Egypt and the Anticipated Revolution
Finally Hosni Mubarak is out after thirty years in power and throwing to the wind what would have ended for him as an Egypt-Arab-world- Statesman if he had not taken the road of arrogance and that stupid tenacity which had come to be associated with African leaders.
The stupid notion that he or she is the only one wise last leader left in the city of boom turned doom by their hypocritical wisdom and knowledge. But does it mean that every Egyptian should take to the street and start celebrating the freedom that had been taken away from them for the past thirty years by this inglorious dictator?
Yes, freedom from a tyrant and a despot, but certainly they have a long road to tread to address the battered polity and economy left behind by Mubarak unprogressive ideology and the henchmen and henchwomen he left behind; one thing must be told and acknowledged nevertheless, a few wise cannot take the city on a long walk in the shadow of darkness if the majority of people who constitute the city allows it to thrive by their pretentious tolerance and shameful pettiness.
Egypt, as in Tunisia, has lit the awareness to the rest of the Arab world, the world, especially Africa where the wickedness of a few is regarded as the wisdom that must lead the people without the people having the right to question this particular wisdom without being shown the ugly side of politics.
Let us believe that what happened in Tunisia, and recently, Egypt would send the right message to oppressive governments and governances that the collective voice of the people counts and should be respected at all times, one is forced to ask the question; where does Africa stands in this revolution that has been lit in the hearts of many Africans in the continent and the many still scattered in every part of the world? Would there ever be this kind of a revolution where the people had to defy all things-including time- to see the actualisation of their aspiration?
An elderly Ghanaian in a betting shop in the Central part of London littered with a majority of Africans who had come there to drown their sorrows either by betting with the last pound on them in the hope that they might win some few quid that would take care of their immediate needs thinks the possibility is very slim. Another black man, a Nigerian this time, thinks-even though Egypt enjoys the same landscape as the other countries in Africa-like the Ghanaian that the possibility should be buried in the hearts of men and women who shall never be willing to make that arduous sacrifice to turn the continent from the present woes it finds itself.
The Nigerian did not think the situation that warranted the Egyptian revolt does apply in his country-Egypt was an authoritarian state run by a dictator who was there for thirty years and it was time for that dictator to leave and they all came together and sent him away, whereas in Nigeria, there is a democratic setting and there is no way that setting can be upstaged! Unfortunately, what the Nigerian refused to acknowledge was that the so-called democracy that exist there was the type administered by ‘democratic dictators.’
The elderly Ghanaian’s reasoning was more rounded, and he believed that one of the reasons why there can never be a revolution in other parts of Africa- at least the eastern, western and southern- is because of such sentiment carried by that Nigerian who thinks Nigerians will not go on the course of a revolution because the country does not have the kind of despotism Egypt had.
The marvellous thing about this Ghanaian was that he knew the in out of the history of Nigeria and probably the mindset of its people. If there is ever going to be a change in the continent, it has to be spear-headed by Nigeria according to him because of the pivotal role it occupies in the continent. He was ready to admit that for every black man on the street there is every possibility that that black man must have a Nigerian gene in his or her vein somehow. He buttressed his claim by asking the group if it was aware that the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan has a Nigerian woman and children from that woman.
With the population of Nigeria, its wealth, it should be able to lead the rest of Africa, unfortunately, Nigeria is a dreamland from achieving this feat because not until it grapples with its politics it will continue to indulge in that dream. And it will get nowhere.
The reason why Nigeria cannot lead the revolution to turn the continent positively around is that the mindset of every Nigerian is dampen by the pursuit of money-which he does not really have, but the little that is enough to intimidate his neighbours and not the enough that will make him to be creative to attend to the problems of the country where unemployment holds sway- fine women, the immediate fine things of life without the willingness to make that most important sacrifice that the future of the continent must depend on.
A shared sentiment perhaps. But true to the largest extent. If there is going to be the kind of revolution the world just witnessed in Egypt in other parts of Africa to be led by Nigeria, then the continent would have to wait for a long time because it just might never take place. Nigerians, are they not petty or perhaps noise makers?
Every Nigerian is an individual in pursuit of an oppressive riches governed by ethnic pettiness and divided by religious bigotry that has no immediate solution at hand.
In Nigeria when the first revolution would have been held and see the country out of its political and economic logjam, instead of it taking that route, it ended up being a meaningless civil war that the country is still paying dearly for to this day because on that day the seed of discord and distrust were sown. The north of the country interpreted the Kaduna Nzegwu led coup as a ploy to kill the northern elite having forgotten the fact that the so-called elite from the north were the ones who held political as well as economic powers as at them and many of those northern elite had led the country astray and the country had to make a u-turn for the best. Forgetting also that change or revolution does not come without a price. The ethnicity card was played and it became the north against the East and the East against every other ethnic affiliation because trust was lost and the best brains and true creativity were lost forever, perhaps.
Another lesson to be learnt from the Egypt revolution as against the thinking of that Nigerian at the betting shop in that part of Central London is that, their fight was not centred solely on removing Mubarak per-se-though it was a huge factor- it was on the corruption in the country for thirty years, which is believed to be championed by Mubarak and his boys in power and the dictatorial regime which must be pulled down while the strong wall of democracy is built. If Nigerians can see it in this light and think straight that, true, no one government has lasted for thirty years in power, that yet something has to be done to remove the build up corruption and decay that have graced the more than fifty years of the independent life of the country. Until Nigerians allow themselves to think in this light the country and its people will continue to be in the dark and the rest of Africa’s redemption will linger.
How possible? Certainly not when there is the issue of religious divides amongst the people administered by religious bigots who will never tell the people the whole and home truth about the faith they profess, that in all religions, there are cardinal pillars that hold that faith and they are; justice, love, unity, freedom and the right to have an attainable standard of living, the right to dream and aspire and see those dreams being fulfilled. That the soul is an elastic component of human patience when stretched to the limit, it will snap and the results of that snap is an unstoppable rebellion. That the key to the gate of heaven is not the monopoly of any particular religious leader or harbinger of that religion, but the amount of justice, love and every other thing the soul is allowed that will pave the way to that in-depth feeling of satisfaction. Where, as shown in Egypt, Moslems and Christians and other religious groups have to come together after thirty years of dictatorship to yield to the cry of the soul, that it has been deprived for so long of the right to true nourishment and it was time for it to be demanded and got without any hold barred. Yes, there should be a reasonable amount of religious engagement instead of religious deception.
And Nigerians need education if there is going to be a revolt against a select few who hold the destiny of the country and its people to ransom. Not totally a certificated education, but the awareness of the people’s rights; that justice is not an issue politicians should deliberate upon and decide whether they should be given or not, that it is their God given right to have, that to be free is their undisputed right as long as it does not stand in the way of the other person. That to have a standard of living each and everyone of them will be comfortable in is a right nobody can take for them. That wealth and riches and poverty is not a particular definition to a group of people, that the riches and wealth of the country is the entitlement of all and not for an individual who would want to play god and to be worshipped as such.
But the revolution must have a leader, yes, a leader, a grassroots leader. Not one who has stolen the wealth of the country and have it stashed somewhere where he himself cannot reach or a leader who would be outside the country and from there starts throwing stones to a system he or she has conspire in putting down. And not a revolution that should be led by the poor because the poor, even though he is aware of the injustices that surround him, his immediate concern is how to meet and satisfy his immediate needs. The revolution must be led by the very rich and very wealthy and the most enlightened of men and women who are well equipped with everything and with the right information who must hold the light high for others to follow. The leader[s] must be from a political group who is ready to play the politics of service against the politics of theft; or the leader must be from any of the religious group notably Christianity or Islam who will tell the people the truth instead of feeding them with some philosophical, hypothetical truth of a heaven while using the people to travel all over the world without being questioned because ‘he or she has been ordained by a god who must deem only him or her fit for the goodies of this life while the congregation must bear the grunts. A faith leader like Martin Luther King who sowed the seed where President Barrack Obama germinated. A thoughtful leader and not one who is selfish! And Nigerians must form a network where everybody must be in this network and be able to get in touch with one another without much ado. The tall achievement of the Egyptians we must all learn from.
But when? Anytime soon, hopefully. Because the cry and yearning are beginning to sound and heard in Nigeria and from Nigerians everywhere abroad who think they do not have any reason to be abroad doing all the wrong jobs for the benefit of survival or in the right jobs because back home the wisest are the Pigs while Horses labour to death and be rewarded with little or nothing. Yet again the people of the country should be ready to jettison their tribal consciousness and embrace a national consciousness and revolutionalised their thoughts and deeds.
Still there should be the awareness that there is only one God, and that God comes to light in justices and the pursuit and fulfilment of the long pursuit of it and not in money so that along the way of the revolution money does not become a tool of distraction.
And if there is anything all of us have learnt from the Egypt revolution, is the fact that the military of any country is created to defend the country and the people of that country and not the protection of a few in power. There must be a cohesion of purpose from all quarters of the country.
Eberekpe Whyte resides in the UK and he is the author of: Black Britain, Abule Oje, London! Evwri El-Rustic, The Ink; My Pen, Songs of Hearts, Sacred, Baby Ps, Number Tense Dawning Strict.