#Article (Archive)

Our leaders must know when to go

Aug 22, 2011, 12:10 PM

Recent events around the world, especially in the Middle East and parts of the African continent, have shown very interesting developments taking place.

Citizens of those countries where such developments are taking place raised concerns relating to issues affecting their lives as citizens.

Such happenings, especially the recent one in Ivory Coast, are a reflection of how dictators and power-hungry leaders can close their eyes to the destruction of their countries, as they cling on to power.

While many blamed the continent’s woes on the West, most Africans said one of the leading problems faced by Africa is power-struggle. They believe African leaders’ failure to hand over power at the end of the term is a major problem.

As we always emphasize in these pages, power belongs to the people, and the world has now reached a stage where no leader or government can rule its people anyhow.

Leaders must understand that the people have long recognized that they have rights, and freedom of choice in the way they are governed.

They must learn to accept and appreciate that it is the people who voted them into office, and thus should show great humility and always give the electorate the respect they deserve.

The scourge of leaders clinging to power has blighted the continent for a very long time, and has never been anything but destructive.

In the spirit of pan-Africanism, leaders must be urged to do what is best for their people, and not just themselves.

Mandatory maximum terms are the obvious solution to this issue. They are in place all over the world, and have proved to be very effective in ensuring that no one person holds on to power for too long.

It ensures fresh ideas, and that young energetic leaders get to serve the people.

With this in place, any African leader who does not agree to sign up at the end of his term would be making clear to the whole continent that their own lust for power was uppermost in their thoughts, as opposed to the good of their people.

Change in this area must come soon, if we are to continue building a unified and highly developed continent.

Enough is enough!

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

 John C. Maxwell