by knowledge process, not necessarily closing borders, before they infect Nigeria with their leadership style? Or have they?
Ariole is Professor of French and Francophone Studies, wrote from University of Lagos.