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Impunity in Governance

Dickson C. Igwe. Photo: VINO/File
Dickson C. Igwe

The well-worn cliché, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, is an assertion that should guide Julius Caesar, if he or she wants a wholesome, happy, and lengthy tenure in office. Sadly it never really does. When he possesses power, Caesar is unrestrained in his appetites.

Now residents are very angry. That reality is very easy to observe. Simply listen to what people say in every situation. Any "prophet" who is worth their weight in gold must come out and predict an outcome. That will not happen. Why: angry voters are the most unpredictable group on earth.

An angry voter may not be the most rational individual: so where he or she places his or her X is anyone’s guess.

Now, one of the evils in politics is the tendency of power to become uncontrolled, abused, and corrupt: unrestrained. That is nothing new.

Honesty and restraint are rare virtues in governance. History is loaded with examples of rulers using the power of their offices to enrich themselves, their families, and their friends. Power becomes a tool of greed and oppression. Power becomes a tool of self-aggrandizement.

He who controls the purse strings runs the country. He or she is able to use patronage and favor to keep Joe Public in line. Family and friend get the biggest piece of the pie: all others must seek for the crumbs that fall from the table, or worse. This is Trickle Down on steroids.

Handing out public money to family, friend, and supporter, is a gross abuse of office. It is injustice: ‘’entitlement’’ run berserk. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Joe Public and is the chief reason there is so much anger out there. Those omitted from favor include students from needy homes, struggling farmers and small businesses, residents requiring affordable homes, and so on and so forth.

At a time thousands scream at the high cost of living, how can it be justified that millions of dollars is dubiously channeled by Caesar to residents not in need, rich even, but who happen to be ‘’well connected’’ to Julius Caesar? All the while that those who the cash grants and stimulus are truly intended for are ignored? That is the very definition of wickedness. Wickedness and impunity are synonyms. How dare he?

Residents of the Virgin Islands in recent times have stood by numb, as financial scandals appear to get worse as each moment passes. The stories on the street corners of cash handouts to the tune of millions of dollars to family, friends, and supporters of Caesar are a horror story. It is as bad as the looting of treasuries of some banana republic.

If power is impunity’s sibling then it takes a man or woman of virtue to handle power with humility. Once upon a time, one Harry Truman asserted show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I will show you a crook.

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2 Responses to “Impunity in Governance”

  • ABC (04/03/2023, 10:29) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    another good read
  • RealPol (04/03/2023, 15:08) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    “ He who controls the purse strings runs the country.” indeed, power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Who fuels the corruption? Politicians often gets the blame for corruption. But from where does the politician gets the power ? The people. People elect poor performing politicians term after term. If poor performing politicians were kicked to the curb, corruption would be diminished or eradicated altogether. If some citizens accept rewards to look the other way, corruption, fraud, nepotism, cronyism, etc persists because it persists and bad behaviour would be diminished. Voters cannot just vote in an election every four years and do nothing until the election. They must get and stay engaged, holding politicians feet to the fire, rewarding top performers and kicking poor performers to the curb. Don’t solely blame politicians for corruption, fraud, nepotism, cronyism, etc., look in the mirror and believe the reflection.

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