Will African Leaders Learn The Compaore Lesson?

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Following the resignation of the military dictator-turned-politician and former Burkina Faso President, Blaise Compaore, on Friday after violent protests over his audacious attempt to extend his 27-year rule, the question one might ask is: Will other African leaders learn a lesson from the Compaore nemesis?

In an unprecedented move, the former strongman of Burkina Faso, who had stubbornly rejected earlier warnings to step down after his office term, as well as ignored the Nebukadnezaral   handwriting on the wall, repeatedly urging him not to change the constitution to extend his 27 year old sit-tight rule, Blaise Compaore, is forced to flee the country amidst earthquake ““ protests never witnessed in Burkina Faso. It did not help that the armed forces, whose loyal support former President Blaise Compaore staunchly counted upon, suddenly saw the reality and shifted their alliance to the citizens. Did Blaise Compaore need to consult Prophet TB Joshua to know that his time was up?   As if TB Joshua had not had enough of late following the collapse of his building which had left many of his trusted worshippers dead!!

But come to think about it, human beings ““ and indeed African leaders – being what they are, even if TB Joshua (tell me who is the witness to our communication with God!) would tell them otherwise, their greed, back up with insatiable thirst for power and money would block their sense and sensibility and urge them to ignore the warnings. It becomes worse, when one has tasted power and survived the African stormy political waters. Hear Oga (Sorry Field Marshal Idi Amin, “The Conqueror of the British Empire”) “I am not afraid of men, but God, for I`ve survived nine (coup) attempts.“ Furthermore, the self proclaimed “King of Africa“ Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi   ignored all warnings of immediate doom and rather called his opponents “cockroaches“ only for the same cockroaches to become the Armageddon that brought his tyrannical regime – and indeed his life – to an end.   Tired of talking about the deaths? Wasn`t it said that the same TB Joshua reportedly warned the likes of   Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe and Malema of South Africa that they would continue dreaming fruitlessly to rule their countries till “Thou Kingdom Come?“ Does that prophetic warning force the two ambitious political juggernauts to proceed on an indefinite political sabbatical leave? Clearly not!

“How can you prove those warnings are from God? Was I there when God gave him those messages?` An aide to Morgan Tsvangirai asked Kata Kata`s reporter sarcastically.

However, the same aide did not explain to our reporter what prompted his boss to seek the divine prophecy he knew he would doubt. Perhaps, he was not told exactly what he wanted to hear, after all, are African leaders not products of sycophancy?

Apparently, you now understand why former President, Blaise Compaore confidently believed that he would calm the political storm in his Burkina Faso ““ despite all the warnings and intelligence reports that his people would resist his attempt to change the constitution to prolong his stay in power? If Compaore, who many believe, heartlessly killed his bosom friend, the beloved Thomas Sankara in the 1987 coup, that ushered him in as the country`s leader, could manipulate and maneuver the political mathematics of the country and survive coup attempts, why would one expect him to listen to the conventional wisdom? Why would he not believe he could outsmart his people and prolong his stay in power? For a leader who had acted as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the West African politics, former President Blaise Compaore had shown himself to be overconfident. From entering into an unholy political marriage with the likes of Gaddafi and convicted Charles Taylor of Liberia, igniting political violence and war in the neighbouring Ivory Coast and Guinea and recently allowing the infamous Boko Haram to use his territory as a base to carry out their outrageous attacks in Nigeria, despite fruitless appeals by the Nigerian government to close the base, Blaise Compaore must have believed in his invincibility. But invincibility could be right a word to use having in mind that the same Compaore often acted as an inevitable power cum peace broker in the region, by trying to solve those political fires the former President,  himself had ignited. It did not help that the UNO Secretary-General Mr. Ban recently praised Mr. Compaore for his “tireless“ contribution towards peace in the region. All these put together, wouldn`t that give any gullible leader the aura of invincibility and indispensability? Probably yes, but the question is how does one use those attributes? Does one allow the position to block their senses and reality on the ground? Thank you for not expecting me to answer that question.

Generally, a very peaceful people, could former President Compaore and his cronies ever have believed that the angry protesters in thousands pouring on the streets, would have ever mustered the courage to storm the State television and radio, which subsequently ceased broadcast operations during the day? Would President Compaore had expected that the same citizens who had endured his 27-year-old iron-hand rule would angrily bombard the parliament building, where his political lovers were busy preparing to hatch the evil plans of amending the country`s constitution to extend Mr. Compaore`s tenure of office?

Perhaps, since the former President, Blaise Compaore is ““ for now – safe and “relaxing“ (indeed, if I am sure my wealth and interests in minerals are safeguarded) in Ivory Coast, he could do justice to the above question. Or to the two CDs from the legendary reggae star   Peter Tosh, we authoritatively gathered from our source, given to Mr Compaore as a present by one of his trusted soldiers before he escaped to Ivory Coast. Now safe in “his“ new country, President, Blaise Compaore could quietly listen to the CD.

“You can fool some people sometimes,
But you can’t fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light (What you gonna do?),
We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!)

Shocked, the former President Compaore, switched off the music furiously. “I trusted that bastard.“   He murmured. But the same adrenaline grand that gave him power to outsmart the opponents, tactically pushed him to play the second CD:

Downpressor man
Where you gonna run to?
“¦“¦
Sadly, according to Kata Kata`s mole in Ivory Coast, Compaore is not at peace. Whether his new state of mind is caused by the two CDs or the latest development.. or both,   is hard to tell. However, Like the Shakespearean Macbeth, Blaise Compaore, knows no peace. He has murdered peace; and sleep. The ghost of Sankara has not died. The economic interests of Blaise Compaore are left behind in Burkina Faso. The hidden atrocities he committed during his 27 year in power will soon be exposed. The ICC is gnashing its toothless legal teeth (don`t forget, Blaise Compaore is another African!!). Suddenly, Compaore had realized that there is a limit to manipulation. Waking up from his earlier stubborn refusal to quit, not even a late face ““saving announcement that the presidency was vacated and his suggestion that the election would be held within 90 days could now appease the raged rioting citizen, who obviously were fed up with their president.

“In order to preserve the democratic gains, as well as social peace, I declare a power vacuum to allow the establishment of a transition leading to free and fair elections within a maximum of 90 days. For my part, I think I have fulfilled my duty.” Blaise Compaore`s statement reads.

What! The impromptu democrat realizes he has “˜fulfilled his duty“! Perhaps, many citizens of Burkina Faso had expected   such a message from their former president many years ago. Most likely Blaise Compaore`s nemesis would not have been compounded if he had done his best to truly preserve the political gains of Burkina Faso by leaving the political arena when the ovation was highest. By trying to preserve the political gains of his country, Blaise Compaore would have equally preserved his own political and economic gains cum interests. By so doing, Blaise Compaore would have, probably, written his name in the sacred book of the wise African leaders. Now that Blaise Compaore had decided to ignore history and rather   chosen to rely on his delusional idea of invincibility and indispensability backed up by insatiable greed for economic gains and power, he has ended up losing almost all he had stood to gain. Now a refugee in another country, instead of a Statesman with honour in his country, Blaise Compaore has once again demonstrated that human being can hardly learn from the history.

In order to preserve the democratic gains, isn`t wise for the African Methuselah leaders to leave the political arena so that they may not be consumed by the power vacuum they created? Will other African leaders learn the Compaore lesson ““ and probably from his second CD?

You are listening:
Downpressor man
Where you gonna run to?
“¦“¦
You gonna run to the sea
But the sea will be boiling“¦“¦
You gonna run to the rocks
The rocks will be melting“¦..

You can run, but you can’t hide
“¦..You gonna run to the Lord
Begging Him to hide you
All, all along the day

You can’t bribe, no one
(Downpressor man)
Them no want no money
[Incomprehensible] money
(Downpressor man)
‘Cause money get funny
(Downpressor man)

Whether the former Burkina Faso President, Blaise Compaore is listening to the lyrics or gnashing his teeth is irrelevant at this point. One thing is certain: it is too late for him to correct his mistakes. But it is indeed not, for the present African leaders.

The above story is a parody. It is entirely fictitious; therefore none of the characters mentioned in the story are real.