One day, the river will overflow


By Basheer Luqman Olarewaju

In this week’s column on ‘People in the Spotlight’, I put forth the importance of engaging the leaders with the constructive mode of criticism and, however, the pertinent necessity for political office holders to dissent with a high level of discernment not just exhibiting parochial Arrogance. In a sane environment, good governance is beyond building infrastructures and all sorts, but also fielding personalities who would not results in attacking and identifying the masses as hicks.

DEMOCRACY has always been an imperfect way to govern. But today, we are pushing the system to breaking point. It is like expecting a sturdy wooden bridge built for horse carts to carry endless streams of heaving lorries. We need to reform democracy substantially in order to save it. If we do not, the system itself is in danger of collapse, and something very dark may take its place.

The proverbial, ‘If the sword and machete destroy their sheath, they surely will sleep on the floor.’ Speaking truth to power is a nonviolent political tactic employed by dissidents against the received wisdom or propaganda of governments they regard as meaningful, less productive, oppressive, authoritarian or an ideocracy.

We have found ourselves in a sticky wicket society where standing up for what’s right and telling people in charge what’s what has become a grievous sin. The idea behind the phrase ‘speak truth to power’ is an expression for courageously confronting an authority, calling out injustices on their watch, and demanding change. Painfully, we have nitwit, who claims everyone is bitter to the GRACE.

I can find similar formulations for speak truth to power in the early 1900s. In a 1919 eulogy for Senator William Joel Stone, one of his colleagues stated, for instance: “I honoured him because he was among the few men who dare to speak truth to the people in the presence of the king and dare to speak truth to the king in the presence of the people. The question is, who is ready to understand that not everyone who disagrees with Gracey Madame is spewing gibberish?!

Àṣà, in one of her world-class works, sang, “One day the river will overflow, and there’ll be nowhere for us to go, and we will run, run; wishing we had put out the fire, oh…” Indeed, she passed a great message to all, importantly, the likes of ill-bred, discourteous and brassy arrogant Lioness (one up-and-coming politician who does show shamelessness and defiance).

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. Pride comes before perish: Pride is the burden of a foolish person! Take a listen. “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right … and a desire to know.” —John Adams, 1765.

If any political office holder neglects the yarning of those who speak truth to power, we keep on hanging, as we do know that for sure, one day, the River will overflow, and crocodile tears won’t be enough to rescue the sinking boat.


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