Signs Of The Times- By Tony Momoh


This is not a run-of-the mill stuff you may be used to reading from me. What I am doing here today is deliberate because we must do more than just locate ourselves on a little terrain called the earth when we try to analyse world events. We are already generating  in our minds different pictures when I refer to world events. We will define the world I have in mind towards the end of this presentation so that we can be more persuaded that what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East is no accident. You can then on your own answer the question whether or not the type of revolution overwhelming those regions is possible in Nigeria. The short answer is that the earth on which you and I live is belching, struggling for relief from constipation caused by human deceit in governance. We will come to this but what has been happening in the North of Africa and has like a fire been spreading to Arab countries in the Middle East?  

  The gale hit Tunisia and Egypt, and moved to Libya, Bahrain and Iran. The build-up is predictable. People, having given their governments time to attend to their needs over the years, are so upset and unsettled that they protest, first peacefully, and then violently, when those who ought to listen turn against them with those weapons which were acquired for their protection. One thread can be identified in the pattern of protests. The people are young, and many of them are women! The targets are ministries, factories and public services. As the protests spread, labour leaders move in and organise strikes because as the picture unfolds, those in power listen only to the echoes of their voices and are increasingly deaf to the pleas of their people. Until it is too late.  

  Look at the picture from Egypt. On January 25, a holiday was declared to commemorate the police forces. But Egyptians took to the streets in large numbers calling for 'a day of rage.' Thousands of people marched in Cairo and headed towards the offices of the ruling National Democratic Party, the foreign ministry and the state television station. Similar protests were reported in other parts of the country. Many who have watched Egypt and other developing countries put their finger on the problem - the obvious lack of recognition of the universal rights that are part and parcel of the make-up of the human being. These rights, which have been entrenched in many constitutions in many countries are kept more in the breach than the observance.  

  Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, is reported as saying he believes "the Arab citizen is angry, is frustrated". It should be more than a belief that the rights of human beings are being undermined world wide. It is true that they are entrenched more solidly in some jurisdictions, but worldwide, there is this tendency to undermine them, using the very institutions that are established to protect them. And the world will therefore be in more trouble than we can accept now.  

  Why, change is in the air, in the firmament. There is a dictionary description of firmament as the sky. Yes the sky. Change is in the sky, the spiritual sky. But we are not looking in the direction of the sky, whether physical or spiritual. Our gaze is fixed on the ground, not above the ground. The sky is not on the ground, can never be and has never been. You must lift your eyes from floor level, above the eye-level, upwards towards the moon and stars, to see the sky.  

  The skyscrapers in New York will not provide the opportunity for such a fulfilling physical gaze. But the people in America and other more civilised countries do see the sky in their minds. They see wide open spaces in those skies and know that up there in the skies of their minds, there is room for every bird to fly. Not Africa or other areas that want to remain the wretched of the earth. They remain as fixtures on terra firma, earthbound as they say. When they access power where they should serve, they remain there and insist on being served! Not in any other part of the world have you leaders who believe that they are sent to lead their people, and in that leading, enslave them until like in Egypt they become 'angry and frustrated.' All that must change now because, as has been predicted by knowing ones, everything must become new. And nothing can become new unless the old is replaced by the new.  

  That change, surging forth at more than the speed of light, is dawning on us and there is nowhere to hide. It is happening in the north of Africa today and has spread to the Middle East. It will come to Africa south of the Sahara because there are also open skies south of the Sahara. The cosmic clock announced the changes dawning more forcefully on us today long ago, even before the Second World War. We have never listened to the ticking of this clock. The good news is that the clock seeks no permission from us to tick. The bad news is that the tidings the ticking brings must come whether we like it or not.  

  So the changes we must experience now are so fundamental that many institutions will give way, especially those institutions we have believed so much in that we thought there would be no life without them. Yes, there will be living without them. Man belongs in a consistency outside of here. He is an alien on earth and this earth is not his home. By his very nature, there are rights that cannot be sold or bought. They may be buried during the maturing process that involves coming and going in being born, growing up and ageing and dying. But in the journey of life, there comes a time when incisive changes come for a new time to dawn. That time is now, and the earlier we recognise the spiritual dimension that anchors and sustains it, the better.  

  The point being made is that the human spirit in this part of creation is being exposed to rays that bring out the good in him, the bad in him and the ugly in him. The HIM under reference is the human being, whether he is white or red or pink or black; whether he is male or female, whether he is king or cleaner or whether he is a Muslim or a Christian. His core is the same in spite of his race or place of abode. The changes that must redefine the ways man must follow affect him and are structured to attend to his needs in his journey through the vastness that creation is.  

  All that happens in the growing of man for him to mature in creation is what I refer to as world events. So world events have nothing to do with news in newspapers or on radio or on television or the internet. They are programmed projects that the human person in that part of creation where he is located to grow from a seed grain to a mature spirit, must undertake to help in the growing. There is a time line for this growing and that time line waits for no man, in fact drags man along the path the journey is routed. It is like the morning which dawns with the appearance in the sky of the sun. It is like the night which comes with the disappearance of the sun in the eastern sky. But for each day and each night is a cosmic agenda for man, and for woman at the posts they find themselves.  

  Our leaders have failed at the posts they were assigned to or which they took by force. A post is a post and your being there, by hook or crook is a choice that the chore there must be performed, for the benefit of those who depend on that forum for their growing. The welfare and security of the citizens is why government is there. If those who access power by whatever means do not provide that welfare and that security, they in due time, will be enveloped by the disaster that reactions in the nature of Hosni Mubarak's experience in Egypt, bring. Once upon a time, people could bear the pain and grumble and shrug their shoulders. Not now because what the cosmic ticking clock promises is the emergence of the spiritual that must burn off all the dross that our sojourn in the depths of corruption covered. And so, after the cleansing, there shall be order and discipline in the Creation in which we are mere creatures, but refused to accept it. The pain of disobedience of the laws that gave us birth is just starting, and shall sweep through all the countries of this earth, including our dear country Nigeria.  

  Prince Tony Momoh, National Chairman, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Plot 1132, Festus Okotie Eboh Crescent, Utako District, Abuja, February 17, 2011.