There have been stories, accusations, gossip, debate you name it concerning the Presidential Aides. The accusations which are made especially on the social network and some online publications range from Presidential aides calling the shots, forming a ring fence around the Presidency, blocking others from contributing, among others. This article intends to discuss the substance or lack thereof in such stories and accusations by exploring the concept and principle of loyalty.
For a start, loyalty can be described in many ways but generally common explanations include; a state of faithfulness to commitments or obligations; faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause etc; a virtue and basic moral principle from which all other principles can be derived.
Loyalty is the willing, practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause. It is thoroughgoing in that it is not merely a casual interest but a wholehearted commitment to a cause. This article does not intend to look at the academic dimensions of loyalty rather it explores the concept of loyalty from an application perspective, with a view to giving an insight in reference to the Presidential Aide that is Ben Phiri.
Before getting into the intricacies of the subject at hand, it would be helpful, if we can also refresh each other on the characteristics of a loyal person, as it will help the readers to relate the issues objectively.
While the article may not be exhaustive enough on the characteristics of a loyal person, the following few characteristics can do the trick. A loyal person is honest and kind; he/she defends your honour when you are not around to do it for yourself; accepts you wholeheartedly while looking past your flaws; tries to find the humour in things even when you can’t; won’t stab you in the back when you are down; won’t take advantage and exploit you for your good qualities while you are feeling defeated; does not spread rumours or share false or misleading information about you; treats you the way they like being treated; among others.
Put simply, a loyal person is always there for you, irrespective of your situation and circumstances. Now, come to think of the various accusations that have been directly or indirectly targeted at the Special Assistant to the President, Ben Phiri, that he is the one calling the shots, that he is forming a ring fence around the President, and even ridiculously labelling him the ‘Prime Minister’, and worse still even claiming that he is harbouring presidential ambitions!!
However, contrary, to these accusations, many, the author inclusive, know that Ben Phiri is a man of virtue, he is a loyal person, one who remained loyal to Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, during good, bad and tough times. He sacrificed everything including, putting his life in danger, because he believed in the cause advanced by the Professor.
He faced a lot of temptations, some so tempting that most of us would have chosen to betray the Professor, but he remained steadfast. He worked hard to ensure the Professor achieved his plans. While, the author may not claim to know Ben Phiri personally, one thing, the author is pretty sure is that Ben Phiri is a loyal person that every person, let alone every leader, would want to have around.
Besides, if readers critically look at the characteristics of a loyal person as shared in this article, Ben Phiri, scores exceptionally in those characteristics and many more that the article may not have covered.
This means if we are to objectively assess Ben Phiri, one is left wondering as to whether, it should therefore surprise anyone, that His Excellency, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, chose to maintain him as his Special Personal Assistant. One is left to wonder further, the basis of the unfounded accusations, being directed at Ben Phiri today, let alone faulting the Presidents’ leadership skills, because he has chosen to work with one of his trusted aides.
Once again, while the author, does not intend to claim knowing Ben Phiri, personally, he wishes to submit without any iota of fear of contradiction that Ben is such a loyal person, one who sacrificed a lot, one who placed his own life in danger, one who did not succumb to various temptations and carrots dangled at him to betray Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.
He displayed this exceptional loyalty at the most difficult times, times which saw some people previously thought to be loyal to the Late President, crossing boarders in very suspicious ‘coincidence’, times when we saw even former cabinet ministers in the then Bingu administration proclaiming their loyalty elsewhere, even before the Late Presidents body was laid to rest, times when Professor Peter Mutharika was arrested and his late brothers family victimized, this was the time that one Ben Phiri remained steadfast and loyal to now, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. Why then, should we be demonizing loyalty today?
- The author is a regular political commentator on the social network and online publications