How often have you heard that “When the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do?” In this apparently corrupt world, how can a righteous man cope with the formidable corruption without getting consumed in the process? This important point is addressed in the book, “Righteous Man in Power” by Kayode Adeniji. While it is easy to criticise, it is not always easy to create. Having conceded that, I will use my privilege as a reviewer to recount a few minor criticisms.
A curious observer will note that the author begged the vital question of who a “righteous man” is in the book. The reader is left to guess what he meant or he perhaps took the meaning as given. The best he did is to equate the “righteous man” with the “morally upright”. The author did his best not to pretend about the fact that the book focuses on politics.
In this part of the world where politics is about “dog eat dog”, filled with cunningness, manipulations, and monumental corruption, can any morally upright person walk through the fire and come out without getting burnt? The author points out that “The so-called ‘upright men’ will feed you with the belief that one should not desire to prevent God on earth in any area of human endeavour, except in the religious circuit.”
The “upright men” seek change in the way of doing things outside religious circles, but do little on their part to correct the errors. The author places the responsibility of such corrections on the “upright men” for remaining passive rather than being actively involved. Some of these so-called upright men have even proverbially sold their birth right for a bowl of porridge!
This book not just another “self-help” book filled with incomprehensible ideas. It deals with practical ideas about solving real life challenges. It discusses righteous man’s adventures in power. This man’s humble beginning does not deter him. It discusses how the righteous rise to power; how he maintains himself in the position and how he hedges himself against the sharks in power without being eaten alive!
Apart from politics, the book also covers other areas of human endeavour to which the “righteous man” is called. These include business, career and family affairs. The author argues that to become a “Righteous Man in Power” (RMP*), one must do the unconventional – the unusual – and be ready to journey the extra mile. This is because the society has traditionally put a limit to the chances of the righteous. The author observes that some religious, business and political leaders have put structures in place to ensure that their children take over and make other gifted men servants for life.
Talking about relationships, Kayode Adeniji points out that the RMP must be meticulous in identifying good and poisonous relationships. Evil communications, they say, corrupt good manners. The old English saying “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are” perfectly applies here. The RMP must be careful in making the choice of a life partner. He must bring up his children in a godly way and must build his family as a model to those who look up to him. He who seeks change in the world must first change his home! His home is his primary responsibility before ministry, business or career.
How then does he deal with his most formidable challenge – temptation? How can he stand in the face of corruption? How will he stand when others are falling? What can he do when others are losing their heads? He must ensure he resists lust in every form, particularly pride. This is the first thing that leads to destruction. He must avoid ego like plague if he must fulfil his calling. He must equally avoid extreme materialism, sexual immorality and other baser emotions.
The book’s unique style of presentation and the simplicity of its expression can appeal to the deepest part of the reader’s consciousness. It is a masterpiece, a classic if you ask me, on self mastery, leadership and new approach to politics. It will be a great companion to everyone that loves knowledge, especially those seeking to drive positive change in their various spheres of influence.
*The term, Righteous Man in Power as used in the book includes male and female.