By Comrade Albert Lah Amabu ( THE PATRIOT)
“Moral authorities and practical display of leadership commitment to only virtues that advances the affairs of the state and the practice of love for Nationhood has the potential of keeping the society safe and secured” – Comrade Lah Amabu (2019).
In our quest for peace and in pursuit of a developed and prosperous Nation; repentance, forgiveness and exemplary leadership is a necessity.
“We win by tenderness and conquer by forgiveness ” – Frederick William Robert.
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contributions to the healing of the world” – Marianne Billings.
“Forgiveness is the key to actions and freedom” – Hannah Arent.
“Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” – Mohandas K.Gandhi.
“Without forgiveness life is governed by..an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation” – Robert Assagioli.
I bring to you Easter greetings in this season of love. Let me start with a personal story that is just one among many others in which I recorded live testimonies in the practice of love and in display of exemplary leadership; I felt like sharing it for the general good of the society. Listen and read on: In mile one market Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on Sunday the 14th of April 2019, I was standing in my resplendent suit, waiting for those I sent to get some fresh fish for dinner. Out of the blues – a dreaded looking guy came to me like a mad man but he was very sound. His eyes were fixated on the smart phone firmly held in my hand and he said: “Bros I have not eaten since yesterday and I need to barb my hair”.
I beheld the countenance of this shabbily dressed young man and saw a crime – influenced mind and a guy in dare need of transition into a new life, seeking rehabilitation and hope for a promising future. Attentively,I watched this young man standing by my side,on the road, while I was waiting for my people who were already shopping in the popular evening market.
My spirit told me this guy came to steal this phone and that I should arrest him with the power of love.I immediately responded. When he saw the love-induced boldness in my eyes, he started confessing all his bad deeds, he said: “bros I just came back from prison and I don’t have where to stay”. I said,waooh-where are you from”. He said Emohia LGA in Rivers state. I grilled him a bit to ascertain his condition- “are you sure you are not among those causing problems in that Area? and he said “bros I no fit lie to you, that is what sent me to prison.” I said, thank God, you are back and he said “ bros I want you to pray for me, I don’t want anything from you.” I responded “that’s good” At this point, we were more like friends. I asked if he knew Deacon Buchi -an award winning gospel music minister. He said yes. “He was a dreaded criminal who was miraculously rescued at the point of death and that he is very much familiar with his(Buchi’s) story.
At last -I gave this guy that seemed to have come for a negative motive the INVESTMENT OF MY PERSONALITY and he thanked me and left smiling for hope with the token I gave him.
It was unfortunate that he did not have a phone. I would have made him my very good friend.
Although I gave him some instructions which he promised to follow. “Love is stronger than any force in the world”!
I shook my head as this young man left and I told the story to my friends as soon as we zoomed off and left the market. They said “leader, we trust you”.
Back to my easter main message on genuine repentance, forgiveness and love among leaders and players for peaceful and prosperous society! In Africa,the gap between the political class,the elites and the led is too wide and should be bridged with love and social equality and there will be peace in our society.
Leaders should practice this love In our families, communities, offices and in their pursuit of leadership and service if they really mean well for their Nation and humanity! In Nigeria, Several times we see politicians openly profess faith and trust in manifestos and declaration of good deeds especially when seeking for support from the electorate, but once elected they develop selective amnesia.
In Rivers state,the governor is asking for forgiveness and a working relationship with opposition leaders and there are strong fears and feelings of insincerity after much allegations of fraternal relationship with groups not considered working for peace and freedom and at other times ,alleged perceived secrets dealings with state institutions.
These had really betrayed the trust and confidence in respect to reconciliation for partnership and rebuilding of the foundation of peace and security in Rivers state. In good sense, having diverse views and ideologies shouldn’t be a ticket to oppose without patriotism.
In the politics of service, political beliefs, orientations,philosophies and inclinations shouldn’t be a barrier for development and support for peaceful coexistence as seen in other matured and developed climes and democracies.
As stakeholders and leaders,we must think towards this direction for the overall good of the society and for the development of our Nation.
On insecurity and killings, most often we put all the blame on cult related activities as the sole problem of insecurity in the state but emphatically, it is not correct. These boys are being misled and are ill -informed.
They felt alienated since the leaders in the position of trust are not doing much for public benefits.
My understanding of the politics of the Niger delta region gives me the boldness to say this not because I condone any social vice but I can tell you Categorically, as someone who has led young people and have a good knowledge and experience in crisis management and community conflicts resolutions, and as a trained person with several laurels from different organizations and institutions that cultism is not the only cause of insecurity in the society.
Hatred and vindictive spirit among the supporters of the political class, lack of political tolerance, leadership immaturity, penchant for corruption and greed by institutions of state all play significant roles in the whirlwind of politics, tension and insecurity in the state.
Rivers State has allowed the spirit of “winners take it all syndrome” for long. This anti democratic slogan of “carry go” is still embedded in the genes of Rivers State leaders and the political class of the Niger Delta.
This is not friendly to the principle of participatory democracy and sustainable peace and development in the region. Bitterness, manipulations,use of political hunger weapons to compel loyalty are the most organic cause of rebellion and breeding grounds for insecurity in this state (Rivers state).
We must let go of all these for the glory of the garden city to be restored.
Constructive strategies and consultations to control political space and leadership are eminently allowed in the business of politics; but tactical and moral supports to gangsters and the use of state powers to undermine the people’s power should not be allowed to continue and become a norm as the way to win election in Rivers state.
Let power go to the people. Only people prepared for leadership should be supported. This is how Nations and states grow and develop.
The mentality of allocation of powers to the unprepared and frequent importation of leaders into the political system, sometimes are not very healthy.
This also can affect adversely the security situation and the rise of cultism in the society.
The exclusion of the younger generation in governance had been a major issue in the leadership weakness in some political parties in Rivers state. Inadequate employment and empowerment also contribute immensely to insecurity in Rivers State in particular and in Nigeria in general.
These can no longer be sustained in our quest for solutions and our yearnings for a peaceful state and must be done away with if leaders of the system of Rivers state want the to have peace and development.
Rivers State deserves the best! She must move forward! Have sustainable peace and prosper among the other states in Nigeria and comity of Nations.
The development of her youths and a compulsory integration and support for them for leadership positions and economic empowerment should be taken seriously by political leaders and systems interested in winning real democratic election in the future.
His Excellency the executive governor of River state has been singing “Rivers is a Christian state” And in other occasion, we saw and heard the Hon.minister for transportation who is by extension the political leader of the modern Rivers state also affirmed that the “APC is a party of those who fear God”.
The big questions is why so much security tensions during electioneering in Rivers state?
The answer is in this message of love,tolerance for mutual existence, respect for human life and a play down for greedy middle men completely detached from the grassroots and the institutions of state to remains unbiased and eschew corruption and bribery.
All the points highlighted above are not intended to defame or smear the integrity of any person or group of people but a pointer to change in our collective quest for a peaceful and prosperous society and nation.
Enough of the politics of hatreds and bitterness! Enough of dastardly and savage behavior! Enough of Bribery and Corruption!
If we are asking for forgiveness, there should be genuine repentance to build trust and confidence, love for all and systematic and deliberate inclusions of young and prepared persons of resource and intellects in the system and in the scheme of things by the government; and the Elites will discourage crime and reduce the rates of juvenile delinquency in our dear state.
History had shown that God does not need only tongues speaking and born again fellows to get things done right, but passionate men and women of honor.
People of good will. And those who seek the progress and general wellbeing of the people to heal the lands, Happy Easter!!
Edited by @obinna_ejianya