By Boney Akaeze
There’re three means to power both economic and political. They’re fortune/providence, prowess and lastly; crime.
Once power is possessed, the natural tendency is to consolidate, preserve and sustain it.
Out of these three means to power, crime is the quickest but unfortunately, the power acquired by it is the most difficult to sustain and will more often than not, bring the possessor to ruin but not without leaving behind, legacies of lathal wreckage of very sociological foundation of society.
Those who gained power by fortune/providence will naturally be ethical in power and are hardly disposed to adopt violence as means to sustaining themselves in power unless when it is violence necessitated by the exigencies of public good. When such men are inherently men of prowess, they’re real statement, if not, the State trusted to them will face the danger of those who seek power by crime
Those who got to it by prowess are normally great strategists and tactitians. In business, they’re great entrepreneurs and in politics, they’re empire builders. Those nurtured into sound character and learning among them are great leaders of men and nations while those among them lacking in these character and learning attributes will often use power first and foremost; as a means to capital accumulation. They’re perhaps, the most dangerous leaders any nation can have. The best they achieve in power is selfishly crafted ‘pareto efficiency’, efficiency without equity and fairness.
In political leadership, Nigeria has got more people who accessed power by crime than by fortune and prowess. This is while the country is at best, a country governed by cooperate parasites and bandits and is incapable of being democratic and stable. Like Prof. Claude Ake of blessed memory will say; the country gravitates around moral regression and material poverty. This is what explains the endemic poverty in our country and how we typify Henry George’s Progress and Poverty, as well as a fitting metaphor for Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘The Deserted Village’ where Kings and princes reign and flourish but bold peasantry remains their nation’s pride.
A restructured Nigeria with leaders of same prevailing orientation towards power especially public office, won’t be fundamentally different from the Nigeria we all detest today. Humans will always reproduce the system that socialised them.
Boney Akaeze, Executive Director of Centre for Citizenship Capacity Advancement and Development Alternatives, 3CADA, writes from Asaba.