Fenny Fwa writes:
In whatever we do, there are three levels of judgement. The judgement of the people which is commonsense, the judgement of the lawful courts which is grounded in law and there is the judgement of God which is sacred and final. The two judgements of men and law courts may be wrong or right. You the victim of judgement if you know you are right you shouldn’t be bothered because you are going to be vindicated by God either here on earth or thereafter. We have seen how God had changed the verdict of people and the law courts. Nelson Mandela had his judgement of life imprisonment upturned due to sustained pressure from the local and international communities. Remember the then apartheid regime condemned Mandela as a terrorist. Margret Thatcher who described Mandela as a terrorist hosted him to a state banquet before even becoming president. The villain had suddenly become the hero of the moment.
It was not only the apartheid regime and western countries that dreaded Mandela, even some forces within the South African struggle and even within his ANC vilified him.
Before Mandela could achieve his status as one of the greatest legends in the world,he met stiff resistance from his party. In fact some elements within his party- ANC led by Robert Sobukwe broke away and based their rebellion on the premises that Mandela and his group were too soft with apartheid regime. They therefore formed the Pan Africanist congress( PAC). It was very radical party that tilted towards communism.
Both the ANC and PAC leaders were too uncomfortable for apartheid regime and were both imprisoned in Robbin Island. I was twice at the island where no living creature inhabited. If yon visited the cells of both men ie Mandela and sobukwe you would feel more grief for sobukwe than Mandela. Mandela was kept in the general prison with adequate space for in doors facilities and engaged in working on the fields, Robert Sobukwe on the other hand was kept in a small cubicle and left alone and kept incommunicado because nobody was allowed to see him having been tagged a dangerous specie. When I saw his cell I wept for this man of valour. That kind of mental and physical torture might have contributed to him being infected by cancer of the lungs. Considered by the apartheid regime to be too dangerous, he was not allowed freedom of movement which his doctors on humanitarian grounds requested but the apartheid regime refused until he met his untimely death.
So Mandela’s application of wisdom in dealing with apartheid saved him the kind of treatment meted on his compatriot. His moderate views kept him therefore in the race of dismantling apartheid. This is a lesson for our extremists on issues.
The second internal resistance was from within ANC. When Mandela was released from prison, he saw the futility in armed struggle as it was not working because all their moves were thwarted with the sophisticated and ruthless apartheid security apparatus. He had to do something fast otherwise the struggle will loose steam. He went out of his way to engage the regime in night dialogue. When the ANC got wind of this they called him all sorts of names as a sell out. He was not deterred, but he soldiered on. He took very important internal decision which was to do way with bitterness, anger and un forgiveness. He also agreed to make some concessions to the apartheid regime which were: no confiscation of the whites properties and lands, some seats in the parliament were to be conceded to the whites as their exclusive preserves, there won’t be discrimination against the white minority. With these, the legend was able to secure majority rule for his people. Mandela despite the oppression, exploitation and dehumanization to him and his people in the hands of the apartheid regime, he kept to his own part of the bargain by ensuring that there was forgiveness and reconciliation and all the political and economic concessions were granted to the white minority and a rainbow country was borne. Mandela went beyond rhetoric to ensure that there was reconciliation by visiting the then 94 year old widow of the architect of apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd.
Mandela the greatest gift from Africa to mind kind and arguably the most celebrated leader in the history of the world was accused of being a terrorist by both the apartheid regime and western countries that didn’t deter him from rendering selfless service to his people. He was persecuted, jailed, dehumanized all didn’t stop him from moving forward. He was equally accused by his compatriots of being too soft to apartheid. For his extremism, Robert Sobukwe was targeted by apartheid for severe maltreatment and ended up not fulfilling his dream of a free South Africa. Mandela traducers that was the ANC stalwarts who accused him of sell out eventually were the beneficiaries of Mandela deft compromisers, dialogue and deft political engineering.
To those who think some of us that insists on moderation in dealing with our so called oppressors and are sell out must digest the moderate views of Mandela and see if they are on the right path. I don’t see where extremism had won any meaningful war. That because your are extremist doesn’t make you more committed to our people than some of us. It’s a matter of style and sometimes is embedded with thorns and impending doom. God created us not by our choice to live together in this contraption called Nigeria. We must find common ground to live together as Mandela did. South Africa’s case is worse than ours. Those who think some kind of bravado is what is required I wish them good luck. Me I’m a firm believer in Mandela’ s forgiving spirit, reconciliation, but without being a sell out. He knew what his people wanted and used a lot of wisdom, tact, tenacity which made him to succeed. Beside these extremists that accuse some of us of being sell out don’t come near us in having unassailable character. I have been in the service for solid 35 years and not for once have been accused of shortchanging the system. I had been to EFFC thrice. The first time they looked at our books for 7 years in the office of the Deputy gov and found nothing incriminating. On other two occasions, they verbally commended me for a job well done and released me and never invited me again. That is not to say I’m a saint because I have one way or other benefited unduly from the system, but I can swear that I never got involved in fraud, Phantom or ghost contracts, didn’t take what didn’t belong to me. I had worked in many MDAS and my staff have testified in my absence to many people of my ensuring due processes were followed and was always there for them, especially the junior staff. So why looking for favour to mortgaged my people after living the service. I’m highly contented with the little I have which is enough to pay my bills. I have never lobbied for any position in my life. Being perm sec was no big deal as I was eminently qualified for it. Even some of my juniors became PS before me and not that they were better than me, but that was their time. So relax the extremists as you don’t know me or you know me but chose to be mischievous for reasons best known to you. I now see why some People are found of unfriending friends and why Mark Zuckerberg introduced unfriend button.
Mandela’s method is in conformity with my master Jesus Christ who enjoined us to live in peace and harmony with one another and love our neigbours the way we love ourselves even if they hate us. His grace which is sufficient will see us through. Bitterness. anger, altercation and belligerence being exhibited my this our self professed heroes will lead to perdition, sorrows and blood. Name calling will not make you and any better than some us. It would rather give you a temporary applause and cheap popularity from narrow minded crowd.
Be wise, be truthful to yourself and conscience. Don’t be discouraged by anybody no matter his uncouth and sentimental language.
As I said the ultimate judge of our intentions is God. Not mere mortal. He will pass his verdict whether we are sell out or on patriotic duty for our fatherland.