Power is versatile, transient and force-oriented. From whatever perspective one looks at it, power is extremely domineering and mighty in nature. Every genre of power, be it electrical, mechanical, physical, political or spiritual, has different characteristics. Some are electrically or mechanically driven, others by instinct as directed by the notions of one or more persons put together as policies to administer organisations, or constitutions to govern nations. Although they all work hand in glove to propel the entire world, political power and any power meant to rule at any level are prone to selfishness, callousness, partisanship and insensitivity. Power is also driven by murderous ego and evil-oriented forces. The gods of power have similar characteristics with the gods of money. Sadly, the path to power bristles with corruption.
Power is a cardinal element in politics or any position of authority. Therefore, a power-hungry person can heartlessly do anything to acquire power. Certainly, the desire of most power-holders is to remain on the apex of the power pyramid. But, they forget that power has the tendency for diminishing returns, and its golden rule is “quit when the ovation is loudest”.
Philosophically, the gods of power are motivated by their aboriginal and satanic principles. Diabolically and spiritually, these evil forces boost the egos of most of the uncivilised political leaders in power. As a result, they become deaf and unable to comprehend and digest public opinion in good faith. Without caring, they flaunt executive lawlessness to the detriment of their own lives and the socio-economic progress of the citizens.
Civilised people want to acquire power for the development of the human person, and for the socio-economic wellbeing of their constituencies. But greedy persons acquire power for personal gain. Unfortunately, they are oblivious of the fact that abuse of power triggers public provocation and attracts exasperation and therefore calls for change. And that is why power holders are restless, and always on the run from the unseen.
Yes, while in power, you could make plenty of money, jail all those that have different opinions, or ideologies. You could as well eliminate those you think could torpedo your government. That is power for you. It is possible that you have the powers of all the tiers of government in your pocket and have the delusion that you have got the whole world in your palm. In addition, because of the large number of thugs, police personnel and soldiers that you keep as bodyguards, and because when sanctimonious prophets and witch doctors have assured you of safety, you may blindly see yourself as indestructible, forgetting that the precept of the gods of power is to mislead and destroy power holders.
Under the deceptive and jinx-like influence of the gods of power, many who have become power-drunk are making temporary waves as they ride on the back of lions, and silently suffer the trepidation of disembarking from their ride. Leaders are prone to being sized up. Their every step is evaluated and judged, mostly by their enemies. Absolutely, every leader is a sitting target. So, in a charged polity, no amount of personal security and black-power can save or harbour power abusers.
Approaching the dangerous lapses of numerous governments with levity and ego attracts incessant and constructive criticisms. So, bad leaders who were disgraced out of office and still have their heads on their shoulders should count their blessings. History has shown that security mounted by man has no meaning when a person or group is becoming too powerful to be managed by those they govern. Their comeuppance is removal at all costs, or sometimes murderous attacks.
Personal security is meaningful only when you take the transience of power into account. For instance, Julius Caesar’s best friend, Brutus, and other senators killed him in broad daylight. Indiran Gandhi also was killed by her personal guards. Where was the security agency of the Israeli leader, Yitzhak Rabin, when Yigal Amir shot and killed him? President Laurent Kabila of Congo was shot and killed by his own bodyguard.
The dynamics of civilisation introduced democracy and written constitutions to the political world. Ironically, only a few nations are strictly observing the principles of the game to the benefit of mankind.
The offensive odour from the decadence of the unlimited abuse of democratic power and the high level of absolutism for the sake of personal interest pervade the world’s political environment! It is therefore a statement of fact that, in many countries, particularly Africa, past presidents are always better than those of their successors! Nigeria is not exemption.
Suffice it to say that in Nigeria, economic poverty has forced the governed and the patriots into poverty of character. Consequently, it is a crying shame that push is gradually coming to shove and the ball of anarchy has been centralised. It is only true federalism pivoted on genuine democracy that can save the dangerous and avoidable situation.
By Tunde Temionu, Ojota, Lagos
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