By Alfred Sasako
THE last thing any leader, political and industrial leaders alike would consider doing, particularly when they are pushed, is making the rush decision to accept that the time has come to throw in the towel.
Examples of the unwillingness to do so are everywhere – here and abroad.
There are key indicators which show that time is up. These manifest in many different forms. People’s dissatisfaction, sometimes shown in published comments in newspapers, hardships faced by workers due to rising cost of living and the government’s management or rather mismanagement of the economy.
If we are being truthful about these things, we have seen them every single term of government, any government, in our own country since independence.
As a matter of fact, we are today witnessing this very phenomenon in our country. Love of power and or rather hanging on to power far outweighs all other sane considerations for those who have made it their habit to remain in power no matter what.
The reasons are obvious.
Position of authority gives the occupier status regionally and or globally. It provides prestige and pride. These make it a lot harder to dispense with such position easily.
For the occupier, hanging on to the position of authority provides living on cloud number 9. And when you are on cloud Number 9, nothing else matters. Everything revolves around oneself, family and cronies.
For these individuals, leaving the office prematurely and or at the end of their tenure is out of the question. The longer they remain in office, the stronger the temptation there is to extend their tenure. All at the expense of the ordinary folks.
Irrespective of the hurts and hardships their subjects are enduring as we are going through right now, it is no business of theirs. Over time, leader’s focus changed and keeps changing, from truth to untruths at first and in the end to cases of plain, naked lies.
By then lying no longer matters. It is almost the end anyway. The more they could amass by hanging on, the better or merrier it is.
There’s some useful advice on the BBC’s Hard talk Programme on Monday night for those hanging on to power simply for the sake of hanging on to power.
It was a hard-hitting interview with a former Nigerian president.
The man, a former military coup leader had been described as the grandfather of corruption in Nigeria – charges he had refuted, arguing that he established the anti-corruption body in Nigeria during his watch.
He also told his listeners that leadership changes are coming to the Continent of Africa.
Young people are taking up leadership in countries around Africa, he told his. The message to those hanging on to power, he said, is if you don’t leave power when your time comes, power will leave you.
A timely warning.
In our situation, what legacy is there to inspire others taking up the torch where it is left off? Unfortunately, there’s very little or nothing at all to show for the multi-billion dollar budgets each year for the last three years.
In the case of Members of Parliament, the average funding entrusted to them each year was around $7 million per constituency – that’s $350 million annually.
That’s $1.4 billion in total constituency funding over four years. Divided equally amongst the 50 Constituencies, that’s around $28 million per Constituency over four years.
Sadly, only in some Constituencies can one get to see tangible evidence of micro economic activities on the ground. In others, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.