From Issa Aremu Logo in Abuja’s Daily Trust:
The strong point of NEPAD is its political component. NEPAD underscores that economic development is impossible without addressing the political question. African governments concede that democracy is not just fashionable but indispensable for development. To achieve this goal NEPAD puts in place a Peer Review Mechanism according to which member-states voluntarily subject themselves to development and governance tests. Today, the question: to what extent have African leaders kept to the promises of Development and Democracy? The events in Kenya have done more visible violence to the principles of development and good governance which these member-states pledged to uphold. The Chairman of the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM, and Nigeria's Professor Adebayo Adedeji recently announced that as many as 28 countries have voluntarily subscribed to the principles of Peer Review.
Top on the list of the six countries with "finalised" peer Review paradoxically is Kenya. Others are reportedly Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Algeria. Either something is fundamentally flawed with the on going review process which makes a reviewed country slides into chaos as we are witnessing in Kenya or the entire NEPAD process is a fraudulent legitimization process to conceal African developmental and political rot. What manner of development paradigm is it that its proponents could not match its enunciated principles with their deeds?
Where are the commitments of the likes of former President Obasanjo, South Africa's Mbeki, Senegal's Abdoulaye Wade and Algeria's Bouteflika when they could not pronounce talkless of halting the disaster in Kenya? What manner of Peer Review cleared Kenya of politicians and "democrats" like Kibaki and Odinga who betrayed no emotion as they quarrel while Kenyans slaughter each other? What about an economic paradigm, under which a promising developing nation like Kenya simply slides into self-inflicted underdevelopment on account of vote counting? African leaders have proved once again that NEPAD is another passing "development" fad imposed from abroad, not internalized by them.
NEPAD's document for instance underscores accountability, freedom of association, and assembly, free and fair elections, and existence of several parties among others. In Nigeria, it will be very interesting to see how we interpret this provision in the light of accountability deficit and pure political brigandship under Obasanjo government, in which 8 months after "elections" Tribunal panels' judges are still counting votes and politicians are yet to deliver water and light as promised? How does the NEPAD's provision relate to the existing silly, obscene and clearly ineptitude of AU in the face of the madness at the Rift Valley of Kenya of Jomo Kenyata? Whence the promise of investment flow to Africa under NEPAD, when we are confronted with investment collapse, no thanks to mutually assured madness of the Kenyan type?