The greatest legacy leadership can bequeath is hope…Ena E. Orugbo
The aftermath of recent revolutions depicts the attributes and limitations of revolutions. For example, Egypt has since returned to status quo with the metamorphosis of El-Sisi into a civilian President and Libya has remained a battle field with persistent clashes between militias. On the contrary, Singapore metamorphosed from a third to first world without the promptings of a revolution. The United Arab Emirate (UAE) was transformed from a resource to tourism dependent economy without a revolution. Therefore, it is proper to state that Nigeria will metamorphose from a GDP per capita of $3,000 to $30,000 without a revolution. However, there is a need to peruse revolutions through the paradigms of victims, viewers and victors.
The influence under which strategic decisions are taken is what determines whether people end up as victims, viewers or victors. For example, it is commonplace in developed nations for persons frustrated with their current circumstances to contemplate and commit suicide. Nigeria’s foremost preacher, Dr. Tunde Bakare defines suicide as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This piece tweaks and defines a revolution as a temporary solution to a permanent problem. For example, Ukraine’s revolutionaries solved a permanent problem (Ukraine’s east west divide) with a temporary solution (forceful removal of then President Viktor Yanukovych) thus creating more victims such as the 289 passengers of downed MalaysianFlight MH17.
Faster advancements in Information Communication Technology (ICT) align with growing appetite for real time information by viewers. For example, it was insightful and memorable to follow events as they occurred at Tahrir square in 2011. However, recent happenings such as the downing of the Malysian Flight MH17 show that viewers are also potential victims. In this regard, the Malian and Nigerian authorities have linked a surge in terrorist activities in their respective nations to the aftermath of the Libyan revolution. IHS Global insights also reports that the Egyptian revolution took crude oil prices to their highest levels since 2008. It is pertinent to note that western viewers are usually perplexed and worse off when crude oil prices increase.
Most revolutions leave certain classes of people better off, opposition politicians and the media. These classes of politicians are not necessarily better than upturned politicians but become favourites because nature abhors a vacuum. However, the Egyptian re-revolution has left supposedly victors (Morsi and the Muslim brotherhood) as victims. In the case of the media, the coverage of few and far between events/revolutions provides a rare opportunity to make media capital. This media capital requires unique capabilities and comes at great risk. For example, the Doha Centre for Media Freedom has compiled a list of 110 professional and citizen media practitioners that have been killed in the course of the Syrian revolution.
This piece has attempted to peruse the attributes and limitations of revolutions through the paradigms of victims, viewers and victors. Results from this piece shows that the transformation of Singapore and the UAE had the promptings of inspirational leadership not a revolution. Further results show that untamed zeal for change tends to drive a people to solve long term challenges with short term solutions. These short term solutions such as revolutions create more victims than viewers and victors because revolutions are impulsive and the world is now a global village. This piece recommends that proponents of a Nigerian revolution should re-evaluate their standpoint and appreciate that a burning bush has no defined path.
Dr Ena E. Orugbo is a Forensic Decision Analyst/Public Infrastructure Expert