Newton Ahmed Barry: “If I should be one more dead, then so be it…But no one will silence me”

This is an open letter from Newton Ahmed Barry which discusses recent calls by Captain Ibrahim Traoré’s “defenders” to attempt his life. In this forum, he also returns to his commitment enamelled with adversity and difficulties all these years for a better Burkina and believes that nothing and no one could silence him. “If I should be one more death, so be it. Especially if it can help Burkina Faso, my country, for which I have sacrificed everything, my health and my career as a civil servant, then; Alea jacta are” he will say. His entire writing below.

Burkina is not an Islamic State.

Thus it is forbidden to criticize IB and to contest its decisions.

Its supporters, roughly educated in both Islam and French, but perfectly exegetical in the Moore language, have decreed that their president cannot be criticized. Anyone who dares “the leaders (they haven’t named them) will let the children go to settle his case, destroy his house, kill him or force him into exile”. This is the fatwa now pronounced in a country whose DNA is freedom.

Who would have imagined that in this country?

A country that was built on the refusal of a single thought, a single party and absolute power. But as one would say “we have given birth to the monster that could well eat us in (unworthy heirs and crusts) of the multifaceted struggles engaged by the patriots of this country from the Ouezzin to Ki ZERBO, Arba Diallo via Thomas SANKARA, Norbert Zongo, Halidou OUEDRAOGO and many other illustrious Burkinabè who cannot all be mentioned.

But the saddest thing is probably not the idiocy of these “scabs” who have discovered easy money with irresponsible politicians (but the redemptive military do no better). With public money that has never been so wasted, these individuals have risen to the pinnacle of a “social poison” patriotism whose sole purpose is to ensure that the usurped powers are maintained. The saddest thing is that the hatred that transpires from their idiocy could get the better of the shred of Burkina that remains and whose pre-defenders they claim. But in truth they are only the “malaawu tal mawt”, that is to say the angels of death.

So what to do?

Everyone is challenged and I will speak for myself.

- Since my beginnings as a journalist and public person, all my life, I have had trouble with all the powers and their supporters.

Under the CDP on the death of Norbert Zongo, I resigned from the public service compromised my right to retirement and committed myself body and soul to justice being done to Norbert ZONGO (I never knew what ethnicity he was ), and so that never again will a Burkinabè die for having expressed his opinion.

If after the interlude of the popular insurrection and the ephemeral but real democratic experiment, I should die at the hands of the obscurantists, then so be it.

- Then there was the transition. I had a difficult year. Some comrades in the fight have turned their backs on me because not understanding that victorious against those who have oppressed us for three decades, I show qualms about not “stepping on the testicles of the DBs and others…who of the time of their superbness made us see all the colors”. And in the lot of the most intolerant those who benefited the most from Blaise Compaoré’s regime.

Then “the Cheriff law” which definitively cut me off from my relative and companion. And Zida who never flinched at my criticisms because I should have chosen between him and his former mentor.

Then as president of the CENI, I achieved the feat of uniting the majority and the opposition against me. Yet I arrived with a patriotic ambition for the electoral commission. Enroll as many voters as possible with a system that should ultimately reduce the cost of voter registration to “FRANC ZERO”. Then reduce the cost of elections by 40%. This is what I called in the program document “sustainability of the cost of elections”. A fairly new project for which I was able to mobilize resources with the OIF. I didn’t just proclaim this idea.

I built it. Then, without really understanding anything, the entire political class agreed to prevent its implementation. And the MPP, party in power, was finally my fierce executioner. Everything has been done for the election to fail. Because I refused UNDP to order the indelible ink and the ballot boxes, the budget was not released until October 15 for an election scheduled for November 22. That’s barely 30 days to order consumables that are manufactured outside the country and during the COVID-19 period.

We have with our technical teams initiated the procurement procedures and received the orders on November 7 for a country which already had 30% of its territory out of control. Many had bet on our inability to hold this election and surely also that too many billions to spend in less than 30 days, we could not escape the MACO. But as I say “Allah helps those who help themselves”. Despite everything we succeeded, even if it had the gift of even more angering our detractors from the majority.

Finally, as president of the CENI, for five years I provided CENI workers, their spouses and two of their children with health insurance, at first 100%, then abuses having increased the premium, we reduced to 80%, for illnesses, but hospitalizations remaining covered at 100%. Despite everything, I suffered adversities and oppositions.

So adversity I’m used to. It is even my faithful companion. Yet I do nothing for it. Those close to me can attest to that. I am a “sick” of compromise and I am not belligerent. On the other hand, I am an “extremist” of principles and words. Those who wish me well take the opportunity to magnify the line. Our national sin is that we do not believe that anyone can be independent and act altruistically. We like to hold each other. Otherwise it is dangerous. The main grievance during my mandate has the head of the CENI “it is uncontrollable and unpredictable”.

So I had all the politicians on my back. Even those whom I could naturally consider as putative allies because of our journey of years in the adversity of the fight against the regime of Blaise Compaoré. It turns out that the vast majority of politicians consider the principles as an adjustment variable. Just like all those good people who are dedicating me to death today because I reminded you that the press law had to be respected.

The new pan-African patriots are so angry with France that they can even eat their totem. Forgetting that the best thing in principle is to avoid precedents. If the press can no longer criticize, then it is not RFI that will be the main victim, because broadcasting censorship from satellites, apart from the effects of the sleeve and populism, can do nothing against it. However, national journalists have everything to fear.

The suspension of their media and the endangerment of their lives. The most enlightened tell me why “I don’t ask terrorists to respect the law…”. It really is like the twilight of reason. So what to do? Exile me? No way. Ground me? I can’t. Not that I don’t want. I can’t. You have to die of something.

In recent years, I have seen, having traveled the country in its four cardinal points, many deaths, some of which have been abandoned to scavengers and dogs. I denounced it despite the duty of reserve which is attached to the function of president of an institution. Two years ago it was the vouvouzela of the MPP who fell on me accusing me of being a terrorist by recalling my ethnicity. So really nothing new. The military and their associates inherited. Even if they raised the hate a notch above

So there have already been tens of thousands of deaths. The last ones this Sunday, November 4 in Bittou, my home town where 6 Burkinabè were coldly slaughtered by the obscurantism of the bush. Peace to their souls!

If I should be one more dead, so be it. Especially if it can help Burkina Faso, my country, for which I have sacrificed everything, my health and my career as a civil servant, then; Alea jacta es.

But no one will shut me up. Of course I want to live. But who can, without shedding a tear, look at what the Burkina Faso of our ancestors has become today? Because there is no ethnic rent on the property of the country. There is no Burkinabè who would be more Burkinabè than another because of his community or his ethnicity. The name of the country (Burkina Faso) and the denomination of its inhabitants (Burkinabe) is a mixed collective property which excludes a community opa. People need to know that.

It is our country. Either we all defend it together in a critical and non-dogmatic dialectic. It’s up to the IB president to find that chemistry. His predecessors who failed to do so were driven out. Or he hands over to someone else. No one, even enlightened, can say that if he doesn’t succeed, we won’t criticize him or make him suffer the fate of his predecessor. I believe President IB is lucid enough to understand. Besides, in not long, he the silent will have to explain his quarterly promise. And if it is not convincing, it will not only be criticized. It will be disputed.

Burkina Faso is a republic of citizens and not a theocratic state with talibes.

Allah helps those who help themselves!


We wish to give thanks to the writer of this article for this remarkable content

Newton Ahmed Barry: “If I should be one more dead, then so be it…But no one will silence me”

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