I've watched with the rest of the world as the people of Egypt stood up to Hosni Mubarak and won their freedom. However, I can't shake this feeling of Déjà Vu as I see the jubilant faces in Tahir square, and hear the promises of the military to hand over power to a democratically elected government at some point in the near future.
I've seen it all before.
Africa has a sad and recurrent political cycle which goes thus:
1. People feel/are oppressed
2. A hero rises and liberates the people
3. The liberator assumes leadership, amidst great celebrations
4. Said liberator overstays his welcome
5. The hero turned villain is deposed by the military, and there is dancing in the streets
6. New military leadership promises elections, but repeatedly break their promise
7. The people feel oppressed.
Rinse, and repeat.
Having grown up in Nigeria, I've seen this cycle repeat itself several times. Therefore, I'm highly skeptical of the military's plan to hand over power to an elected government anytime soon. I wish the people had allowed Mubarak to leave in a constitutional manner, after which they would have had the chance to elect a new leader. Now, I fear that Egypt is in danger of becoming a long-term military state. Time will tell if my fears are unfounded. I do hope I'm pleasantly surprised.