Power is the ability to control things and people. Power is what makes the United States the greatest nation on earth. Power is what makes South Sudan the poorest country in the world. Power is what makes education practical and applied in the UK, and it is the same power that makes education theoretical and cumbersome in Zimbabwe. Power is what makes Nigerian government officials enjoy medical tourism overseas while resident doctors in the country go on strike due to the decay of the health care system.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” This statement speaks volumes because the colour of man’s character could either be good (green) or bad (red) once power is given. Man has two natures which co-exist together- the good and bad. Power can help tilt one side of man’s nature against the other. The power test for good and bad clearly shows what power can do to Man and the world at large.
Power test for good (green)
When I look at the world today, I see men who the Almighty infinite has made tremendous power available to them in the form of vast wealth and influence. With some of these men, their combined wealth makes them richer than some countries. Some have great influence over a billion people (the population of China or Africa).
These men have decided to use the power they wield not for self-aggrandizement but for collective good. Bill Gates of the US, founder of Microsoft and the current richest man in the world through his Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, has been able to take healthcare services around the world to where power has failed to provide one. The American, Mark Zuckerberg, who is the youngest billionaire in the world, through his Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is trying to shape the future of science, education and technology. The Nigerian billionaire Dangote, the richest black man, is the largest single employer of labour in Nigeria. Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese British born founder of Mo Ibrahim foundation, uses his foundation to ensure that African governance is a top priority among African leaders by awarding a prize for good governance to African heads of states based on their leadership and achievement during their tenure in service.
Power for good is not exclusively for billionaires, look at what the founders of NUHA Foundation are doing to ensure education is at least available. Amnesty International is at the forefront of holding governments for their actions against human rights, Transparency International fights corruption anywhere it rears its ugly head around the world.
Young people around the world are also rising in numbers in different fields like ICT, energy, agriculture, and media. They are shaping communities, bringing hope to the poor and giving light to the future by replacing unemployment with entrepreneurship, changing poor government with their votes, creating their own world by living their dreams.
Power test for bad (red)
On the flip side, I see a world where some people are given the power of the people, by the people and for the people. These individuals hold on to the power as they refuse to relinquish it on expiration of their mandate, they refuse to use it for the benefit of those who have entrusted them with it. Many of these people have twisted the trust given by their people by using the power to elongate their hold over the people. Many of them will crush opposition to continue to stay in power. Some will move to amend their laws, to ensure that they can extend their rule, even if they have to offer bribes to lawmakers. Others will want to blame the opposition or foreign states like the current leader of North Korea and his predecessors continue to blame the US for trying to cause a power change in the country.
The African continent typifies how power has gone rogue. Zimbabwe is a country that became independent in 1980, Robert Mugabe has been in power for 37 years, he is 93 years old, yet the country does not have quality education. On one of my trips in 2011 to Paris, for a world Bank conference on Development Economics, I met a Zimbabwean lady then studying computer science in South Africa, she told me that life is better in South Africa than in Zimbabwe. She had to leave her family to get a better education in South Africa.
Paul Biya is the president of Cameroon, he has been the leader now for 35 years, yet Cameroon as a country is not better looking than the ghetto side of France (if there are any). Many years of cooperation with their former colonial masters has not translated into development, but the president continues to see the beauty obtainable in France, yet closes his eyes when he comes back to Cameroon. Why is Yaounde a sharp contrast from Paris?
Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo took over the helms of the country affairs in 2005 after the demise of his father Gnassingbe Eyadema through a forceful military installment, without the people’s support and coercing the Parliament of the nation to approve this move. His father is not Queen Elizabeth, neither is Faure crown Prince Charles; yet power is transferred through blood lines when the country does not operate a monarch system.
On my trip to Vienna, Austria, via Netherlands in 2015 to attend Peter Drucker forum, I continued to have one question on my mind up until the time I left the country. The question is: are the leaders of these countries superhuman? Because things are working there compared to where I come from. When power is used to enslave others and freedom decides to fight back you witness that those who have misused the people’s power are killed while those still clinging to power are vanquished from the land they had called their paradise. Examples include the Late President of Libya, Mumar Gadaffi, Late President of Iraq, Sad am Hussein, more current is the former president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh who was exiled to Equatorial Guinea after he insisted on remaining in power after the people took power from him.
We also witnessed conflict and instability in countries where the leaders have decided to hold on to power forever. Libya has become a country where separatists and militants have emerged. Iraq has become a ground that breeds terrorists and exports them to nations to forestall their ideologies, South Sudan has become a shadow of itself because the quest for power continues to ravage the country. Syria is a place where countries like the US and Russia are using it to fight a proxy war as a pretense for fighting for the government against rebels or fighting for the people against a tyrant.
Power of the mind (neutral)
The battle for good or bad is being fought in the mind of mankind. Power has the ability to turn man into an angel sent from heaven or the devil unleashed from the pit of hell. In the super book, lucifer (now Satan) allowed power to becloud his judgement and that brought him down. Power will obey the will of the individual who wields it. Man has a free will to either do good or bad. The choice to do good or bad is at the disposal of every man.
The truth is that power is not given to a certain elite group. Everybody has power in their own right. As a parent you have the power to train your child in the right way or allow the child to go the wrong way. As a teacher you have the power to give your students the best of you by inspiring them rather than demoralizing them, as a civil servant you have the power to reject bribes rather than accept it. As a student you have the power not to indulge in malpractice rather than becoming a culprit. As a cabinet commissioner or minister you have the power to award contracts without taking bribes. The onus lies on the individual not to choose the way which entirely leads to destruction.
It is worthy to note that power can influence a great man to act badly, but not all great men are bad. We have had leaders in Africa like the late Nelson Mandela who took power to lead South Africa from 1994 to 1999, made his mark, stepped down and died a hero. The real man is that which is able to sacrifice all for the freedom of others rather than enslave them. In 2015, the former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan set an example for the rest of the leaders in the African continent by being the first incumbent that lost an election and stepped down to respect the wishes of the people. Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama also followed suit in 2017.There is light for Africa at the end of the tunnel and time is revealing it.
Beautiful write up you did give power it true colors
Yes I did. Thanks Evelyn.
What caught my attention is “Power can influence a great man to act badly,but not all great men are bad”.This is truly worthy of note. Keep it up Nick you are going higher.
Yes it caught me thinking too.
Power does not corruog. It only gives a bigger room for the expression of inherent corruption. Nice article. Keep it up
Wow! fantastic!!Power Colours is so explicit, narrative, illustrative, succinct and insightful. In fact it is a blessing. Kudos Nicholas!!
Thank you Sir!
There are a few mistakes in the article. For one the poorest country in the world is Yemen, not South Sudan as the article states in Para 1. The article also unwittingly whitewashes what made Africa the way it is today – exploitation during the colonial period. Africa is rich, but while the colonial time ended, neo-colonialism pervades the very soul of Africa to this day
The article is a whitewashed, skeleton of what it could have been had the writer put a little more thought into it. It fails to take the topic discussion forward, relying on cheap theatrics of a pathos driven write-up.
Thanks for airing your view.
Yes our other African leaders should lmitate presidents like Mandela, John, Dr Goodluck and step down from power honourably
Thank you Jacque from uganda.You know power malfunctioning resonates run our continent.
Nice write up and educative.
Thanks I did appreciate everything and how the article really motivated you.
Thank you Deepak,for your views.First, whether it is Sudan or Yemen that is the poorest ink the world, one fact remains a fact power made them so.Secondly, You talked about colonialism, US, Canada, were colonized too but look at where they are.Another fact is Africans have stopped Africa.Lastly when you say whitewash it is unfounded, as most of the thoughts expressed in this article has either happened, is happening or will eventually happen.I would have love you add those ‘little thoughts’ you mentioned that are missing rather than saying the whole scenario does not exist. It is like a pot calling a kettle black.
Yes Cy that is how it is suppose to be
Wow, what a strong narrative, illustrative and profound piece with highly educative and enlightening characteristics. This is brilliant Nicholas, “Power Colours The Nature Of Man” is a double thumbs up from me! Thank you!!
Thank you my Apostle Sir,for taking out time to read a real honour Sir.
Uncle nick at it again. I admire your write up a lot. You are not just a writer, but a passionate one. You dont write for fun. You write because you have a vision. I believe in you and I know that someday that vision will come to reality; it will be used to make impact in the society. The world and I are waiting for.Nice one. Keep it up.
Yeah Uncle Charles you know how we started and how the passion to see our continent thrive continues to fuel our passion to provoke and force the status quo to change.
This writer up deserve a an award it is really educative
Will be nice to get an award for this article Bobby.Thanks!
Well said, good write up thank you
Thanks James for the read.
This article remains me of what I learnt in government class some decades back that power corrupts. However, we know that power is channelled positively it produces tremendous result!
Kudos e Nick for putting your thoughts down you also have the power to change our world and make it a better placw
Thank you beloved sister. I learmed from you as a seasoned journalist.It trickled down from you the first down to me the last. THANKS SIS.
Ur article has perfectly thrown light on what the word power aactually means with the most appropriate examples. Moreover the way u have seperated the usew and the misuses of power, it will definitely leave a mark on the minds of the political leaders of not only Africa but also the entire world….
Hat’s off to u.
Yes Thinking of looking at India as the second most populous country and see how they have used power for good or bad.Do a follow up to that Pupista from india.
Thank you very much for the kind words.I do believe that power belongs to God and if anybody is given it should be used for the greater good not the lesser evil.Thanks a lot for your positive contributions.
Power does not corrupt. It only gives a bigger room for the expression of inherent corruption. Nice work. Keep it up
Are you sure about that Olumide.If it creates the opportunity it is also a tool that can be used for corruption.Thanks for dropping your opinion.
Nice write up. Keep it up.
This article is revealing and thought provoking. Nice work bro.
Thanks Emma am grateful for the yes mark
This article is revealing and thought provoking. Nice work bro.
This work is very educative. It truly defines what power is and what power can become when in a right or wrong hand.
Thanks Nice for admitting that is a nice write up.
Very nice article. Keep up d gud work
Thank my IT student.I appreciate you.
This is so powerful and interesting at the same time Nicholas, straight to the point it’s beautiful, well done
Thank you ma! Appreciate the fact that you enjoyed it and gave your yes nod.
This is nice.Powerful thoughts and great view points.
very interesting and effective keep it up
Thank you dear you are the best.I am glad you loved it
Look power just changed hands in Zimbabwe as the men in uniform just pulled the ladder of President Mugabe in a coup.This is what happen when power is not honorably transfered back to the people that gave it.They tend to take power back by the ballot or by force.
Great article Nicholas! You sure do know how to communicate happenings as you see them happen in the world today.Nice job!
Thanks friend. You know how what we went through when our lecturers had Power over us.
Nice work so much examples on how power can really colour the nature of man for good or for bad.One that caught me is how the richest people in the world use their power to shape the world they want to see.
Yea.That is the best way to pass a message of this magnitude.people need to see real lif experiences.
You did a good result.We need an article like this to tell us which way to go when power is given to us.Thanks Nick!
Nice work Nicholas I know you are a good thinker of your generation keep the flag flying
very nice… i really like your article
Thanks Mariam for enjoying getting the article.
You’re doing a great job Man,nice work Nick
Thank You for your information.
Thank you for reading
I learn new information from your article , you are doing a great job . Keep it up
That is the essence of this article to bring new information to the world.or to bring an ongoing information to the front burner.Thanks!
I will do just that without compromise.
yes ur right,it is best keep it up
I will do just that Chinedu.
interesting i believe in you Nick
I believe in you too Linda.We are changing the status quo together.
I’m really happy to say it was an interesting post to read. I learned new information from your article
Am happy you were happy having read my article.Thank you Samuel.
WOW Good article and right to the point
Yes that is how it should be simple and precisely to the point.
Great post that’s truly good, keep up writing.
I will do that Tayo.
Hi That was a great post, I really liked it. I learned a lot. I’m going to bookmark this page.
Thanks Ola, that is a vote yes for this piece of writing.Thanks will appreciate it.
that’s a Good points
Yes it is JM.
that is an interesting perspective. I have not really thought about it in those terms before. I view each piece of content as unique and respond to it. Interesting point though.
That is what thinking does it gives you different perspectives and angles to view the world.Thanks Emmanuel
I think this happens to all of us sometime we use our powers wrongly or right but let our power of Good b more n plentiful than our bad.keep it up
Yes this we make us see the reason why powe should be used for good.
This is great info to know thank you for sharing your thought.
Thank you Dupe. Am glad you love it.
Thank you for a great article. Very interesting
Thank you for reading Eze. Your appreciation is my thumps up.
Wonderful post and such a fantastic information that you gave to us
Thank you Angela for appreciating my piece.
Great articles thanks for sharing this awesome
Thanks for reading Adex
wow so nice
impressive,fantastic Goodluck Ñick
I will need a lot of them.Thanks Seun!
this is literally one of the most interesting articles have read today.
Wow am so honoured Ken.Thanks!
well written, keep it up
Will do that
Excellent article dear
incredible post am very happy to see your standard
Thank Richie.I will not drop the standard will always raise the bar for others coming after me to follow
Great idea man thanks keep it up all the time.
Thanks Mike.I will do just that.
wao great and amazing
An amazing article indeed.Thanks!
What a great and, of course, well written post. keep it up
Thanks for reading.I will keep on writing
nice, good job
great contents thanx
very nice information.
Nick this is an awesome article
Yes !! power of good does not corrupts but it help build d world
Exactly Oge.people should use power for good to make the world a better place.
Thank you all for your postI’ve response and thumps up. It is inspiring!
Your essay shows that Africa is moving out of the dark age and power is going to be well controlled in the nearest future.
Yes Agatha African leaders must use power rightly.
Nick your article is so real.I read it and saw all the happenings in our world today.Keep it up !you will go higher places.
President Mugabe of Zimbabwe stepped down as President to end his 37years hold of power.He returned the power back to the people to give room for fresh elections in 2018.Truly power is trustfund.If you misuse you must pay.If you use wisely you are entrusted with it the more.Light is coming to the dark continent.Time is revealing it.
It is good , but could have been better .The ‘colors of power’ is more of African struggle, a slight more thoughtful elements could have made it better
Right from start to end it is consistently good , but ‘Wow’ element is missing
Thank you Shamhbal.African leaders in history have not used power for good that is why there is more highlight on the continent.The narrative is changing and the world is witnessing this change.
Nicholas your work is revelatory.Power can really colour man for good or bad
Nice job I love this article your examples is real.Look what has happened in Zimbabwe.Mugabe 37years just came to an end.
Yes Ani surprised too but it has began in Zimbabwe and it will sweep across the continent.
Your article really made me realize that power truly has colours when red is danger. When green it is postive.I appreciate your work greatly.
Yes Thanks for your comment too.
Nicholas you are a great young writer plus keep on writing.
Thank you so much for the support.
I see how you differentiate the power test for good or bad.I the shows your depth and insight.Thanks for this piece of art.
Yes. Thank you for your observation.
Nicholas When you approached me to check out your article I reluctantly did that but today I am glad I did. I will share it.
Thanks for checking it out and your yes vote.Thanks
You make writing look so easy. Great thinking , great work
Nice work! Keep it up bro.
You talked about not every great man is bad that struck ed me .Thanks you can be great and powerful and choose to be good.Nice points.
Thanks for your acknowledgement.
Thank you Nick for sending me the link to your article.Having great it I give you a thumps up.
I thank you too for reading and commenting.
I vote yes for you because I read other bloggers a couple of them. I found out your work is well researched, planned and organised.I did find out your work stood out amongst all.
Thank you I believe this write up is qualified for the award too.
Nice work. I think I like it so much.
Thanks so much .
Thanks to everyone that have taken out time to comment like and share.I deeply appreciate it.
Thanks for your vote of confidence.
I realized all what you wrote in your article is happeningin real life.your ideas are so real than the blood that flows in a human being.Nice writing!
Yes I am a realist and a futurist.Thanks!
Your work is good man . I wish I can create like you do,but am willing to learn.
Your writing is the best from all I have seen in this year’s prize .keep the fire burning!
Thanks for this great endorsement.
A colleague gave me your article to read I obliged am very glad I did cost can believe we have deeper thinkers in our continued entry like you. Cheers!good luck.
Thanks for taking time to comment. Thanks!
Good work my friend you write so passionately!
Thanks Jainaba I think it’s my gift.
You thrilled me withat your style of writing your wordsare like pictures and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.I love your writings.
Yes I try to represent my words in pictures.Thanks for observing .
I told my friend i will comment but cos he continues to force me I said let me read it.I did aND I can say you are a great thinker.Nice work young man.
Thank you am grateful .
Your work is good.keep on writing .
I will Thanks for the vote.
Yes Thanks Basil.
Your writing is different,but simple and easy for a hold to understand.I like the flood of examples and the different point I each paragraphs.keep it up brother.
I will Mr scales. Thank you so much
I love your article when I saw it on Facebook I was forced to commend you. NICE WORK
You are a great writer Indeed.pls keep on the good work.
I will base on your request. Thanks!
I like the way you write I have sent you friend request on Facebook we need to talk about your writings.Good work am impressed.
I have accepted your request and saw your inbox messages will furnish you with so excited of my other writings like you requested. THANK YOU SIR
Your writing is exceptionally awesome. I love it and enjoyed reading it.
Thankso for taking time to read and comment
Your work is good I wish youdid continue to proffer solutions to the African power issue. Alol the same is good work.
I think know I will do a follow up article to see that I proffer more solutions to the power colours in Africa.
Your work is a great piece of art I love it so much keep it up
Thanks so much
You know when I saw the way you pen your thoughts.I know you a future leader indeed. Nice work!
Thank you for your futuristic view.
Good work my friend.
Your writing is a great piece.I really wish you get the award. You deserve it.
I really wish that too.
Thank you Able.
In school we always know you will make us proud look at how deep your thoughts are. Keep the flag flying.
Your work is truly inspiring.I love it.
Thank you mustapha
Good work Nick.I trust you and the power of your thoughts.
Thanks vic.I believe you too.
Great ideas I really enjoyed it
Your writings show how deep Nigerians can be in their thoughts.I give it up to you.
Thanks for your comments.