Leader of the Economic Fighters League, Ernesto Yeboah ruffled some feathers on Sunday when he said violence cannot be ruled out of the question when looking at how Africa’s youth will liberate themselves and their continent.
Speaking via Zoom on the ‘Toyin Falola Interviews’ of acclaimed university professor Toyin Falola in a conversation co-hosted by Afia ‘Vim Lady’ Pokua, Nana Ansah Kwao IV and Dr Charles Prempeh, the leader ‘ calm, poised but unapologetic’ from the Nkrumahist movement answered some tough questions about how Africa’s youth can lead the continent to prosperity.
He said that while the Economic Fighters League continues to carry out advocacy activities such as capacity building for economic empowerment, recent interactions with local youths in various locations in Ghana revealed that youths have lost patience with their leaders and seek to be armed to bring about change.
Mr. Yeboah went on to explain how movements like the EFL prevent a descent into violence, presenting new alternatives for the reclamation of power for the people, in the interests of the people.
The Economic Fighters League has for years advocated the dismantling of the current system in Ghana, which they say has disenfranchised and impoverished people who are still trying to complete the process of liberation from colonial oppression.
Their campaign for a new constitution to replace the 1992 Constitution of the Republic aims to raise awareness that the current one does not serve the people; serving to protect the political elite and further disenfranchise Ghanaians.
Mr. Yeboah compared the Ghanaian Constitution to those of Nigeria, where the nationals are also demanding changes at the constitutional level.
When asked by the co-organizers whether EFL’s strategy includes exploring alternatives such as overhauling pre-colonial governance systems as well as mobilizing technology, Mr Yeboah said consistently brought the conversation back to the heart of the matter – youth without support or infrastructure on which to build a future, evidence of poor leadership by many African leaders.
Prof Toyin then highlighted some of the comments made about African youth by leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari, prompting Yeboah to issue a strong condemnation of the Nigerian President’s violent crackdown on activists (citing the Lekki massacre of activists # EndSARS), as well as its inaction to improve the poor state of the world’s most populous black nation.
On the allegation that young people in Africa are “nothing but drug dealers and prostitutes”, he pointed out that those making these claims are the ones who created the conditions that pushed African youth in this direction, saying, “You don’t blame the victims, you blame the perpetrators.
Asked again if he advocates violence as a way to liberate the continent, Yeboah replied: “You don’t put fire under a pot and then ask the pot: why are you hot?
The conversation was lively, with the tensions expected around the question of how to liberate and sustainably develop Africa. Many of Yeboah’s EFL members have made their own well-articulated submissions, revealing to viewers a movement that is not centered on one personality, but on collective, thoughtful thought.
Several members took issue with the idea that young people should not aggressively challenge their elders, a sentiment that Yeboah summed up succinctly towards the end of the interview, saying of Buhari: “A tree that orders the felling of young trees in the forest is not thinking about the future. »
Yeboah concluded his remarks by stating that the people of Africa should never forgive, nor forget what their leaders have done with the power they hold, stating that everyone should be held accountable for their actions.
“We need to build a new culture based on truth. If we can’t look ourselves in the face based on the truth, what future are we building?