Egyptian Revolution And The Delayed Destruction Of Nigeria
By Taju Tijani
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong immortal words was, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” On 4 July, 2013, the West made one small step for infamy, and one giant leap for imperialism. As Americans jubilated and danced wildly from coast to coast over the celebration of 4th July’s Independence Day, Egyptians were thrown into mournful soul-searching over the destruction of their bourgeoning democratic renewals. Hosni Mubarak’s ghost came to town and drove Morsi, his Morse code, his niqaab-clad wives and other democratic jihadists from the throne room of one of Middle East enigmatic nations.
Egypt’s political imbroglio has remained thorny. It has defied solution. After the shameful exit of Mubarak’s dictatorship, an amicable coagulation of different political operators in that country has remained a crushing dilemma. The dream of majority of Egyptians to air brush the remnants of Mubarak’s anti-democratic legacies is now at a cross road. The charge sheet against Mubarak will read or sound familiar with majority of Nigerians. It is the same anti-people policies grandly favoured by virtually every ruler in Africa.
“Grievances of Egyptian protesters were focused on legal and political issues including police brutality, state of emergency laws, lack of free elections and freedom of speech, corruption and economic issues including high unemployment, food price inflation and low wages. The primary demands from protesters were the end of the Hosni Mubarak regime, the end of emergency law, freedom, justice, a responsive non-military government and a say in the management of Egypt’s resources. Strikes by labour unions added to the pressure on government officials.
During the uprising the capital city of Cairo was described as “a war zone” and the port city of Suez saw frequent violent clashes. The protesters defied the government imposed curfew and the police and military did not enforce it. The presence of Egypt’s Central Security Forces police, loyal to Mubarak, was gradually replaced by large, restrained military troops. In the absence of police, there was looting by gangs that opposition sources said were instigated by plainclothes police officers”.
Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak’s tragic regime of despoliation, despotism, denial, disease and death was finally laid to rest on February 11, 2011. Mubarak was able to hold the centre for 30 years and this political stability suited the socio, economic and political interests of the West quite well. After Mubarak’s exit, nothing hounds the West than the political tornado that was on the way. Eventually, what the West mortally feared became reality. Bearded, stern-looking and unsmiling Mohammed Morsi rode on the popular vote of the 85 year old Muslim Brotherhood party and thus began the onset of Western nightmare.
Though Morsi was elected through a free and fair democratic process, every Western capital was drowned by paranoia. Debates raged in smoky cabinet meetings on what to do with this mysterious dark horse who defied the Western partisan logic of backing malleable, docile, errand politicians across Africa. Morsi is neither malleable, docile nor ready to do errand boy for the West. The West would not wait for long to unveil its hidden hypocrisy. The West strident fuss over partisan logic would eventually marked the downfall of a democratically elected government of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. The gross illogic and injustice of Western democratic orthodoxy would evade the West in Morsi’s case. That President Barak Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron could not hear the blaring dissonance of their partisan positions shows that imperialism would remain an ever present threat to African politics.
That aside, what really focuses my mind is the replication of this haunting military coup d’état in Nigeria. In many combative, fiery and not to say contumacious arrogance, Nigerian politicians tend to believe that Nigeria is a more revolution-proof universe where revolution or popular unrest could not unhinge. That is achingly true when politicians are feasting on corruption and the spoils of office. That is achingly true when you imagine the symmetry of our tribal composition. Again, that sounds true when you begin to realise that Nigerians are the world’s worst amoral survivalists. It is achingly true when you realise that Nigerians are endowed with copious baggage of amnesia of political wrongs of their politicians.
Yes, Nigerians have had a surfeit of amoral negligence since our independence. As a write, we run the most expensive democracy in the world. As I write, we do not know the monthly salary of our president. As I write, Senator Misadventure David Mark is the highest paid senator in the entire universe. As you read this, Senators, Legislators, Ministers and other principals of state live in billion naira homes across Abuja. They have gentrified real estate in Abuja so bastardly that the once sleepy ghost town is now the most expensive city in Africa. Nigerian air space now teems with gleaming private jets of politicians. As I write, 75 million Nigerian youths are jobless. Nigerians live on meagre N250 per day. Many Nigerians survive on pure water. Treatable, piped, public water is the preserve of the privilege. There is no more political accountability. The infamy is legion!
Rascals, thugs, thieves, men and women of darkness, assassins, murderers, old time drug dealers, cheats, philanderers, beasts, suckers, compromisers, cultists, gays, hypocrites, morons, cowards and occupiers have hijacked Nigerian political space. No wonder, they are happy to shield together under the title of PDP – Potentially Destructive People. We have lost the capacity to blush at excessive opulence and public wastage. From the president, governors, senators, legislators, ministers and even commissioners, the symbol of political oppression and social insensitivity remain the hated convoy of expensive SUVs. That, in a democracy!
Why can’t we simplify governance and cut off the annoying dross of monumental squandering of common wealth of the people? Who cares what machine you drive as long as you deliver? Why all the galactic-shielded, bomb proof, shiny and blackened SUVs if it is true that Nigerian politicians are servants of the people? Why the emperor mentality? Over half a century of patchy nationhood, no Nigerian leader has earned a perpetual mention for shining public service. Except Obafemi Awolowo in the Western Region. Our love of power is oceanic, but the ability to govern and deliver cannot fill a teacup.
While Nigeria continue to regress into stone age infrastructural underdevelopment, casualties of this neglect either fight, flight or stay fallen. Our past leaders serial missteps and tormenting leadership are enough fodder for revolution. Now that Egypt has laid down a precedent that underlying some democratic topography, there can be a substratum of peoples’ revolt and the eventual military intervention. Probably it is time we produced military ejaculation to straitened our democracy and weed out Potentially Destructive People before we destroy ourselves through violent revolution.