Wednesday, February 26, 2014


These days there is so much talk about the inefficiency of leaders and very little change. 
A lot of writers are quick to live up to the vanity of writing and yet not living out their greatest sentiments -Mark Twain. 
It is quite interesting to note that in countries where there have been drastic changes in policy and governance there has always been people with the will to fight authority. Revolutions are great examples of this will to fight authority.

This will to break the law for a greater patriotic cause was explained by Henry David Thoreau as CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.
Of course the law making and enforcement agencies will argue that civil disobedience is opposed to the rule of law because in upholding the message of Henry David Thoreau the people fight rightful authority and that is just not done.  John Austin's theory that says that law is the command of the sovereign backed by the threat of punishment strongly opposes any will of the people to fight even when they know that their leaders are not living up to their EXPECTATIONS.
Others like the German philosopher, Karl Marx argued that the law is the expression of economic forces in a capitalist society. And that law is one of the many ways by which the capitalist minority sought to increase and preserve their power from the proletariat. The question now is whether people can resist the law when it is used by a minority to suppress the majority to suffering. The irony is that there is an unspoken notion that the law and democratic rule is the right route to development in any setting. Unfortunately, this has blinded most people and kept them from realizing that people can be extremely subjected to unfair treatment under that pretext. Everything the colonial government did was lawful, they colonized us through legislative Acts, but the legal coat it wore never gave it a morality boost. Dictators like Hitler, Louis XIV or Napoleon I all derived their power from the law-Sir Ivor Jennings.
When leaders begin to use their offices or the law as a cover for their incompetence the public ought to able to speak up for the common good of the people. Dr. Martin Luther King expressed this best in his sermon "BUT IF NOT''. He was preaching at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia in November, 1967. In his sermon he stressed the need for people to be able to practice civil disobedience to unjust laws and tyrannical rule. The interesting thing about his sermon was the connection he established between the biblical story of Daniel and his three friends in the burning bush and civil disobedience.He emphasized that Daniel and his friends refused to go against their conscience and values to please the king.Although they were faced with the consequence of being burnt alive,they still stood for what they believed.
In contemporary times some people have demonstrated against their leaders and ousted them for incompetence and several other issues concerning their national development.The recent demolition exercises that have been going on in the country produced some civilian resistance to the authorities, more specifically the police service. I am not justifying such resistance but it caused me to pause for a moment. It dawned on me that these people were telling the authorities that, we can push you, and we pushed you.So what?   Resistance is healthy when it is for a good reason and that is my message. Of course,we the people can push, and when we do we mean business.Today the problems of this world are so complex that it will take more than democratic and security measures to maintain order and protect the interests of the vulnerable. Although the law is powerful and binds all persons within a specified geographical area,it becomes a tool for high level fraud and a cover for dishonesty among public officials when the wrong people are in charge of legislation.We need strong willed people in our societies who will raise their voices to question the "daddy's and mummy's'' we elected to run our state affairs.