KABS KANU: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 February 2022:
Maada Bio now looks comical. His appearance is distorted and disfigured because his robes hang loose about him like a giant’s robes on a dwarfish thief, with apologies to William Shakespeare .
Yesterday , his handlers said he had been declared the Champion of Blue Economy, though fishing is regressing in the country with acute shortage of fish and sea foods and there is no structure in place to boost marine technology and tourism .
Today, they are saying that he has been endorsed as Chairman of the African Peer Review System because of progress Sierra Leone has achieved in promoting democracy, the rule of law and constitutionality, though we all know otherwise that President Bio is one of the worst abusers of human rights , democracy, the constitution and the rule of law.
We have never known the Chairmanship to be given on the merit of a country’s achievement of democratic and constitutional ideals. From what we know, the Chairmanship of the African Peer Review System is rotational and it is just for a one year non-renewable term .
But the President’s handlers are so obsessed with dressing him in borrowed robes that they keep heaping attributes on him that are completely foreign to his nature.
But given that nothing good comes out of African politics because the leaders of the AU are mostly corrupt, lack democratic credentials and do not respect human rights , their countries’ constitution and the rule of law, the APR system is plagued with distrust and has made little progress .
A review of the system found the following problems , according to arik Turianskyi of the University of Pretoria .
Yarik Turianskyi is Manager of the Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism Programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs and guest lecturer in African Governance and Eastern European Politics, University of Pretoria
1. “The first decade saw 17 mostly solid, comprehensive and honest review reports being published. However, even then most enthusiastic member countries failed to implement their recommendations.”
2. “At the same time, attendance of the peer review mechanism’s annual forums, which were held on the sidelines of African Union summits, dwindled. Most heads of state delegated authority to ministers, who don’t have the same political clout.”
3. “What was supposed to be a frank discussion between African leaders about governance problems devolved into a mostly technical exercise, sprinkled with words of praise – but never criticism – from the few attending presidents….,,, Things went from bad to worse when not a single state was reviewed between 2013 and 2016.”.
4. “But there are still questions about whether African leaders have the will to make the peer review mechanism a strong initiative that can change the continental governance landscape. Its recently launched African Governance Report is a case in point. Although it provides trends and data on governance on the continent, it doesn’t mention any countries by name. This shows an unwillingness to “name and shame” those that lag behind in implementing progressive policies and ratifying treaties.”’
So, even if the AU proffered those words of praise for President Bio, they are not credible themselves. Would you take seriously men who hide their own criminal governance and refuse to name and shame offenders and now hand out Chairmanship to a colleague who is equally a criminal and say they did it because his country had made progress in democracy , good governance?
Let us be honest. Neither the AU nor the APR system are credible . Neither of the two had the moral compass to shower praises ( Fake as they are ) on any of their colleagues, when they lack the moral will to name, shame and chastise them for bad governance . It is like thieves commending another thief for honesty .
This is what we know of the APR system :
THE AFRICAN PEER REVIEW SYSTEM Panel is composed of eminent persons from all five of Africa’s regions and appointed by the Forum, and responsible for ensuring the APRM’s independence, professionalism, and credibility. Panel members are selected and appointed by the Forum for a term of up to four years, with the exception of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson who are appointed for one-year, non-renewable terms.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE APRM
Membership of the APRM is voluntary and open to all African Union (AU) countries. Accession begins with an expression of interest in membership followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the country and the APR Forum.