Apart from nepotism, ethnic, party and religious chauvinism, sexual matters, and politically related crimes, corruption among leaders is often measured in terms of financial impropriety. The Tupocrat will however be different and exemplary by making sure there is integrity in all financial transactions based on transparency and accountability. The Bible warns leaders to flee from financial crimes:
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
(I Timothy 6: 6 – 11 NKJV).
Leaders should avoid being covetous and greedy, especially when it has to do with public funds or using their political influence to deprive other people of their legitimate possessions as King Ahab did to Naboth (I Kings 21). For killing Naboth through jungle justice in order to have his vineyard, God severely punished Ahab, his wife Jezebel and their descendants. The same spirit of covetousness led Judas Iscariot to betray his master the Lord Jesus Christ to be crucified for only thirty pieces of silver at the end of which he committed suicide and the money was used in buying a cemetery (Akeldema, field of blood Acts 1: 16 – 20).
“Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.” (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office (Acts 1:16-20 NKJV).
To covet means to long to possess something belonging to another person. Covetousness is the root of fraud, embezzlement, armed robbery, stealing, kidnapping, simony, all forms of inordinate ambition and unethical conducts in the church and civil society. The way out of financial crimes and impropriety has been addressed in the 16th chapter of my book Tupocracy: Leadership by example for the church and civil society
TUPOCRACY IN PATRIOTISM
Patriotism is love and devotion to one’s country. It comes from the Greek word, “patris,” meaning fatherland. In Nigeria, for instance, the wordings of the former and current National Anthems as well as the National pledge were meant to elicit and encourage patriotism. Sadly, this has not yet been realized as several citizens are still apathetic towards issues that can enhance national dignity. That is why some people do not respect the National Flag and the National Anthem. Another indication of lack of patriotism are vandalism of public utilities and other criminal activities against the nation and fellow citizens. One major cause of lack of patriotism is bad government which often comprises unpatriotic people. This calls for Tupocrats who will showcase patriotism in all they do. Unpatriotic leaders are selfish people who see office as an open sesame to wealth.
David’s paradigm of Patriotism
The Bible talks about King David as one who loved God and the nation of Israel and under whose reign the nation reached the apogee of the development in all positive aspects. He is credited with faithful and sincere service to his generation according to the Bible, “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption” (Acts 13:36 NKJV). Serving by the will of God means that he was just, God fearing, transparent and fair to all people which pleased God.
And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren. For there were those who said, “We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.” There were also some who said, “We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.” There were also those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.” And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them,”Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.” So I called a great assembly against them. And I said to them, “According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?” Then they were silenced and found nothing to say. Then I said, “What you are doing is not good. Should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies? I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury! Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them.” So they said, “We will restore it, and will require nothing from them; we will do as you say.” Then I called the priests, and required an oath from them that they would do according to this promise. Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord. Then the people did according to this promise. Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the governor’s provisions. But the former governors who were before me laid burdens on the people, and took from them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver. Yes, even their servants bore rule over the people, but I did not do so, because of the fear of God. Indeed, I also continued the work on this wall, and we did not buy any land. All my servants were gathered there for the work. And at my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us. Now that which was prepared daily was one ox and six choice sheep. Also fowls were prepared for me, and once every ten days an abundance of all kinds of wine. Yet in spite of this I did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people. Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people (Nehemiah 5:1- 19 NKJV).
As quoted above, Nehemiah’s paradigm of patriotism is unparalled, very glaring and worthy of emulation in the Book named after him. The sorry sight of the broken wall of Jerusalem touched his heart and moved him into the action of rebuilding it. He could not condone the oppressive attitude of his greedy kinsmen who exacted usury on the monies which they lent to the underprivileged ones. He showed example in lending to them without interest. He deliberately forfeited his financial and material privileges as Governor which his avaricious predecessors were enjoying. Can our leaders do this? Cansd they cut down on their jumbo pay as Presidents, Governors, Legislators, or Church leaders?
At present Israel and the United States of America seem to have so much to teach the rest of the world the meaning of true patriotism. Someone has observed that, “American patriotism is not uncritical or blind. We find a lot to criticize, and today we are deeply dissatisfied with the performance of many key institutions and leaders. But those views don’t diminish our patriotism. Americans love their country and they aren’t afraid to say so. American patriotism is steadfast in part because they have the best system of government in the world. They would rather live in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, and they still believe the fundamental structure of our democratic system is sound. Americans are very proud of their country because of the foundation laid by their leaders like Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy and Luther King. Leaders, in fact, ought to be mentors of patriotism.”
The lesson is clear. A sound system of government will encourage patriotism. Patriotism does not mean absence of criticism but patriotism is the positive criticism in the best interests of the nation. A country should make her citizens to be proud of her through Tupocracy.
The Rev. Godwin Amaowoh, Phd, FnbR
+2348033197851, Email: email@example.com