Against the Run of Play: Matters Arising on the Transience of Power
Albert Einstein aptly captured it succinctly when he posited that “The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while”
The former President of the United States of America echoed the thoughts of Albert Einstein when he said that “The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself.
The transience of Power marvels me albeit makes me heave a sigh of relief that to a greater extent, no one’s destiny is carved in a stone emblazoned with servitude. The whirlwind could blow your way someday.
John Mahama, the former president of Ghana, was swept out of power by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, aged 72, who secured the Presidency at the third time attempt of clinching the seat, winning the incumbent, President John Mahama. The latter sets the record as the first incumbent to lose a presidential election since Ghana returned to multi-party democracy in 1992. Nana Akufo-Addo secured 53.8 percent votes beating incumbent president, John Mahama to win the presidency.
Goodluck Jonathan: The concept and in borrowing of the Title of a book written by Olusegun Adeniyi, Against the run of play was quite exemplified in the 2015 Nigeria Presidential election where Goodluck Jonathan’s failed to beat General Muhammadu Buhari and had the latter win the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is against the widespread belief among folks in Nigeria that the incumbent rarely loses election in Nigeria.
More dramatic was the long time cum former ruler of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, who lost the presidential election to the opposition leader, Adama Barrow bringing to an end, Jammeh’s 22-year rule. Jameh, initially conceded power, but while we were beginning to salute his seeming humility, he literally upturned the result of the poll and cried foul, maintaining that the poll was rigged. He was ready to challenge the result of the election in the court and would not hand over power even after the period stipulated by the constitution had elapsed. It took the intervention of African leaders spear headed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the pressure from International community before he handed over power to his successor.
From Laurent Gbagbo the former president of Côte d’Ivoire who was technically forced out of the office by UN and French-backed forces to pave way for his successor, Alasanne Quattara who won the elections to Abdoulaye Wade former president of Senegal who was President of Senegal from 2000 to 2012 and conceded defeat to Mack Sall, we can see mild and bold attempts to hold on to power even at an apparent loss of it.
For those who wield power as though nature bestows that on them in perpetuity, the picture says it all.
At a moment, you could be the centre of attraction while a flurry of activities buzzes around you like a swarm of bees. The next moment, you wake up and are stripped of the power, you just see yourself observing from the side-line, taking surreptitious glances at him whom power has moved on to.
And so, if power is transitory, we must use it for good so when it moves, it still leaves us with a more formidable form of it which stems from the satisfaction that it wasn’t abused but used in the service of those who bestowed it to us.