The thirst for power seems to be leading the hearts of mankind all over the world. Hence, the ambitions of the human persons keep bubbling and rising at high frequencies in almost all societies of which ours is no exception. The lust for power has overwhelmed the human hearts so much so that the rush for it has become like the rush for gold dust. The undisputable fact is that power adds dignity and exceptional value to the human being. It brings honor and glory to the human person in all respects and renders the human being to be cherished and loved even by one’s opponents.
The undisputable fact equally remains that power lies between grace and disgrace, love and hatred, life and death, etc. The roadway to power is often hilly, rocky, muddy and thorny. To succeed in handling power one often goes through potential risks. The risks have to do with mockery, insults, intimidation, harassment, detention and even death. There is no one who seeks power that will not be initiated by these risks. Power is like honey that is often surrounded by the callous bees. In order words it lies between grace and disgrace, between life and death, between love and hatred, between truth and lie, etc.
It is like the sun that often falls into dark, the day that is swallowed by the night, like life that eventually ends into death, like beauty that has time frame to shine, like love that is cradled upon hatred, etc.
It corrupts the mind and derails the human person from being original; instead it leads the mind to be wicked most of the time. Power, like money is often associated by evils. The evils have to do with falsehood, deceits, corruption, nepotism, the abuse of law, the temptation to squander national wealth, etc.
The evils also include the presence of wicked advisors and self seekers who know the trick to make their way around the leaders. It appears difficult for one to succeed in driving power in a capitalistic society. The law in the capitalistic society has little protection for the have-nots. The law provides that only the strong survive and the weak wither. To be strong therefore implies using advantaged position to squander funds belonging to the state. Strength in this case could be equated to seeking political favor through evil means. The strength could also be placing greed and selfishness over and above national interest. The strength could also be trouble shooting, being high core deviants merely to gain recognition and consideration in government.
This method seems to be working well especially in our society. In short the successful ones those who are not driven by patriotic spirit to create vision and love for the state. In Liberia judging from prevailing examples power is obtained merely for selfish gains including creating a safe passage for one’s own friends and relatives. That is the reason why the culture of nepotism, favoritism, lawlessness, tribalism etc. often remains hanging over the nation like dark cloud.
In the capitalistic society therefore merit is not regarded; instead the formula to earn political grace is contact by connection. Hence, the weaker ones who happen to be the poor people often sit mournfully sad all of the times. In the wake of this the society cannot and will never be chaos free. Instability will therefore stand over the society like roof is the house. Instability often evolves into the civil disobedience that undermines the social, political and economic status of any nation. The fifteen years of war was a perfect result of instability that grew out of the abuse of power.
Instability prompted the 1980 coup during which thirteen senior government officials were killed on the firing squad. They were charged with rampant corruption, nepotism, abuse of public office, favoritism, among other things. The military junta that overthrew the True Whig Party regime subsequently found itself led by the lust of excessive power so much so that it became thorn in the fresh of the nation. Power was handled recklessly by most of the junta members who were mere neophytes to the practices and culture of politics. They were ill advised and made to wolf themselves.
Instability was therefore provoked that evolved into national uprising which ruined law and order and damaged infrastructures in addition lives of innocent people.
When power is driven with unusual speed it destroys innocent lives even including those who drive it. The ship of the True Whig Party government led by the President William Tolbert had to dump on the wayside because most, if not all of those who handled power, were arrogant, self-seeking, non respecters of established law and order as well as greed for national wealth, etc.
They were dumped into the valley disgracefully and forced to relinquish honor and respect they had enjoyed more than several decades.
The military leader turned civilian politician, Samuel Kanyon Doe rose to power elegantly, earned the necessary degrees of honor but departed dreadfully when he raised the flag of tribalism above that of nationalism especially when it came to the distribution of strategic positions in government.
Charles Taylor rose to power honorably when he cast out the tyrannical regime of Samuel Doe. Taylor was hailed and cherished locally but in the eyes of the outside world he was the demon who stabilized the sub-region. Taylor was therefore smoked from all angles like the hunters would do to the stubborn female opossums. Taylor was strangulated economically and was therefore reduced to the status of the need. Taylor and his cronies were forced to squander the resources in their reach while the people suffered the wrath of poverty. Those who were favored by Taylor are today members of the kingdom of rich.
Indeed power heals when it is made to redeem the vast majority from degradation to social and economic emancipation; it equally hurts when it is driven in a cruel and selfish manner.