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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

TUNISIA, EGYPT, NOW LIBYA—HOW LONG… IS LONG


In the history of a changing Africa, amidst the nonchalance of some African organizations, far there in the North; Africans have stood up and said to themselves ‘the die is cast, let this madness stop.’ Let this intoxication and misuse of power stop, Africans can no longer be ruled by charlatans who parade themselves as ‘great leaders’. No doubt, revolution is doing the rounds and these by- force leaders are being uprooted. Recently, the story started with Zine Ben –Ali of Tunisia, then Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and now, the self acclaimed ‘great’ leader (of course considering his years on seat) Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. Do you ask for how long? How long, is long.

I really have not looked into this African revolution, this is not because I should not, it is because I have decided to pose a blind eye, most especially in this craze of election campaigns in Nigeria; candidates manifestos and posters flying here and there with unending promises, sweet rigging and sweet talking ignorant Nigerians. And now, some forgotten person has come back as presidential candidate for ANPP. He must really have enough to offer us.

The history of most African rulers have not been favourable or commendable, especially the ones who have turned themselves into ‘for life presidents’. Presidents like King Sobhuza, who ruled in Swaziland for 60 years, then his son Nswati took over from him and has been there since 1986 (25 years), Omar Bongo ruled Gabon for 43 years, Sese Seko of Congo ruled for 33 years, Paul Biya has been the president of Cameroun for 29 years, Robert Mugabe has been on seat since the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980 (31 years), Houphet Boigny ruled Cote D’ Ivoire for 33 years, even Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo ruled for 38 years. I call it rule because they have turned it to a sacred tradition, like the ritual of culture. Africans must realize that politics is not tradition, it is competence and leadership. It is lead and let others lead; it is not rule and die on the seat; it is not a thing of inheritance, it is merit, it is because you are qualified because you will bring change not because you will enslave citizens and convert them to personal property; I must say that this is not cattle rearing. I’m sorry to add, I do not expect that African Union will condemn what is happening, it has been foreign countries and organizations coming in to mediate, not the so called African Union. As I stated, I do not expect the least, because at one time these for -life presidents have been at one point rulers or strong members of this organization. Really, what do you expect?

I am not talking about 10 years, I am talking about 18, 20, 30, 42, 43, even 60 years! This is ridiculous, even Mandela who slaved for his country did not ask for that much. The mere mention of long is long, long enough for a man to leave the seat. Gaddafi has closed his country from international and political interference, even advancement. What good then does he have to offer? He has turned the country to me, myself and I; self acclaimed great leader and am sure AU is finding it hard because this ‘great’ man who wanted Africa to be United States of Africa… mchew, united indeed. And later baptized OAU into AU, oh! Such ‘great man can do no wrong’.
Rollo May once said that violence arises not out of superfluity of power but out of powerlessness. Libyans are not protesting with ammunition, are they? You have been doing the killing and enjoying the blood show. All they are simply saying in their powerlessness is just ‘go’, we are tired, and like their placards read… 42 years is more than enough. And for that long, I say it is long. Gaddafi, they are simply saying, join your monocratic colleagues; and let your people enjoy the essence of their lives and not be enslaved in your torture. For how long, is too long… exit, please.

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