“Man is a political animal; the only being that lives in organized communities, in which relations are regulated” – Aristotle (384-322BC)
The political season comes and goes as it wills. Year in, year out, all forms of elections at all levels of administration do well to catch the attention of the man on the street; the signs and symptoms appear in every nook and cranny.
Some, previously quite reserved with regard to general manner and disposition to debate and other forms of political discourse, seem to suddenly develop “superhuman” oratory skills, all in a quest to convince the populace of their ability to turn situations around.
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Posters appear everywhere, advertising the hopefuls in all ways, each being portrayed as the best of the lot, with the Midas touch to cause an impact when voted into power. But then the question arises: why this seemingly “crazy” quest for power?
A myriad of answers then drop in:
- Some believe they could improve existing state of affairs when given the nod and are in control of available resources.
- Others believe that they are naturally gifted with the leadership ability, hence can improve upon the present state of affairs with their skills and abilities.
- A third group approach the issue from a messianic point of view – to them they are the “chosen ones” specially created to deliver all and sundry from long-inflicted woes!
Then a second question drops in:
Do you necessarily have to be in power to provide help or save a situation?
This question tends to knock them off balance, and in a bid to regain their posture, they come out with responses such as:
- “When in power, you tend to have the authority to direct the execution of pressing projects and programmes, and you are obeyed forthright”.
- “Power draws attention to you. You are recognized as a leader, hence there is the possibility of effectively coordinating procedures, unlike when you are not”.
- “Your followers get to know exactly what you have in mind for them faster and easier than when you do something on a personal note”.
In a quest to attain power and authority, huge sums of monies are pumped into elaborate campaign strategies, which tempts one to wonder if it wouldn’t have been better if such monies were appropriately channeled into other ventures.
It’s interesting to note that in spite of this, some of them, with confidence, declare that their overriding desire is to help their followers out of their woes.
Followers expect a lot from colleagues who find themselves in leadership, and as such, anything short of this would be misrepresented as an abuse of office, since that has become tag that is placed on almost everyone who expresses interest in leadership. Such persons are branded as corrupt, simply because the level of trust placed in such people have been abused over the years.
The time to change that perception is now! Leaders are expected to put in place measures to create the impression of credibility and accountability; sugar-coated words should be a thing of the past, and a voice for the voiceless should come to the rescue.
Realistic programmes and policies should be put in place to improve the welfare of the ordinary person and politicians should spare us the agony of hoping for things to come, yet waiting in vain.
The world is ours to protect. It’s up to us to rise up and elects leaders with clear-cut visions, not ones with oratory skills and advertising strategies.
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