The political arena is so unpredictable; the very people who applauded the corrupt, office bearers can tomorrow turn against them.
Max was indeed a hero and martyr…What I found distasteful however was the sudden, unashamed change of front among the very people who had stood by and watched him die.
Overnight everyone began to shake their heads at the excesses of the last regime, at its graft, oppression and corrupt government: newspapers, the radio, the hitherto silent intellectuals and civil servants—everybody said what a terrible lot; and it became public opinion the next morning. And these were the same people that only the other day had owned a thousand names of adulation, whom praise-singers followed with song and talking-drum wherever they went. Chief Koko in particular became a thief and a murderer, while the people who had led him on—in my opinion the real culprits—took the legendary bath of the Hornbill and donned innocence.
‘Koko had taken enough for the owner to see,’ My father’s words struck me because they were the very same words the villagers of Anata had spoken of Josiah, the abominated trader. Only in their case the words had meaning. The owner was the village, and the village had a mind; it could say no to sacrilege… A regime in which you saw a fellow cursed in the morning for stealing a blind man’s stick and later in the evening saw him again mounting the altar of the new shrine in the presence of all the people to whisper into the ear of the chief celebrant—in such a regime, I say, you died a good death if your life had inspired someone to come forward and shoot your murderer in the chest—without asking to be paid.
From: A Man of the People- Chinua Achebe
Tomorrow is uncertain and it could mean the same people who sing your praises today will be the first to condemn you tomorrow.