by Mahmud Tim Kargbo
The first principle of unalienable rights recognises that everyone is naturally endowed by their Creator with certain rights that cannot be infringed or given away. Amongst these rights are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. In order to secure or safeguard these vital rights, “…..governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”. Constitutions are also made for the purpose of securing, protecting, promoting good governance, accountability and welfare of all citizens-the governed. The governments instituted among men are the elected representatives who are also known as the politicians. In sober nations, these politicians are required to implement social reforms and policy measures that contribute to the general welfare of the populace.
A politician is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making in government. Politicians play a central role in our lives. They are the concentrated voices of the people that make all efforts to improve their people’s welfare. Good and dependable politicians in other countries are a delight to serve the people and consider themselves as servants and people their paymasters. They represent the hopes, aspirations and interests of every citizen in the state.
In any decent nation, Politician qualities are his characters that are natural, while some of the qualities are a result of external influences. Promising politicians qualities are often backed by skills, experiences, intelligence, integrity, with instincts; all combined together to achieve their goals. First and foremost, the best quality of a politician is honesty, God-fearing and loving. A faithful and effective politician is trustworthy and reliable. He must capture the essence of truth, display sincerity, candour and practices what he preaches. He makes decisions and accepts responsibility for his actions and his words. The same is true in his dealing with his people. He makes promises and keeps those promises. Somebody that people may be relied upon. Loving people with all his heart, might, mind, soul and striving to help them as a true mark of responsible politician.
Moreover, most of our past and current fake politicians in Sierra Leone, will after taking the oath of office with the Holy books and lousy thanksgiving services, use their power as an end in itself, rather than for public good; making them indifferent to the progress of their citizens. A good politician becomes the image of his creator. A good and responsible politician will give high regard for morality, law-abiding with no tendencies to corrupt even a single cent or Leone. The greatest strength of good politicians is deriving joy in serving people and not stealing our tax payer’s money. They know that a fulfilling and meaningful life is created through service to others. To be an effective politician, your followers must have trust in you. And the very best way for a politician to build trust is to display a good sense of characters and qualities composed of values, beliefs, traits and skills not by fanning the flames of discord in the contraption.
Another important quality of a good politician is integrity and technical skills to handle those challenging assignments, fiscal matters, policies, plans, projects, ideas and initiative solutions to problems. Having Integrity that is a consistency of actions, methods, measures, values, principles, expectations and outcomes. It is doing what is right, both legally and morally at all-time even when no one is looking. Since politicians play very significant roles in the administrative processes, especially having hands in thousands of important laws and policies to our contraption, thereby they should be well-educated, modest, with experience in social welfare, volunteering or should have done some good work for the society. A politician should have a thorough knowledge and up-to-date information about the constituency where he is going to contest an election.
A good politician should be of a good discipline personality with selfless service to make life better for his people. This should be reflected in the community where he lives in all ramifications. Discipline is necessary for an orderly society and political life, without it, social life would become miserable. Selfless service is putting the welfare of the people before your own. A good politician firmly believes in taking care and maintaining the community of his people. He believes that community service is about giving back. According to Theodore Roosevelt, “the most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice”. A person or politician who is with a criminal background or any links with criminals or whose allegation on corruption has not been cleared by the law court should be disqualified to participate in elections.
A transparent politician is nearer to his people and meeting them to understand their problems. Only fake politicians in Sierra Leone are seen by voters when an election is near or change parties as footballers change clubs. As every parent has its responsibility to teach their children the principles of morals, culture, truth, sincerity to be self-responsible, so politicians need to integrate their citizens with the importance of political responsibility and democratic values. A politician leads by example and knows his minimum responsibilities as an elected representative. A politician comes to politics to work for his constituents and not to work against them. He is the beck and call of the people and ready to listen to everybody. All these build a strong foundation for a dynamic society in Sierra Leone which will create solutions for any challenges, and finally, develop strategies and political systems that will help implement those solutions automatically.
Great politicians or statesmen in decent nations, use their talents, skills, experiences, honesty, integrity, challenges and constraints with the positive effect that they can have in touching other human lives. Politicians must leave their constituency better than before being elected. Greatness is within reach of a politician who consistently does things he ought to be doing. He learns from mistakes and criticisms. It is a bad Sierra Leone politician that will see that all the good is on his side and that all the bad lies with his opponent; just because someone does not agree with him, does not mean that all their ideas and solutions are bad. Good politicians show respect to the views and experiences of others. Nobody has a monopoly of wisdom. He/she who aspires to be a great politician should have the ability to find and analyses problems in the contraption and find the best solutions for all these problems. There is no problem in this world without solutions. A good politician knows that simply giving consistent effort in the little task of services, social reforms, kindness or sacrifice in day-to-day life leads to the true greatness of a nation.
If all our politicians make it a point of responsibility to develop and make life better for people in their units, wards, constituencies, states and regions, we will definitely have a great country.