In Togo, if you are being robbed, you have two options: hide if you can or call the Ghanaian police. Yes, I mean not Togo but Ghana because Togolese policemen are so poorly equipped, not to say "not equipped at all" to the point where they run or hide themselves when they are called to arrest robbers. If I offer to call Ghana’s police, it’s not to make fun of the situation but because in the past, when the Togolese citizens were in danger like for instance during the great floods of 2009 and the fire of the large market of Lome in 2013, Togolese officials had called respectively the Ghanaian military and firefighters to save the days because our military and firefighters were unable to rescue their people. So I simply suggest that we do the same with the police. Should we laugh or cry? Well I prefer to laugh to calm my neurons a little before such desolation.
Almost two months ago, the store of a Lebanese businessman was looted by robbers in the big market of Lome. When the officers of the nearest police station heard gunshots, they had the wonderful idea to turn off the lights and lock themselves inside their station. A similar scenario occurred two weeks ago at the airport of Lome when robbers managed to take nearly 3 billion CFA francs ($1.5 million) from some businesswomen who were traveling as our policemen locked themselves again inside the airport together with passengers, leaving the robbers to operate tranquilly in the parking.
How can we explain that Faure Gnassingbé, the "guarantor of sub-regional security," the “strong” man that sends troops to maintain "security, peace and stability" everywhere in Africa, the Peter Pan that battles pirates in the Atlantic Ocean and spends hundreds of billions on marine shuttles, constantly asks for military aid from the European Union and Barack Obama during the US-Africa summit could be unable to have a single police or firefighters unit able to respond as it should when his countrymen are in distress? The answer is simple. When Faure Gnassingbé talks about security, well he speaks for himself and his entourage. In Togo, the traffic is blocked for several minutes just so that Faure Gnassingbé and the servants he calls ministers can drive by. At every public appearance of the tyrant including the mosque on Eid El Fitr (The Islamic largest holiday), a strong military arsenal is deployed alongside the narcissistic dictator for his "security." And to maintain this “dictatorial security”, nearly 40% of the national budget is allocated to the Ministry of Defense; a portfolio managed by the dictator himself. Meanwhile, agriculture which is the main source of income of the Togolese people receives less than 5% of the national budget.
If a handful of criminals with hunting rifles are able to make our police officers and military police flee, I seriously wonder how we Togolese have allowed useless people like this to traumatize us for the past 50 years. Are we not more helpless and more useless that the morons we call “security forces”? One thing that is certain is that they are waiting for us in 2015 to raise their back as uncastrated turkeys because when it comes to repressing protests and stealing ballot boxes, they are the most efficient ones in the world.
If shame could kill, my nationality would be the cause of my death and I shall be dead the same day I was born! But fortunately enough, shame is not Ebola.