Former president Goodluck Jonathan was recently credited with a statement that went viral on social media.

He was quoted as saying that former political office holders hardly get people who are loyal to them after leaving office.

This submission can be interpreted to mean so many things but the fact is that life outside political office most especially that of governors, presidents and even local government chairmen cannot be the same.

What defined their incumbency is the power political office holders wield and are allowed under the constitution.

The presidents and governors are like acting god on earth as they are saddled with the power of life and death, especially as they have immunity.

The privileged positions they find themselves, out of so many Nigerians naturally attract all manner of people to them.

Political office holders are worshiped and venerated to high heavens by their followers with varying degrees of personal agenda mostly bothering on their survival instinct.

A typical political office holder like the governor or president is surrounded by opulence, grandeur and abundance of life.

These include 24 hours protection by stern looking security agents, large convoy of cars with siren blowing at the front and back, numerous aides, free food, wardrobe allowance and coterie of hangers on.

His wife is the first lady in the state or the country and his name is never complete without the prefix, ‘His Excellency’.

After exiting their coveted offices, political office holders suffer unending nightmares as the aura of power and near invincibility will desert them, they suddenly transformed to private citizens.

Life as a private citizen can be cruel and nasty sometimes for ex-political office holders.

No more power of life and death, no more ‘Your Excellency’, no more immunity, no more stern looking security agents, no more large convoy of limousines, no more numerous aides, no more free food, no more lavish birthday celebrations, and even some of those they help to get jobs will delete their number from their phones.

Life as a former political office holder can be extremely lonely and frustrating, that is why African presidents like Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Idris Derby of Chad and Felix Tshishiliti of Congo have remained in office for decades.

To avoid unnecessary distractions, boredom, nightmare and feelings of let down, political office holders need to plan ahead of their exit to re-align themselves back into the mainstream of the society.

They must devise means of engagement to mitigate terminal diseases and stress which can lead to untimely death.

Personal projects like foundations and nongovernmental organizations aimed at giving back to the society, is a good step in the right direction.

Political office holders should not indulge themselves in lifestyles that they cannot sustain for themselves after leaving office.

They must bear in mind from their day one in office that anything which has a beginning must have an end just like life and death.

Political office holders must strive to put behind a good legacy that will speak after them as the judgment of posterity and history can make or mar them.

Above all, they need to move closer to God who is the author and finisher of their faith by creating time for him in churches, mosques and private closets.

Former power holders who are now powerless should endeavour to pay back to God who showed them mercy out of millions of people who were equally, if not more qualified than them.

Net/Babatunde Tiamiyu

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