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Macron: Lessons for Nigeria ― By Emmanuel Onwubiko


A political phenomenon which is compared to the French revolution headed by the irrepressible  General Napoleon Bonaparte has just happened in France thus reinforcing the strong doubts i do have about the expression that lightening  doesn’t strike twice in one place.

This phenomenal political revolution devoid of violence or rancour that I’m talking about is the 2017 French presidential election which culminated in the emergence of the 39-year old Mr. Emmanuel Macron as the winner by a decisive margin. 

The independent centrist Macron reportedly  scored 60.3 percent of the votes while his rival; Marine Le Pen got 39.7 percent. 

In the emergence of this young but upwardly mobile politician, political lightning has struck twice and in fact the symbolism of his election after such a tensed political atmospherics  has wider ramifications not just for France but the European Union and the global community. 

Just before the second round of the Presidential poll took place, the electoral commission of France alerted the World of frenetic effort made by some hackers with suspicious links to Kremlin in Russia to hack into the campaign systems of Emmanuel Macron With the overall objective of interfering to influence the outcomes of the election. 

The hackers succeeded but the quick intervention of the Electoral umpires to stop the French media from circulating the private and campaign emails hacked from the party office of Emmanuel Macron contributed in no small way to ensure that there was level playing field for both candidates. 

Macron who is a strong supporter of European Union is an opponent of Russian President Mr. Putin who had invaded Ukraine and annexed a large chunk of that sovereign state in an attempt to stop the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation from gaining in-road to Russian Federation through Ukraine.  European Union is on the side of Ukraine in the ongoing civil war with Russia. 

On the other hand Ms. Marine LePen is opposed to EU and therefore is seen as the favourite of Mr. Putin who is pleased to see EU disintegrate. 

The victory of Emmanuel Macron is viewed as victory for a united Europe and indeed the German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is soon to undergo political baptism of fire in the soon to be conducted German election heaved a sense of relief upon learning that French voters have rejected far right candidate who hates European Union passionately. 

In the United Kingdom the Prime minister Mrs. Theresa May who has called for a snap national poll in June is happy with the outcome because she anchored her Conservative party’s campaign on seeking for strong mandate to be able to negotiate fairly with the European Union over the Brexit.  

If LePen had won, the negotiations between UK and EU wouldn’t have been easy because the whole of Europe would have heaped the blame for the eventual exit of France from EU on the British voters. Thankfully, the French voters have decided to remain in the European Union.  Theresa May has already congratulated both Emmanuel Macron and the French voters for their choice.

Before analysing the implicit import of this French electoral revolution of 2017 it would be nice to refresh our minds with the fascinating story of the much talked about Napoleon Bonaparte so as to more appropriately position this emerging World leader Emmanuel Macron in his right place of historical honour and to clearly underscore the implied significance especially to Nigerians and Africans where by sit-tight rulership has destroyed the economic and democratic credentials of our Continent and has made Africa a laughing stock in the comity of nations. 

Countries such as Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea; Cameroon; Chad,  Congo-Kinshasha and Uganda still have political dictators who seized power even whilst Emmanuel Macron was a two year old. 

But let’s review just a few historical events that characterized the Napoleonic era so as to reassert the correlationship with the contemporary French Political tsunami that has just brought in the Young Emmanuel Macron who only formed his Centrist Socialist Party last year.

In seeking verifiable information about this great French political statesman of all times we have to consult the authoritative website known as www.biography.com. 

In this great work of scholarship we learnt that the Military general and first emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio, Corsica, France.

These writers stated that Bonaparte remains One of the most celebrated leaders in the history of the West, and that he revolutionized military organization and training, sponsored Napoleonic Code, reorganized education and established the long-lived Concordat with the papacy. 

He died on May 5, 1821, on the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. 

Before his emergence France had witnessed tumultuous times and high profile executions. 

But the comparisons of  Bonaparte and Emmanuel Macrons ends not only with the historical significance that he is the youngest President elect since after Bonaparte. 

The contemporary challenges posed by mass poverty of the urban youthful populations and the incursions into France of extreme Islamic fundamentalism can be situated side-by- side with the internal political crises and schisms that unleashed themselves that resulted in the military take over of political power by this ambitious General Napoleon Bonaparte.  

As stated, the other existential nexus with the era of Bonaparte and Emmanuel Macron’s epoch is that whereas France faced internal political squabbles and instability leading to the emergence of the military General Napoleon Bonaparte to the coveted political office as the Leader of France, France right now is awash with situations of near anarchy created by the fear of terrorists. 

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