Itihwe moralizes on political participation
B Jon Egie
Sir Amos Itihwe is the first victim of my series of interviews with politicians who intend to contest the 2019 elections. I confronted him with three basic questions aimed at eliciting responses geared towards exposing his humane nature for the electorate to establish his affiance to the common folk and his indifference to their yearnings, in his day to day life character and relationship with the common man. The questions majorly dwelt on his philosophy of life and humanity, how the society has influenced his lifestyle and how he has impacted on the society, especially the down trodden. Would his answers to these questions convince the electorate to support his political ambition? READ!
Concept of life
I see life as a journey initiated by God for mankind and we are expected to live in the way of the Lord. Sometimes I see life as an opportunity for mankind to honour God because at the end of creation everything created by God was good but man saw that there was need to change the order of God. So, what we see today is a departure from the purpose of God for man and that is why most of world happenings beat the imagination of man.
I believe that life is an experiment of God using man as a specimen. The totality of creation according to the Bible is, God created man to honour him but here on earth, man has decided to choose his own path and this has led to sin. The experiment was to test the obedience of man to God but man failed.
God created all things that would make man live comfortably in the abundance of equitably distributed resources. But man began to possess negative powers to destroy one another. I believe life should be lived the way God ordered it: to love one another, remain united in peace and see injury to one as injury to all. But we have class differentials today such that some people have advantages politically and economically to subdue others.
I am being guided by the initial principle of God for man. I have tasted both sides of life-abject poverty and comfort. I understand that it is better to live in peace with your neighbor and make them as comfortable as possible. I have learned that global crises emanate from abandonment of the original path of God; perceived inequality and inherent differentials in socioeconomic and political opportunities have resulted in the crises bedeviling Nigeria when the oppressed revolt.
I therefore, wish to call on leaders in whatever capacity to be cautious; they should go back to the old way of God for peace to reign.
The present day politics and politicians do not conform with the initial purpose of God’s creation. Politicians want to prove God wrong hence elections are rigged and until man goes back to the original way of God, there must be crisis. We must learn to go back to God.
In my journey in politics I have discovered that you need to lead the people with the fear of tomorrow. If you imbibe the consciousness that somebody could occupy the position you are occupying now in the nearest future you would live with fear since whatever position one occupies is by the grace of God.
In the journey of leadership, think God first and think humanity so that we could have a near perfect society. Consider the will of God for the people first. Most of our leaders think of themselves first before the people. If you do the wish of the people and you are seen to be following the path of the people, you will have peace; otherwise you would be preparing a time bomb which would explode in the nearest future. The people need you and you must be responsible to the people. Crises in the society will cease when leaders take the people first.
My daily desire is to have opportunity to make people happy, though I am yet to attain that height in perfection. But I am a free man, I have no extra security measures, I enjoy comfort in the presence of the people because I relate with the people well. I am at peace with my people.
Influence of society
I refused to be influenced by the society. I am guided by my own thought. I still relate with my old friends. If a leader allows the society to influence him, he will fail. Study the society and see the good and bad; align with the good and correct the bad. If you allow the society to influence you, you will fail.`
Taken back, I can testify that I came from a humble background that helped to mold my character. Drinking in public places is not an opinion that pleases me, brawls and fighting are out of the way and go clubbing, I am not given to that. My social disposition may be due to the uncivilized environment I was brought up which has in every way helped mould my present day character. No public position I occupied and even now as a DESOPADEC Commissioner has influenced me. Leaders should not allow the society to influence them negatively.
Some people carry the virus of negative influence from the society to the court of leaders and try to infect the leaders with such viruses and hence influence them to poor performance in office. A leader leads mixed multitude of people, he must listen and hear every one but he reserves the right to distill the ideas they suggest. Leaders should go to God in prayer before taking decisions. You are not duty bound to take all opinions and advice from the people until you are guided by God.
I call on the electorate to weigh the character and upbringing of politicians before voting for them. The reason our people vote in the wrong persons is because we ignore this aspect of political participation. I suggest that the electorate should put all politicians who aspire for any elective seat on a personality scale and weigh them: their growth and development process, social, religious and educational background so that we could have the best. But we are too much in a hurry in Nigeria. If we take time to screen the politicians, look at their background we would discover that the best candidate to be voted for is the man is you live with and see every day and not the man who lives far away, you hardly see him and you have little or no knowledge of his background only for him to come, offer you money to sell your votes. The development we yearn for will elude us when we exchange our franchise for money to the man whose personality profile we cannot vouch. And when this happens we are to be held responsible for under development in our communities because we voted for the wrong people when they bought our votes. Ignore being influence by money to vote, be patient, know your candidate before you vote.
Impact on the society
It is good that one’s life influences others positively. It is dangerous to be the only man who is comfortable in your neighbourhood and community. You will not be safe in the hands of the hungry multitude. As much as possible we should make use of the little resources we have to impact on the society positively. Your wealth can only be valued by the help you give. My uncivilized background has helped me in this regard. Because of my taste of poverty, if I see somebody in that shoe, I think back and if I could help, I help.
Good life is an opportunity which comes by the grace of God, once the opportunity is there and there is no grace you cannot maximize it.
Giving is a personal sacrifice. Sometime I take overdraft to give to people. They don’t believe that there could be a period that you could be broke. If I cannot help today, I could help tomorrow. If you meet any leader and he couldn’t help you that does not mean he would not help tomorrow. I appeal to leaders to help when they have the resources and the people should understand that leaders cannot be available all time to help.
Be patient to live your life, man cannot help you, only God can help. Do not expect so much so that you will not be disappointed. Do not be enticed away from your will with money, vote as your heart directs because voting the best candidate is the only option to your well being and community development. A leader you see regularly is better than the one you seldom see.