Open let­ter to am­bi­tious gov­er­nors

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

Do not seek to prime any­one to suc­ceed you. That is seek­ing to hang on when you should let go. Seek­ing to hang on means you still want to be in con­trol, rule by proxy. Most people are am­bi­tious and in­tel­li­gent.

They also want their hands on the levers of power. That may be even why they de­cided to play along with you.

Once on the seat of power, like chil­dren on a swing, they will not like to sit with their hands folded on their laps, but on the chain so as to have all the thrills of the swing that hold­ing the chain gives.

Noth­ing is more griev­ing and hurt­ing that some­one you put in power turn­ing his back on you. You are a lot hap­pier when you al­low a free con­test. Who­ever wins will be full of re­spect for you and that’s what you need and can have while out of of­fice. Power, for­get it. It is gone when you are out of of­fice. All you can de­pend on out of of­fice is in­flu­ence and in­flu­ence de­pends on re­spect.

Al­ways let go when you should. Stand­ing on is not same thing as hang­ing on. Stand­ing on you risk no fall. Hang­ing on you can be thrown off any mo­ment by the speed­ing train. When you step out while stand­ing, you step out with dig­nity. When you are thrown off while hang­ing on, you fall with all the in­dig­ni­ties of be­ing thrown off.

With what dig­nity does a banana peel thrown away fall on the road?

But why do politi­cians want to hang to power? Greed and mis­use of power.

One thing leads to an­other. Greed for wealth makes people mis­use power. One thing leads to an­other. When you mis­use power, you are forced to want to hang on to cover your tracks and per­haps con­tinue to mis­use power. You pick a suc­ces­sor to sit over your mess and cover your tracks for you. You put some­one you think is a skunk and so will live with the stench of your fart and will not turn up his nose? Mind you, a skunk is known to be a traitor. Once he seizes the rein of power, he would tell you he is not a ro­bot to be con­trolled and it would hurt you so badly. When in power, live by the sim­ple rules of power: do the right thing and no fear of the known or the un­known will be­siege you into want­ing to hang on when your time is done.

People elect you. You be­tray their trust and mis­use the power they gave you to serve them.

The people are bit­ter and re­sent­ful. Haunted by fear of what will hap­pen to you out of power, you elect an­other per­son to suc­ceed you. This is a sec­ond act of in­grat­i­tude, be­trayal and con­tempt for the people. You weren’t elected to elect oth­ers but to serve the people. Why would you leave what you were sup­posed to do and did an­other? The per­son you elected out of your be­trayal, in­grat­i­tude and con­tempt for the people can only be treach­er­ous, un­grate­ful and con­temp­tu­ous of you. The off­spring of a snake can only be a snake. The per­son you elected will be­come un­grate­ful to you and will heed not your bid­ding. A child of un­grate­ful­ness can only be un­grate­ful. The sit­u­a­tion feeds on it­self.

If you al­low the people to elect the one that will suc­ceed you, you are grate­ful to the people and the people will be grate­ful and re­spect­ful of you. A word is enough for the wise.

Shafysofy writes from Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity

Zaria +23480 34310469

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