Power Tussle

June 20, 2022


No tribe was meant to rule over
a nation comprising of many tribes
This was one of the
reasons for the failure of the monarchical
form of government. Even a nation
that came from one source like Israel
didn’t find it easy establishing just
a tribe to rule over the Twelve (thirteen) tribes.

Saul and his son Ishbosheth ruled
for 47 years, they were both from
the tribe of Benjamin. Saul died in battle,
Ishbosheth succeeded him but by
then the kingdom had been fractured.
David began to rule over Judah
while Ishbosheth ruled the other
half of the kingdom. Ishbosheth waxed
weaker daily while David grew
stronger. Ishbosheth lost his throne
after his altercation with Abner, his
backbone and the general of his army.
David took over the rulership of both
Israel and Judah. In all David also
ruled for 40 years.

Solomon took over from David but
we saw how fractured the mind
of the tribes were when Sheba
son of Bicri of the tribe of Benjamin
(2 Samuel 20) decided to lead a rebellion
of the other tribes against David after
the defeat of Absalom.
We also saw Shimei, of the tribe of
Benjamin cursing David (2 Samuel 16:5-13)
because the tribe of Benjamin
believed that the throne of David was a
stolen throne and
that they were by right the ones
who ought to be ruling over Israel.
Regardless of how wonderful the reign
Of David was, there were agitations
from other tribes
This is human nature.
Solomon took over from David and
he refocused the kingdom on infrastructural
development and
other goals apart from his throne.
The nation built temples and palaces
and became the jewel of the world
of men. Solomon’s wisdom and
administrative acumen became legendary
but it was not enough to keep the
kingdom in the hand of Rehoboam
his son

When Rehoboam became King, the
assembly of the elders of Israel came
together and gave him a test.
He failed the test and as a result
the fragile unity which David and Solomon
tried to build crumbled and Jeroboam
Of the tribe of Ephraim led a revolt
that took away the ten tribes of Israel
away from Judah. Rehoboam wanted
to go to war and forcefully bring the
kingdom back but it was a tough call
because the ultimate loser would be
Israel as a nation.
Nations need people to thrive
War kills men and weakens nations.
Rehoboam was told by a prophet to
reconsider the choice of warfare.
He did and the nation became divided.
Jeroboam’s son Nadab succeeded him
but he only ruled for two years before
Baasha of the tribe of Issachar overthrew
him and killed all the princes!

Baasha ruled for 24 years and was
succeeded by his son Elah who was
also assassinated after two years by
Zimri of the tribe of Simeon,
an army general who usurped the throne.
He ruled for seven days but in those seven days
he also killed all the sons of Baasha!
The army revolted and chose Omri of
the tribe of Issachar as their king.
OMRI ruled for 50 years and established
Samaria as the capital city of Israel.

If we continue down the lines of
succession in Israel we will come
to one conclusion. All the tribes
desired to rule and all of them got
to rule one way or the other.
This is true of human nature.
If a king ruled and the people were happy,
once he died the other tribes will agitate
for rulership. They never say
“Competence should be rewarded by
leaving the King’s heir on the throne”
And if a king is evil and the people
suffered. The other tribes will agitate
and wrestle power but that does not
mean the tribe of the wicked king
wouldn’t also agitate for the throne later.
This was what led to the decision of the
Kings of Old to kill all the heirs to the
throne from other tribes.
They do this so that they can
eradicate threats to their reign!
Israel and Judah were bound by one
language and common ancestry and
yet the strife over rulership was unending!

Among the Yorubas in Nigeria, we have
seen feuds arise over succession to
thrones among family members
Blood brothers get at each other
over a stool, this is human nature.
It is therefore not such a big deal
to see a country of many tribes and
languages like Nigeria agitate for
power across the nation with so much
If the man on the throne gives the
nation debt relief and what have you,
the agitation will persist, if he brought
the country into serious debt, the agitation
will not cease. It has nothing to
do with competence or performance.
It is natural for the sons of men
to aspire to rule over their peers
and not be ruled over perpetually.

Europe learnt this in the 1800s.
Democracy and parliamentary systems of
government arose as a result of people
aiming to be free of depots and ruling
themselves through their elected officials
in whom they would vest their rights as
citizens. The one thing you will not
see in history is a ruler that was
dashed the throne.

Obasanjo benefitted seriously from
MKO’s mandate that was stolen by the
military and the crisis that followed it.
The one part of Nigeria that could
engineer a succession successfully was
the South West. They won’t go the route of
war but they were well placed to
scatter the nation of they should
choose to do so. The South East had
always wanted to leave the threesome
but were held in place by the strength
of their other two roommates.
If the Yorubas should say Enough,
there would be no Nigeria anymore
The military knew this and decided to
plot their way out of that quagmire by
giving the country a hybrid of Yoruba and
military candidate that won the election.

Since 1999, the seat in Aso Rock had
been won by grit, blood, alliances, bribery,
rigging, and every other dirty trick in the
book. This is normal in every
election cycle. Name-calling, bullying,
underhand strategies and betrayals or
claims of betrayals are normal in politics
You cannot tell the people “I deserve
to be King because my tribe has never
ruled before”. You can however strive,
push, canvass, campaign, form alliances
and play the politics to get there.

Having an entitlement mentality didn’t
help the brother of the prodigal son.
Thrones are not given to wailers,
it is given to prevailers.
As the political season gets thicker,
let’s put humanity first and play politics fairly

Rehoboam did this and it saved
a lot of people from untimely death.
Let us remember that eliminating people
to rule for four or eight years
is not worth it. While politics is a
dirty game, we can play it with
decency and ensure that Nigeria
and her future wins!


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