By Abdul-Azeez Suleiman
For many people, deciding which candidate to vote into office is simply a matter of party affiliation while most others cast their votes based on specific characteristics they look for in their candidate of choice.
In both instances, it is tempting to begin to think: what makes for a good candidate in relation to the set of politicians we have? This becomes a really difficult question to answer. After all, there are not many candidates available here who one could label as “good” politicians.
Limiting the scope of choice to the three major contestants for the Kaduna Central Senate seat, it becomes compelling to stop looking for a good politician and instead, start thinking about the qualities an ideal politician should possess in order for people to actually endorse him:
Applying the following character trait test on Lawal Adamu Usman (Mr LA), Uba Sani and Shehu Sani, the riddle becomes really much more easy to solve.
Honesty –In the last three years, dishonesty is what has come to be expected of our politiciansi; being honest has become difficult perhaps because they fears it will make them vulnerable by revealling who they really are, and disclosing their mistakes. Mr LA on the other hand, agrees that honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust which are the foundation to evoke confidence and respect from teammates and constituents.
Integrity – While his opponents always try to ride the waves of public opinion, appeasing people by telling them what they think they want to hear, LA is a candidate who will stand up for what he believes in, has his own opinions and sticks to them, which is integrity.
Patriotism – Whereas it is hard to expect other candidates to put the best interests of the community, state or country ahead of their own political career or legacy LA is at all times ready to make decisions that benefit his constituents, even if they may ruin his career.
Intelligence – Other candidates may actually have the educational pedigree, but are nowhere close to applying it in practical terms. But LA has not just excelled in his schooling, but uses it to help him make his decisions instead of having to rely so heavily on ”psychophants,” “lackeys” and “lobbyists”.
Reason – LA’s opponentsi thrive in deceiving the people that they can change the society overnight, but he ideally believes that leaders should have high goals, but be realistic about what can be accomplished in the time they have, and be open with the public about how their plans are coming, so that even if some changes may not be seen until long after their terms, they should at least get the ball rolling.
Charisma – Others always appear to make people want to follow them by delivering the speeches laced in half-truths which they think the crowd yearns for. But this is at the bottom of LA’s list because he believes the people must not sacrifice their fate for someone who is simply a relentless vain talker.
Compassion –Those competing with Mr LA tend to see compassion as a weakness by refusing to understand the suffering of others and wanting to do something to alleviate that suffering. LA in contrast, believes compassion is a characteristic that converts knowledge to wisdom. He thus uses compassion to see the needs of his people and to determine the course of action that would be of greatest benefit to all of them.
Flexibility- For LA, victory is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find a common ground. He always listens carefully to all sides, not only to hear their arguments but to especially learn what it will take on behalf of all parties involved to reach a consensus.His opponents prefer being needlessly rigid which does not allow them to recognize setbacks and criticisms, to learn from them and move forward.
Conclusively, therefore, Lawal Adamu Usman (Mr LA) can safely be categorized among the rare breed of reliable,