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THE POLITICS OF REVOLUTION BY OUR PRESIDENTS.


By: Chris Onyishi
 Published December 11th, 2011

“A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories.”

Napoleon Bonaparte was at his best when he made the above assertion.  The unfortunate thing is that most of our rulers of today are mere simplistic hoodlums.  And most of them do not care to ruminate through history of important people or important events and important places.

If they do, it would be very easy, for them, to avoid some mistakes of the past and take the part of simple intuition to avert socio-political and economic upheaval that would tend to offer impetus to revolution.   A careful analysis of all socio- political and economic phenomenons will reveal that nothing is entirely new.  The economic meltdown that ravaged, and is still ravaging, some developed economies are mere stereotype of the great depression of the 1930s.

So when our Presidents, past and present, begin to sermonize on revolution, one can but only see how hollow they are.  While President Jonathan was quoted as saying that: "...in four to five years time, if government did not create jobs to accommodate those leaving schools, the youths in this country may revolt against constituted authority" in the confluence town of Lokoja, his predecessor and political godfather – Chief, Dr., Army Engr. Obassanjo - was quoted as saying that … the unrest that happened in the Arab world this year is likely here, if there is disconnect between the government and the people”.

I was caught napping after rummaging through these idiotic assertions by the very people who were and are, still, saddled with the responsibility of avoiding, and consequentially, averting the so called revolution.  Who, in the history of our land, has ever disconnected governance from the people like Chief Obasanjo?

If these men have taken off time to read about the revolution they sermonize about, they would have known that even though revolution may stench in the air,  putting a time frame on when it will happen is the most simplistic thing any sensible person will try to do.

And who exactly are these people warning about revolution?  Do they think that revolution will come in the form of religious or tribal gamut where they will have the opportunity of playing dirty politics about it?  I find it an affront on Nigerians’ sensibility for Chief Obasanjo to be sermonizing on anything about development, be it agrarian or industrial.  This is a man who had the opportunity to turn Nigeria – and by implication Africa - around within eight years and he squandered the opportunity.  Who is Chief Obasanjo intimidating with Arab Spring in Nigeria?

The worst case is that of President Jonathan who was recently taunting us with the story of how he went to school without sandals and school bags and now hell bent on removing “oil subsidy” as if that is his recipe for “breath of fresh air and transformation”.  He is now sermonizing on revolution.  I begin to wonder if these rulers have any sense history at all.

This is what Napoleon Bonaparte said in one of his quotations: “I closed the gulf of anarchy and brought order out of chaos. I rewarded merit regardless of birth or wealth, wherever I found it. I abolished feudalism and restored equality to all regardless of religion and before the law. I fought the decrepit monarchies of the Old Regime because the alternative was the destruction of all this. I purified the Revolution.

When great leaders talk, they point to what they achieved to justify why they craved to pilot the affairs of their country.  But when small minded rulers talk, they intimidate people with the possibility of revolution as if they were forced to occupy the position they have willfully and consciously strove to acquire.

Students of history will tell you that Napoleon Bonaparte, who was twice-emperor of France, through his military endeavors and sheer personality, dominated Europe in person for a decade and in thought for a century was “… one of the greatest military commanders and a risk taking gambler; a workaholic genius and an impatient short term planner”.

What will our own ex-President Obasanjo be remember for?  Destruction of Odi town in Bayelsa State you would say and an attempt to elongate his stay in office beyond the constitutional, two-term, provision.

President Jonathan, on his part, will be remembered for removing of “oil subsidy”, increment in energy prices and fuel pump price in addition to destruction of the educational system, etc.

Because our leaders are bereft of sound socio-economic and political ideas – on how to move a nation forward - they always come down heavily on us and push harsh economic decisions onto us instead of looking for solution where it will not harm the populace.  Why should a President who claims he knows what revolution is all about be talking of increasing fuel pump price – in the name of “fuel subsidy” removal - anywhere within the four to five-year date space he has sermonized of possibility of revolution.

Who will be held responsible when this revolution of theirs comes up?  Maybe our Presidents – past and present - think revolution is like EFCC or ICPC which they formulate to hound opposition.  They should spare us this sermon and take a cursory look at past revolutions and see what shape it took.  It may be instructive to refer them to the type that took place in Ghana under JJ Rawlings a few years back.  That was not even a true revolution.


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