Nigeria with her current crises of insecurity and vandalism is at a cross roads of some sort. Several narratives have been pushed forward to explain the root causes of the present state of affairs while the issues get more intractable with each new day. What has been missing in most of the advertized ideas is objectivity based on the principle of compassion.
The propensity of politicians to view practically all issues from the perspectives of partisan party interests and the economic or material values inherent in those issues is a major barrier to objectivity. This attitude follows these politicians into government positions and beclouds their sense of judgment and their management of issues that affect the citizenry. The humane qualities of compassion and empathy are easily lost on the table of negotiations for political power.
This explains the observed apathy and callousness of our political office holders. We are seemingly at the mercy of governments at all levels of the political echelon who do not display any true modicum of the connectivity of empathy for the citizenry. The half hearted display of emotion and concern by these politicians that we observe in the media each time major tragedies occur have not and cannot lead to real actions that will bring remedies to the issues. Nigerians are suffering from a barrage of tragedies that are not only relegating a great proportion of the populace into abject poverty but are actually snuffing life out of them. All the while the government is claiming to be on top of the issues without any evidence to justify such claims.
As we approach the 2019 general elections the attention of the political class is fully focused on the jostling for power and position akin to these periods of the electoral calendar. The current office holders are busy with policies and projects, overpriced and substandard of course, that will bring them into favor with the people and possibly guarantee their re-election. This is because for them, governance is simply transactional and devoid of any true emotion. They just patronize the opinion leaders among the people to sway votes in their favor to entrench their political structures.
What a people who are faced with the current day realities Nigerians have to grapple with now need however is a leader and leaders across the wide spectrum of governance who truly feel what the people feel. This connectivity of empathy is what shapes the kind of government such a connected leader will set up and the policies to be pursued. This kind of government will not push irrelevant policies down the throat of the citizenry but will create policies wrapped around the real issues of the people. A government like this will not have transparency issues and will not be inaccessible to the people because it will draw its energy from direct interactions with them at all levels.
This is why in considering the several aspirants who are emerging for the various offices to be occupied after the coming elections our people must take the time to search for men and women who are disposed to servant leadership in its true essence. The responsibility of identifying the compassion driven aspirants lies with the electorate and we must be thorough in considering the options we are presented with in these aspirants.
It is a clear fact that no leader or president who has compassion for the people can be comfortable with the level of carnage, bloodletting and corruption being witnessed in our country presently. And this goes beyond mere verbalizing concern about the issues as we see done today to taking obvious and strategic actions to quiet the storm and stop the trend. Politicking, either from sectional biases or from economic considerations must not be the action plan in times such as this but leadership. And this kind of leadership can only come from a heart full of compassion for the people.
A compassionate leader will put the citizenry before the resources of the land and will therefore see the resources as a means to an end which is to impact the lives of the people and not as a means for personal aggrandizement. This is a very distinctive quality which a leader with compassion will display and with respect to our aspirants, this is not a quality to be learned on the job. They must come forward with it.
This is a major determinant for the progress that we envisage for our people and our country and a true factor for peace to reign in our society. I hope we will all join together to ensure that we use the subject of compassion among other appropriate qualities to prune the increasing number of political office aspirants till we arrive at our choices across board.