“In everything there is a season, to every purpose there is time”, goes one of my favorite songs. Some journalists called it a “leaderless uprising”, Aljazeera captioned the news with the headline, “Egypt’s Revolution”.
I prefer PEOPLE POWER. Early Sociologists have predicted causes of change as applies to society, among which conflict sits tightly and lingers unassumingly. It is not that leaders do not realize their mistakes at certain points in time, rather, the level of power drunkenness, coupled with misleading reports from the favorites they surround themselves with do not allow them to keep their eyes open. They are most often than not disillusioned in the “executive isolation” they create for themselves and as such, they realize their mistakes almost always rather too late. In recent times, people across the world have registered their displeasure against governments by exercising what I call the “people power” by going all out to do what they think will better drive their message home.
I cannot really tell from where it started but I do remember France, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and the all famous and historic one in Egypt which perhaps better demonstrated that power indeed lies in the hands of the people. An aggressive approach towards the request for change, the kind which Hosni Mubarak least expected-at least not within eighteen days- is inherent in today’s’ societies as leaders become more and more corrupt, power drunk and sophisticated in deceit and indirect autocracy. President Mubarak sought more time but neither teargas nor pro-Mubarak supporters could control the “people”, an obviously aggravated crowd, neither could it buy him more time. That is people power. There comes a time when the people will exercise their power, when various attempts to stop them will be to no avail, when the people will demand what is rightfully theirs irrespective of how many are killed in the process. The Goal then, will be only one-CHANGE-and it will be pursued without compromise.
Egypt is a typical example. I happen to imagine in my wildest fantasies, a time when ballot boxes will be empty all across Africa, when the people will be tired of the routine of voting because they cannot smell, let alone feel the change they are routinely promised; because the trend of corruption has not just assumed a permanent and irreversible pattern among political leaders but has successfully permeated ALL aspects of society; because the rich become richer and the poor gets poorer; because the educational foundation is not strong enough to equip the people to face the world chest out (so they school their children in foreign lands), because benefits of the continent’s resources constantly sits on the laps of a privileged few. I only smiled sadly to myself because I am convinced that day will never come. Not when politics has become an integral part of our lives, not when people do not mind losing their lives for those they consider their political heroes.
It will not happen that I know for sure. Nonetheless, we shall continue to hope that the thought of change that can happen after a tenure of office will if nothing at all, continue to pinch leaders during their terms of office and direct them towards a good cause. Honestly, I have lost hope in the fight against corruption because I am overwhelmed by the rate at which each and every activity and move seem to thrive on Corruption.
Yet I believe that every people look forward to leaders who will genuinely think of the needs of the people first before probably embezzling fund and that people will one day wake up from their “sleep” to demand what is rightfully theirs. Partisan politics will divide the people. infact it has successfully done so in many parts of the world but as Cameron Duodu, a columnist puts it, “for how long can a few people who have inherited power and wealth, fought for at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, heroically given by the people, withstand the people’s wish to determine how power and wealth should be distributed in that country?”(Ghanaian Times, February 15, 2011). Another columnist, Kofi Akordor in his article “Hypocritical voices in the west” focused on the role of external forces (the west) in Mubarak and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia’s fall. They were sort of “used and dumped” by the forces in question.(Daily Graphic, Februaray 15,2011). In my lay point of view, if leaders will be true leaders, putting the greater good of the greatest number before the attainment of overflowing wealth, no external forces can use and dump them because in the end, the will, wish and aspirations of the people would have been met and that will be all that matters as far as the people are concerned. When the people see tangible progress in their lives, and feel they are being listened to, they will firmly stand by their leaders. It is all about the people and their aspirations being met. Let me end with these words of wisdom; “power does belong to the people. “Leaders” often believe that the people are “with them” just because they happen, at a certain moments in history, to say a few things which the people ardently want to hear. But words cannot remain magically meaningful to all people all of the time. (Cameron Duodu. Ghanaian Times, February 15, 2011).
The implication of this statement is quite evident all over the world today as many more people are revolting against their governments. For those who cling on to power like un-weaned babies do to their mother’s breasts, check it and start with a step of CHANGE for sooner or later, it will be your turn.
GIFTY ANDOH APPIAH (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Source: Gifty Andoh Apiah (email@example.com)