Power: Meaning, Sources And Types Of Power

Table Of Contents

1. Meaning Of Power
2. Types Or Forms Of Power
3. Sources Of Acquiring Power

Meaning Of Power

Power is the ability to enforce decisions and compel obedience from other people by the possession of the means of sanction. It is the ability for one to make others do his or her will whether they like it or not, power is acquired.

Types Or Forms Of Power

1. Political Power: This is the power possessed by the elected president or head of state or prime minister or Governor. It is the power derived from the people and the constitution.

2. Economic Power: This is the power an individual or organization possess due to their economic influence of their economic resources. It involves the use of wealth in controlling actions of government as he commands respect.

3. Military Power: This is the power possessed by the Armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force). They control the instrument of suppression and violence.

Uses Of Military Power:

1. Military power is used forcefully to change a government.

2. To control or quench riot.

3. To defend the territory of a state against external attack.

4. To maintain internal peace.

4. Physical Power: This is the application of force in compelling obedience. The application of physical power may cause injury or even death.

The Source Or Means Of Acquiring And Exercising Political Power

1. Through The Constitution: Political power is acquired through the constitution. The constitution has source of power which specifies the qualification for exercising power, The method of acquiring power, which is through periodic elections. E.g Through election, power held by the people is transferred to a body called government. “Your vote is your power”. It is through election that the current president is ruling Nigeria, Without people voting him into power, he cannot ascend the position.

2. Through Position Of Authority: One’s position of authority conveys some elements of power on him. The position one occupies, sometimes demand making decisions. That is why it is said that Authority and power are complementary.

3. Through Inheritance Or Hereditary: People sometimes acquire power by virtue of their birth into a royal family. And though inheritance, such person ascends to the throne when the kingship or queenship throne is vacant. In England, political power is acquired through inheritance.

4. Through Coercion: Power may be acquired through the use of force e.g, The military. Most developing countries in Africa, Latin America have experienced change of government through coup d’etat (an unconstitutional way of changing government).

For example in Nigeria, Gen. Babaginda, Gen. Abacha (Late), Gen. Buhari (in his 1st regime), all came into power by force through coup d’ etat (by using gun to chase out those in power and improve their own person and impose their own person of interest).

5. Through Economic Sources: An individual acquire political power and command respect from other people by using his money and properties (resources).

6. Through Charisma: Power can be acquired through intelligence or a person’s charisma. He is naturally endowed with controlling power to inspire devotion and enthusiasm in others, e.g late Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

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