Home Editorial All and Idriss Derby’s madness in Chad

All and Idriss Derby’s madness in Chad

Chadian Leader, Idriss Derby was recently inaugurated as President of his country for a record fifth term of another five years. By this ignoble development Derby would have been in power for 31 years when his tenure expires in 2021. Given his age at 69 by then, there is every likelihood that he would seek  re-election, more so, as he had, through a manipulated referendum, abrogated  tenure limits from his country’s Constitution.
President Derby’s inauguration followed his re-election recently in an election in which the main opposition groups disputed his candidature – with some boycotting the poll. All the same, he went ahead to conduct the poll and to declare himself winner, claiming to have secured over 60 per cent of the votes cast.
In 2006, when Derby removed the tenure limits from the Constitution, there was massive street protests in Chad in which he accussed the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir of sponsoring. Nonetheless, he quelled the protests and had the Constitution altered. He went ahead to conduct the elections in which he won in 2006, 2011 and 2016. He had before then, secured electoral wins in 1996 and 2001.
But, there is urgent need to stop the madness of Derby now by the African Union, A.U, and the concerned global community in order not to create another Somalia in that region of Africa, currently living in borrowed peace occasioned by Derby’s high-handedness and rudderless leadership since 1990, when he fought himself into power with his rebellions military junta.
President Derby, who hails from the Northern Zaghawa ethnic group, toppled the regime of Hissene Habre,  on December 2, 1990 after his militia gang overwhelmed Military Forces loyal to President Habre, in Ndjamena, the Chadian capital. Unfortunately, his ascension to power has left Chad in greater poverty than he met it. Chad is also riddled with corruption as, according to the Forbe’s Magazine in 2006, Chad is a top the global corruption index.
There is no indication that Derby has created jobs for the country’s youth population, reduced poverty amongst its people or provided security for the citizens, who are always bettered by cattle rustlers, armed banditry and cross-border terrorists.
Derby has also succeeded in polarizing his people among ethnic and religious lines. His reign has raised poverty, unemployment, social in justice and marginalization of the country’s Christian minority – who are virtually excluded in his patronage system.
The African Union must act fast and stop Derby from plunging his country into avoidable war. He must be pressured to drop any ambition to remain in power beyond 2021.
Derby is the chairman of the AU. He should be made to step down as he does not present the right credential to lead the union.
Indeed, the A.U must join hands to ensure that the likes of Derby in their midst are given the red card so that those after them would not think of toeing their ignorable path. The A.U should disdain leaders who deny their people the right to fair ballot, good governance and inclusive economic and political opportunities as Derby as done in Chad in the last two decades and half. He hates opposition, hence the last election was a one-way affair. His Patriotic Salvation Movement is the only dominant party.
In 1992, Derby manipulated the outcome of the National Constitutional Conference in which 750 delegates participated to change the Constitution. Attempt by the Committee de Sursaut National prur la paix et la Democratic, CSNPD, led by Lt Moise Kattee and other Southern groups to stop the process was crushed and all the agreements reached to make for peace were also repudiated by Derby.
As is the case in most African countries, since Derby won the battle to control the oil region, peace has eluded the country as government forces are now in constant arms conflict with two splinter groups in the region namely: Armed Forces for a Federal Republic, FARF, led by Laokein Barde and the Democratic Front for Renewal, FDR, and a reinvigorated Movement for Democracy and Development, MDD.
The point must be stressed that the A.U. and the global community, indeed, all lovers of peace should assist these opposition groups to wrestle Chad from the iron fist of Idriss Derby.  His occupation of Ndjamena has deeply wasted that country and the world must be alarmed.
Sadly, efforts by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to restructure the Chadian economy were rebuffed by Derby, who ignored all the prescriptions of the global financial institutions. He showed no commitment to the implementation of the policies with his profligate lifestyle and poor governance.
Today, the only thing to show for a country that has produced oil for several decades is the construction of oil pipelines to the country’s only refinery.
Indeed, endemic corruption and patronage system pursued by Derby in governmental affairs have turned Chad into a pariah state among the comity of nations. This status may not change, as had been the case with most African states, even with Derby’s fifth term inauguration as President.
Today, Derby is toeing the ignoble steps of presidents Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Yoweri Musoveni of Uganda; Jose Edwardo dos Santos of Angola and Paul Kagame of Rwanda as well as Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. These leaders, unabashedly shameless, have held their countries hostage for several decades with little or nothing to show for it. They have also employed brute force to remain in power and to compel followership of their peoples. Even when some of them like Mugabe, Musoveni and Mbasogo are in the twilight of their years, nothing is being done to abdicate power so soon to the younger generations. This is dangerous for a continent that would produce the highest number of youths in the next 30 years. An explosion in the continent could engulf the rest of the world. This is why the rest of the world must not watch African leaders like Derby to ignite confussion that could consume the rest of the continent, indeed, developments in Sudan and Somalia are vivid examples.
Given that Derby and his co-travellers do not mind what happens to their people-being more concerned with lust for power- the rest of the world and the A.U must join hands together to end Derby’s madness in Chad. His people have tolerated him for these three decades and one – when his tenure expires in 2021. Derby should be stopped now.

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