Imagine you were a teacher who taught what you did not practice. Envisage you did not lead by example as a teacher. What would you expect your students to learn from you? Have you ever heard of one pointing an accusing finger at someone else while the rest of the accuser’s fingers are ironically pointing at him/her?
Human beings can be a bunch of hypocrites and sycophants, who would rather have no qualms trying to remove the log in someone’s eye while they have an elephant taking a siesta inside their own eyes.
“You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
To have the guts to preach holiness to others, while one is themselves a sinner shows the level of bigotry, duplicity and indeed, shamelessness human beings have reduced themselves to. Welcome to Africa. Pay your homage to African leaders.
The recent political earthquake in Sudan has, if not anything, given African leaders the right opportunity to practice their blatant hypocrisy as well as expose their chutzpah. In a meeting of African presidents today in Egypt today, African leaders had given Sudan’s ruling military council more time, and to be specific, three months, to introduce, what African leaders called “democratic reform” in Sudan. Definitely, such an order is a welcomed development. The good people of Sudan must have a say in who rules them and what exactly they want from their leaders. That is the democratic right of every Sudanese, which must not be denied from them. However, the condition from African leaders came as a surprise. Yes, a surprise; not because it is a bad decision on the part of African Presidents or a wrong signal to the military in Sudan. No. It is only a big surprise to many who never knew African leaders really understood what the term “democratic reform” meant. Has this nomenclature existed in African leaders’ dictionary of good governance all these years? One wonders!
Is the democratic reform African leaders demand from Sudan’s military junta the same or different from the one being practised in Egypt, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Chad, Guinea, Guinea Bissau…. Are you still counting?
That brings us to an important question, or puzzle if you like. If African leaders knew what “democratic reform” was, why haven’t they introduced or initiated it in their various countries? Yet another question: If African leaders have made themselves immune or allergic to “democratic reform,” which moral ground do they have to prescribe “democratic reform” to Sudan’s military? For the sake of clarity, “democratic reform” is the mother of development, so for any country to progress, active democracy is seriously necessary and needed. However, you cannot teach something you do not know about, practice or have an ability to enforce. Nor can you prescribe a democratic medicine, while you cannot cure your own democratic meningitis. That exposes your level of moral bankruptcy and double standard.
Clearly, with the latest attempt by the military in Sudan to hang on to power and the decision by the protesters in Sudan to cut any direct negotiation with the military, the situation in Sudan could degenerate into more conflicts and uncertainties. Hence, it is understandable that the current Chairman of the African Union (AU), Egyptian leader Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had called on the military in Sudan to initiate democratic reform. Yes, initiate democratic reform – just like al-Sisi has done in Egypt, perhaps.
Happily, General Abdul Fatah al-Burhan, the head of the Transitional Military Council of Sudan has assured the public that his troops would not use force against protesters, who have been demanding an end to military rule and a total hand over power from military to civilians. General Burhan has equally assured the public his willingness to step down and hand over power to civilians albeit the oppositions must reach a political agreement on how they will take over power.
If General Burhan could keep his words and hand over power to the civilian who will usher in democratic reforms, definitely, that would be an encouraging development and indeed, a huge consolation for democratic hungry Sudanese, who have demanded nothing less than a full democracy and the rule of law.
Perhaps, other African leaders will soon learn a democratic lesson from the Sudanese. That would indeed help close African leaders’ political nakedness, minimize their shamelessness, and hypocrisy as well. That done, African leaders would have the moral authority to point an accusing finger on others as well as teach democracy lessons to those who have run short of democratic credentials, without losing credibility and respect themselves.