Monday, April 11, 2011

They or Us?

by Dr Titi Banjoko

The events of the last 6 months have recorded a number of firsts and a shift of power from the minority imposing their views and power on the people. But my late father used to say “Vox populi vox Dei" meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God. It refers to the idea that the king or the government ought to pay attention to the voice of the people. Nations have witnessed the power of the people to bring about and effect change in what was once seen as intractable structures. The status quo of having a sense of entitlement and patronage is no longer a fact.

Just over six months ago, there was a sense of apathy and of nonchalance which ruled the air and people watched as things were “seen to be done” but nothing changed. It was a case of watching “them” and seeing what “they” were doing with a sense of detachment.

The increasing awareness and knowledge that has occurred as a result of the events in the political arena has elevated the conscious awareness of people and their expectations. The old disease of ignorance has been cured by the social media. The constant flow of live information, pictures, thoughts, ideas and opinions via the social networks used by the people, against the propaganda sent via national networks used by the oligarchy, has resulted in the shift of power. This has the effect of increasing transparency which means that there has to be accountability and responsibility for all. People now believe that they can make a difference and have raised expectations of what they would like to see in their day to day life.

It’s not about “they” but “us”, it’s about collective social responsibility and we all need to be active participants in the democratic process. Politics will never be the same again, working for the votes either through campaigning as an incumbent and/or when in post is becoming an increasing reality.

Clarity of what parties and individuals stand for and how they expect to be judged is now a standard by which citizens can determine the democratic rule of their country.