A Lecturer at the Department of History and African Studies Fourah Bay College (FBC), Dr Ibrahim Abdallah has joined the African Socialist International (ASI) crusade in the campaign against the present capitalist order and proposing a Socialist Africa alternative.
In his recent address to media practitioners, Dr Abdallah explained that when people hear about revolution, they often “think revolution is about guns; but it is concrete situations that create what actually spurs revolution.”
In other wards, he said, “if situations are not violent you are not likely to have a violent revolution, on the other hand if situations are violent you are likely to have violent revolution.”
“Now in the context in which we operate today”, Dr Abdallah explained, “violence of the kind we saw in the past is unlikely.”
The Socialist International in my view, he opined, “has put on the table an alternative to the present capitalist order.”
The alternative, he said, “is a socialist agenda that puts in place the primacy of the people- the workers and peasant who constitute the majority of toiling masses in Africa.” He averred that the implications of this are several, but the key implication is that; the capitalist system can not provide what we want from it. Today, he said, “we are witnessing an unprecedented collapse of the financial system in the world, but those who are in charge of that system have refused to accept that the system is in crisis. They tell us it is the financial sector, but the financial sector is the life blood of the system and if that sector collapses then the whole sector is in trouble.”
He maintained that to replace the capitalist system is the key moment in today’s contemporary history.
Throwing light on the resolution made at the ASI First West African Regional Conference in Freetown, Sierra Leone, the History Lecturer said, “the resolution the conference has drafted deals essentially with key issues that are part and parcel of that system.”
Central to that system, Dr Abdallah said, “are the multinationals.”
“We’ve seen the tussle between African Minerals and London Mining; we’ve also seen what Koidu Holdings did in Kono, these are the multinationals we are talking about,” he said.
The afro-centric Historian said, “we have witness the coming of the Chinese and now they are spurred to do what the western powers did in Africa.”
He maintained that the resolution “also talks about going beyond colonial boarders; in other words, we want to create a single citizenship, e.g. Mano River- it doesn’t make sense for one to travel from Sierra Leone to Liberia with a passport, as the people across the boarders are the same, likewise Guinea, Conakry,” stressed Dr Abdullah.
The History Lecturer explained that “today you have a rising crop of ‘Fullahs’ who are indigenes of Sierra Leone, in spite of the fact that they still maintain firm links with Guinea.” “How do you explain that?” he asked rather rhetorically.
“Why would you want one to be a citizen in one country and an alien in another; this in 2008 we believe is unacceptable!” the Lecturer said defiantly.
The other key issue, he said, “has to do with the attempt by the United States to strangle the continent through a military architecture called ‘Africom’.”
The whole essence of the meeting, he said “was to put to table an alternative to what is happening today, an alternative that is not only about transformation, but one that would serve as a guide post, a sign post to the future, because we have been mystified in the past that there is no alternative to the IMF and the World Bank, when there are alternatives,” he stressed. “We want a situation where the President would tell the nation that next year’s budget is $5 billion, so that what would be allocated to a particular sector would really transform lives, it would change situation; but this pittance is not going to do nothing. If we continue on that trajectory for the next 10 to 20 years, I’m afraid change is not going to happen in our life time and some of us are looking forward to change,” he maintained. “The people have fought for democracy; they have voted for a change and not for a particular political party. If we have this in mind that the people are the moving force in history then we can begin to see how it is possible to chat an alternative; and it is that alternative that is central and also the key that should unlock the future of Africa,” said Dr Abdallah.
He however highlighted that this transformation can not take place within the nation state of Africa as presently constituted, “in other wards if we are talking about socialist transformation today we are talking about socialist transformation at the continental level,” said.
“You can not have a socialist Sierra Leone and at the same time a capitalist Liberia; transforming the continent means transforming Africa as a single united government, that is the key message we want patriots to think about,” explained the historian.
By Ophaniel Gooding