‘Power To The People,’ An Overstated Paradox BY OKORN TABI O.

In Breaking News, Opinion, Politics

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

This is one of the most recurrent slogan in recent history because it is the slogan of the supposedly largest political party in Africa – A party that once controlled the commanding height of the political affairs of the most populous black nation in Africa, the People’s Democratic Party.

However, the emphasis of this piece is not on the political party as a whole, but the crux of the slogan, “the people,” – who are they?

Ekanem shared the above sentiment when he reasoned that; “one among the perennial maladies plaguing the Lincolnian conception of democracy was what he actually meant by the ‘people’ when he saw democracy to be “Government of the ‘People’, for the ‘People’ and by the ‘People.’ Who are these “People”?

Literally, the “People” could mean the members of a particular nation community or ethnic group. This, however, is for those who refer to it as a noun. Conventionally, the “People” can also be taken to mean a group of people who inhabit a place or territory. Is this what Lincoln meant?

Or are they that tiny group of sharks and shylocks who through state conspiracy and official prodigality now live in provocative opulence? Those whose fundamental human rights include right to wife and concubine allowance, right to live long, die great and be buried with state funds, right to clothes, newspapers, tea and inconvenience allowance or better still those who drive in convoys of tinted glasses, whose children have no business with public schools but fed with public money; or those who steal from the public treasury and be applauded with national honors, or those who occupy the front rows in our Orthodox and Pentecostal assemblies?. Are these the “People”?

The last group, the down-trodden, the “Hoi-Polloi,” wretched of the earth, this group who salt and stock fish are good enough electoral incentive for their votes; whose fundamental human rights include; right to die when their ethnic leaders disagree, right to Keke Napep, wheel barrows and motorcycles as constituency empowerment, right to be owed salaries, pension and gratuities, right to hunger, unemployment, and to live in ghettos, right to applaud payment of wages as kind gestures. Are these the “People”?

Ntufam Dr. Sandy Onor, one of the senatorial aspirants in Cross River Central, on Saturday in the ancient community of Ugep, reiterated the fact that the People Democratic Party (PDP) is poised to return power back to the people.

That statement awakened my consciousness to ask these fundamental questions; “who had the power and who are the people?”

Until, and unless this contextual and conceptual limitation is adequately transcended, there will of course be no democracy after all.

These are begging questions!

Okorn is a Public Affairs Analyst and lives in Calabar.

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