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Text of report by private Nigerian newspaper The Guardian website on 12 February
[Commentary by Reuben Abati: "Abati: The Fall of Mubarak; A Nation's Turning Point"]
As at Thursday, February 10, Egypt's Husni Mubarak was still talking down on angry Egyptian protesters who for weeks had been telling him they were fed up with his leadership and would rather embrace change. Even his Vice President, Omar Suleiman addressed the people as if they did not quite matter. Both men were mistaken. By Friday, the Mubarak government had fallen, with the 82-year old dictator and his family running away from Cairo. Mubarak didn't need to double check if he was still popular with the people: for 18 days, they had waged a principled war against him, insisting that he must give way so Egypt could progress. His exit resulted in a lot of dancing in the streets and shouts of Allah hu Akbar! The lessons of Mubarak's fall are so well known they probably bear no repetition. Political leaders are invariably at the mercy of the people.
The failure to realise this led to the French Revolution, the Velvet Revolution, the Rose Revolution, the Yellow Revolution, the Jasmine Revolution and now the Egyptian or Lotus Revolution. History is full of tales of so many dictators who had fallen because the people rose against them: Louis VXI, Idi Amin Dada, Papa Doc Duvalier, Baby Doc Duvalier, Collor de Mellor, the Nigerian military and so on. The details are all so painfully similar: the dictator, having spent so many years in office, and believing falsely in his own invincibility, soon becomes the victim of his own hubris. What has been proven in Egypt is that the nation is bigger than every individual, and that real power is in the hands of the people.