I was fortunate and opportune to hold a political office for a short while. One of the things some friends ask me is why do leaders or politicians abuse power. People are oppressed and suffer under most political leadership, an example is a country called Nigeria. So this motivated me to share my view. I will start from a scientific perspective and then a theological perspective. So a fact is said to be scientifically proven when it is tested repeatedly and the results are consistent. If you google the “most evil people in history” one thing that is certain is all of them had great power, most times political and other times religious. They were either Kings, Queen, Emperors, Sultans or Dictators. It takes power to do great evil. Genghis Khan the Mongol Emperor was estimated to be responsible for the death of over 40 million people, so 40 million is like the whole population of Canada or Saudi Arabia. So imagine killing everyone in these countries. Adolf Hitler the German Dictator was estimated to kill over 15 million people. Others, like emperor Nero of Rome used to entertain himself by throwing people to be eaten by wild animal like lions, he burnt people alive and use them as human torches to light up his palace, Nero murdered his own mother, step brother and wives. So going through history we can come to the reasonable scientific conclusion that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now even in our everyday life’s we see power abuse, security agencies use their power to extort money, male lecturers use their power to abuse female students, judges use their power to pervert justice for money, bosses abuse power in the work place and spouses use their financial or sexual power to take advantage of the other spouse. So everyone has the potential to abuse power.
So do not be surprised when people abuse power, it is normal for human beings to abuse power, rather you should be surprised when powerful people are humble and use it justly. That is the exception. Even those who complain about power abuse, abuse it themselves once given the opportunity. To reduce or prevent power abuse, nations have put in place democracy, and organizations corporate governance all in the bid to prevent abuse of power. However, you see that people still strive to defeat these structures and abuse power.
Now from the theological or spiritual perspective, all power ultimately resides with God. Psalms 62: 11 says, “God has spoken once, Twice have I heard : That power belongs to God.” So there appears a paradox, if God has all power and we know He is good, then how come evil has so much power as described above. Even in Matthew 4, the devil took Jesus to the mountain and showed Him all the world, promising to give it to Jesus if He bowed down to worship him. Notice Jesus did not contest the devil’s claim of having power over the whole world, rather He responded, “You shall worship and serve only God”, quoting from the Torah. So evil has so much power because of the greatest power God gave mankind which is the power of free will. The power to choose, everyone has a choice. Sometimes people say I did not have a choice, that is false you always have a choice. Probably a difficult one, but no man, or spirit can take your power of choice. If for instance someone threatens to kill you if you do not perform an action, you still have a choice, even if it is not a favorable one, the choice to die. Others say I did not choose the family I came from, but you can now choose the family you want to belong to. This is the greatest power of human beings, the power of choice and that is what we abuse. It is for this single reason that God will judge us, otherwise God will be unfair to judge us if we are forced. So choose wisely, choose good and avoid evil. Have a great day.