Nov 1, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — 27 years ago, a young Pan Africanist, Maxist Revolutionary and one of African visionaries, Thomas Sankara, was brutally killed and hurriedly “buried in a sand like a dog”. Sankara was killed together with his twelve other officials by his former colleague, Blaise Compaoré in a coup d’état, however, he was never forgotten by the people of Burkina Faso and Africa for the last 27 years.
For the love of his country and Africa, Sankara renamed his country from the French colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (“Land of Incorruptible People”), however, captain Sankara is remembered most for his many remarkable programmes that he introduced during his 4 years in power: Among many other achievements, Sankara:
- Redistributed land from the feudal landlords to the peasants, the poor.
- Reduced the huge salaries of government officials, including his own.
- Sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5(cheapest car in Burkina Faso at the time) the official service car for the ministers.
- Refused to feed his people on foreign aid, saying “he who feeds you, controls you.”
- Sharply criticized neo-colonialism in AU, ECOWAS and other big forums.
- Converted army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket, opened to the rich and the poor.
- Refused to use air conditioning and other luxuries in his office because “they were not available to everyone”
- Reduced his salary to $450 a month and limited his wealth to 1 car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer.
- Launched one of the most ambitious programmes for social and economic change “ever attempted on the African continent”.
- Abolished chief’s privilege, among many others.
This week the people of Burkina Faso have ended the brutal regime of Blaise Compaoré . Such did not come without a price. The angry protestors, after days of turmoil, burned down the Parliament building and set ablaze the homes of president Compaore’s relatives and aides.
President Blaise Compaoré stepped down on Friday and the army has taken over. The people of Burkina Faso, especially the youth under 27 years old, are beginning a new chapter to have a new president and to define their future.
“When you imagine that our young men and women who are now 27 years old have known a single president, it’s absurd,” said Issouf Traore, a 44-year-old business owner who took to the streets this week to demand the president’s resignation