BurkinaStyle: 'Take Back Your Power'

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Thomas Sankara, who loved his African people, relaxing -- listen to the speech that got him killed three months later

"The consent of the people is the sole basis of a government's authority" (Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Social Contract 1762).

BurkinaStyle promotes the just proposition of -- Power of the people, for the people, by the people in a United Africa liberated from dictatorship.

Preventing tyranny begins with presidential term limits. Whosoever pronounces himself or herself ruler for life has declared war against the citizenry.

People in every country have a right to seize back Power from any tyrant; in this struggle they must be supported by everyone who support Democracy and the rule of law.

The natural and mineral resources of the nation, and public positions including in government, must be distributed equitably among the different ethnic groups and regions.

Power must be decentralized and people must play the determining role in how they are to be governed.

When Kwame Nkrumah stood on a podium in Accra to declare Ghana's independence in 1957 the entire Global African community celebrated; at long last an ugly chapter in Africa's history, colonial exploitation, racism and tyranny had come to a close. Africans could now use the continent's immense mineral and natural wealth for the benefit of Africans.

The euphoria didn't last long.

Nkrumah was not the first or last leader who loved Africa to be stabbed in the back and overthrown. Patrice Lumumba and others were similarly betrayed.

Today Africa's potential remains arrested by many betrayers. Instead of European colonizers the new tyranny is imposed by African dictators and their foreign enablers.

The African dictator today plays the role of colonial governors.

Yet Africa has produced great leaders and activists who make us all proud and inspire us. To name a few in addition to Nkrumah: Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Samora Machel, Tom Mboya, Steve Biko, Kenneth Kaunda, Winnie Mandela, Wangari Maathai and many others.

There have also been rulers who brought much horrific bloodshed and destruction, including: Gen. Idi Amin, Gen. Jean Bedel Bokassa, Gen. Mobuttu, and Macias Nguema.

Destructive despotism, depriving Africans the opportunity to realize their full intellectual and entrepreneurial potential and to develop the continent, accompanied by mass killings of innocent citizens, continued under militarists like Gen. Paul Kagame and Gen. Yoweri Museveni.

Earlier, when all seemed lost in Africa, there emerged in the 1980s, a young leader in what later became Burkina Faso;  Thomas Sankara. He preached African unity, incorruptibility, self-reliance, and the Global African community was again inspired.

Sankara too was betrayed -- assassinated by Blaise Compaore in 1987. Compaore ruled until 2014. When he tried to amend the Constitution in order to prolong his corrupt regime he was driven into exile.

The Burkinabe led by the youth took back their Power.

The post-Compaore transitional government was overthrown on September 17, 2015, by Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a Compaore loyalist. Once again the Burkinabe, emboldened by the spirit and memory of Sankara, rose up and took back their Power. 

Diendere's illegal regime collapsed in a mere one week. In addition to being charged with murder -- 10 people died and 100 were wounded during the coup -- Gen. Diendere and his exiled boss, ex-dictator Compaore have been charged in the 1987 execution of Sankara.

What a Great Moment of African awakening.

Nkrumah's generation, with the youth, defeated once-mighty European colonialism in Africa.

Mandela's generation, with the youth, defeated apartheid in South Africa.

Today's generation must reject divide-and-rule policies to defeat dictatorship everywhere in Africa.

The humble and proud Burkinabe proved that Power comes from and belongs to the People.

So, following BurkinaStyle, Africans everywhere must take back their Power.

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