You and Government
Many people, in Nigeria for instance, are angry with their Government and with those that run their Government. In my observations, most of the anger is displaced. The anger often stems from unmet expectations people have of their Government and of those in Government.
The reality is that those in Government are humans. They have character flaws, they have inherent selfish tendencies, they have proclivity to oppress and dominate others, they also have the inclinations to do good.
But one thing that sets those in Government apart from the rest of the people is POWER.
Public Power is so powerful that those who possess it and become possessed by it, often lose their sense of humanity. You will wonder why this is so. I don’t know, but that is the way it is.
When people that don’t have strong inclinations to do public good for public interest, not sectional interest, have access to public power, they become worse than were before they entered. To gain public power, such people have to pretend to be nice, tell you what they believe you want to hear, do things they know you want to see. But it’s all a shame – to deceive.
How then do you respond to those in Government or to the Government when the negatives begin to Manifest?
Don’t insult those in Government. It doesn’t help any bit. They hate to be insulted even when they know they are doing the wrongs things. What do you do? Play along with them. Woo them to your side. Speak kindly with them and about them in order to win their attention. Until you can gain their attention or have their ear, you are simply an adversary. And nobody likes to take kindly with the adversary.
Don’t hate your Government. Talk about the good you see your Government do. When you must speak about the evils of your Government, and many Governments around the world do all kinds of evil, do so with reservations and caution. Government has power that you don’t have. So be wise and don’t try to play the hero.
Once you learn to play the game, you can win them in this game. Why? Because during elections, you simply vote them out. But if you position yourself as a known adversary, they use the instrument of power at their disposal, which you don’t have, to spoil the show. And you can only cry, lament, talk. But the did is done.
To survive in a democracy, you must learn the art of public Politics. You don’t have to hate your Government or those in Government. You really don’t need to agree with them all the time. And you don’t also to always fight them. There is a way to disagree with your Government and there are ways to speak about those in Government.
Many who don’t understand these things end up being destroyed by the power in Government. And you know what? Government, anywhere in the world, is set up for vengeance against those that oppose it, whether rightly or wrongly.
If you want to learn more on the art of public engagement, join my Master Class coming up in February 2022. Here is it
Joseph C. Ibekwe
CEO, FLED Institute