Of Revolutions, Men and Power

You want to have a revolution but when you think of the throes of death that will echo, you take a moment to ponder if these acts of martyrdom are worth it. The raging Arab revolution puts 2011 not just as an appendage in history but as one that will evoke timeless memories. Mubarak and Ben Ali are gone and no other time has fiefdoms remained unsafe as shown in protests over the world. When this revolution started, many people silently asked of Libya with its42 year autocracy: it ended in their thoughts as wishful thinking. It is an assumption that some people are meant to be in power till grave as Houphouet-Boigny, Stalin, Abacha and many more. Many like Kim Jong, Mugabe, Ghaddafi, Museveni despite not monarchs are towing that path till death flickers a red card.

My restless mind wonders what made people of such mind tick. Are they really humans or animals that mutate into bodily forms?  Why would a man in its eighties when should be in deep reflection of its life not allow the nation to find its own soul. Why will they haunt youths down to keep power, kill children without a conscience and why in such acts of horror will he still find loyal people. We thought those belonged to the ancient days but in own very eyes when we pride in civilization, one man will deem it fit to rule at all cost till death makes him a trash. Not only will they rule, they amass obscene wealth and their children have been wired to complete the rest.

I take inspirations from Tatalo Alamu on the Nation last Sunday as he argued on revolutions as an unending cycle. People start revolution hoping but this noble act will mutate in a group or sadly an individual. Let me break it further, Mubarak was a beneficiary of revolutionist instincts of Abdel Gamal Nasser against Egyptian monarchy. I also saw a picture of 27-year old Ghadafi standing beside Nasser, a Arab icon and you would seen through his eyes – complete innocence. The verve you had in Mugabe that ousted colonialists, the Stalin being an apostle of Lenin,  Museveni and his heroic wars against rebels and many more proves that from the days of activism, when these men taste power , they become disasters . They became indispensable to those they owe change. People shed blood to cleanse the rot and pave way from their heroic acts but these citrus trees get power and the orange turns to lemon.

The Rose revolution of Ukraine has always been study in my mind. Yanukovych who was protested against in the Orange revolution in 2004 for election rigging and incompetence is now their elected president.  Such could revolutions become and but when the time is ready, everyone hops the wagon. It is a destination of unknowns and as the dust settles, men begin to take positions and locking the exit door. They recant what they ever represent.  You wonder what changed them so much. Is there something wrong with power and the revolutionary rush to put change it in proper perspective. People died for the change they wanted in Arab nations but only time will tell if their children will have to do this again. If the people power would not be morphed into an individual’s lust for power.

As Nigeria is in its crucial election year, I can only pray for a revolution at the ballot box. Based on our ethnic complexity, the destination of a revolution is scary. It is better we use our voters card as revolution ticket and  continually warn the ruling party to ground its rigging machinery. If we protect our votes, then we have started a revolution whose destination we are sure of and we can take a turn in the next four years.

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