We have heard many people regale us with their desire to bring change if only they can be voted into power. They make their case so clear by sharing their utopian dream with us as congruent with our desire for change borne out of discontent with the status quo.
Our political naivety however cause us to be blindsided into believing that Power is a means to an end and not an end by itself, while in the true sense of the word, by all intents and purposes it is just an End game of majority seeking power.
Truth be told, Power comes at the cost of Change in reality and vice versa regardless of the institution in question be it political or religious.
The Church over the years have capitalized on tooling the political correctness of helping parishioners believe in Change because we all want change (in our circumstances in the positive- more money, higher position etc) but no one wants to change. To change is to relinquish power, speciality, and conversance for the unknown and a new learning curve, while perpetuating oneself in position of comfort and authority secures our power and influence.
This is one reason why many church leaders fought the question on tithing despite the obvious logic in the opinion raised. We are no longer under the law but will the church admit this and change or cling unto the power of controlling resources of the parishioners based on the 10percentile? The easily way out was to portray the heretics challenging status quo as attacking the Economy of the Kingdom of God (Their respective unaccountable Churches).
Suffice to say to adopt change is to relinquish power and to relinquish power is to make necessary change happen. Likewise in the political sector many people who genuinely sought change in history never thought about seeking for the highest position in the land, rather they grew opportunities right where they were and built advocacies that will immortalize them for good and foster the necessary change.
Dr Martin Luther King, Mandela, Bishop Ajayi Crowder, Mahatma Ghandi, Rosa Park etc all didn’t campaign to be voted for as President but they brought formidable Change they will forever be remembered for.
Those seeking Power wittingly or unwittingly as a means to an end to bring change are either naive or mischievous. To have access to the highest seat of power in Democracies as peculiar as Nigeria’s, one need the assent of the Purists. Those who serve as quarter guards to power in the republic and it comes at a huge cost of Change.
The price is often too steep and in the end all plans or prospects become impossible once the price is met. This explains why we may never have a formidable change while running the same old system as I once illustrated as “Purpose built factory” in which the products won’t change even if you overhaul the personnel. Change can only come when the modular assembly line is restructured (which will necessitate devolution Of Powers) to suit the assemblage required for a new product.
Most churches won’t tell you who they endorse for President now because like the politicians the Religious leaders are also behind Power and not necessarily Change. No one wants to relinquish power and control. The moment the purist endorse their candidate the religious leaders will follow to stay relevant for the preservation of their tax holidays and operations void of transparency and accountability.
This is why many insist on Revolution which often scares the wit off a whole lot. It begin with a No and ends with a Yes. Revolution begins when you say NO to those who claim to have power over you and it ends when you accept the new status quo. A new normal and whether that new normal is an improvement or not.
The causes of revolution are numerous in form but there is a common root. That’s discontent. Discontent is the emotion that builds and builds under the surface. It is the storm that brews in the minds of the people just waiting to be unleashed.
The trouble is, it is much easier to get that storm unleashed than it is to get people in agreement as to what should come next. It is not easy to make people see eye to eye regarding what needs to happen after the current system falls. So this is usually put off or avoided all together.
This is often a serious mistake, without clear objectives chaos usually sets in, soon after the old regime falls. And then with the void that’s been created tyrants rises to bring order. As a result the power of attorney that follows revolution are often just a totalitarian or more totalitarian than those that they replace. The Change Of 2015 was a typical example.
There should therefore be a bond on the obvious that discontent is not a sufficient driving force for a Revolution.That is if the goal is to actually leave a better world for our children and grand children.
In order for enough people to have positive results, it must be driven by clear and realistic vision. A vision that accounts for the world and humans the way that they are right now. Not the way that we wish they will be or the way that we hope they might be. And we must differentiate between that which can and cannot be changed in the short term. There’s nothing more dangerous than armed men with utopian dreams.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled and assess your aspirants keenly and objectively. Words do matter. Look, listen and learn.
End Of Celestial Observation
First published in Nigerian Tribune Online