On Apostle of Peace, Goodluck Jonathan's peace visit to Burkina Faso

After 27 years of being under his tight fist leadership, the people of Burfina Faso came out in large number to denounce and resist attempts by former president Blaise Compaore to elongate his tenure as president of one of the poorest country in Africa. This resistance by the people has brought an end to 27 years of mis -rule and bad governance and a clear message to everybody that true power reside in the people, if only they will exercise it.

With the fate that befell Blaise Compaore, who is practically a fugitive today, one expects that other sit-tight governments in Africa will be on the alert. The likes of Paul Biya, Idriss Deby, Yoweri Museveni, Jose Eduardo Santos, Todore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Robert Mugabe and a host of others who have been in power for donkey years, would be jittery now. Burkina Faso seem to have initiated a revolution in West Africa, the kind that swept through North Africa few years ago, which saw the death of several protracted government like Hosni Murbarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia. One hopes that other countries will follow suit, restoring the dignity of their battered constitutions, by ensuring that spirit and letter of these constitutions are followed without the frequent abuse they are subjected to.

Suffice it to state that these revolution is not restricted to elongated governments alone. The people have also risen against governments that were perceived to be going against the interest of the generality of the people. An instance, is Mohammed Morsi of Egypt, who became president after the ouster of Mubarak. When they people discovered his was pursuing an agenda different from the aim of the revolution, they hit the street and he was sent packing. Therefore president or leader is safe, they people can decide to wield their ultimate power.

Nigeria as a country is not immune to a revolution. We tried it during the Occupy Nigeria protest. That protest would have laid a good foundation for a revolution that is to come, but the betray of some people thwarted that move. However, all hope is not lost. The way President Goodluck Jonathan has been handling the affairs of country, a revolution is closer than we think. When the revolution comes, all those who have plunged this country to the pit of underdevlopment, will be made to pay for the sins. Nobody will be spared.

In recent time, the onslaught by boko haram has been growing in leaps and bound. Fierce attacks and capture of town and cities, has been the order of the day. The recent one is the capture and subsequent renaming of Mubi; the capture of Vimtim, the home town of Alex Badeh, Nigeria's Chief of Defence Staff and so many other towns which fallen to the terrorists. Pictures of people escaping from the new islamic caliphate are everywhere. My friend spent days in the bush before he found he days out of Mubi. Boko Haram now has close to ten local governments under its control, and it is not relenting in its quest to capture more. Recent attacks in Yobe, Gombe and the Kotun Karfe prison in Kogi State, where it freed its members is a pointer to this fact.

The situation is the country is grave and one that calls for drastic measure by the Commander-in-Chief. Sadly, this Commander in Chief is known for abdicating on his primary responsibility to the people. For instance, when the Chibok girls were kidnapped, he didn't believe they were actually kidnapped. The agitation by the international community woke him from his slumber. True to his nature, Mr. President has traveled to Burkina Faso as an apostle of peace, to broker peace while his country lies in ruin. At a time when Nigeria faces the greatest threat to its existence, one expects the president to be always at home busying himself on ways to find solutions and not globe trotting all in the name of brokering peace. Can you give what you don't have? What if while trying to broker peace in Burkina Faso, boko haram overruns the whole of Nigeria?

Although I am not surprised with the president's peace journey to Burkina Faso, because for Jonathan, it has been one blunder after another. I am however astonished and terrified by the passivity of Nigerians. When shall we as a people rise up in unity and demand accountability from those who masquerade as our leaders? We shall we give them the option to either secure our lives or resign honourably? When will Nigerians hit the streets and demand a change in their destiny and the destiny of the country. We cannot continue like this.

At the moment, the primary concern of President Goodluck Jonathan is redeeming his image abroad; that is why he is on a peace mission in Burkina Faso. We must as a people realise that Jonathan is not Nigeria. His personal successes will not translate into a Nigerian success. Nigerians must reclaim the image of Nigeria in the comity of nations. This passivity will not take us anywhere. I pray the revolution comes in my life time.

God bless Nigeria
Frank Ijege
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Articles by Frank O. Ijege