• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Otti: Empathy as a mark of leadership

FG and Otti’s unwavering commitment to healthcare in Abia: Fostering SDG 3 and 5 indicators

“The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.”

Marcus Brutus, in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

I couldn’t be a Machiavellian. I hated this statement and others by Niccolo Machiavelli: “A promise is the necessity of the situation and broken promise, the necessity of the after situation.” I am also not a student of Robert Greene. After reading and studying his 48 Laws of Power over and over again, I dropped it into the cesspit because it elevated treachery to a statecraft. I believe that a leader should be a man of remorse and empathy.

Give it to Governor Alex Otti. He has proven to be a man of remorse and empathy. Literary analysts identify “remorse” in Brutus’ statement as conveying a body of meanings like compassion, empathy, humane, kindness, love, benevolence, rapport. Or what we describe, in the local parlance, as “having a human feeling”. I have seen our Governor consistently display these attributes and take up the personality of a responsive leader.

A day after a part of the Timber Market in Ehere, Aba was gutted by fire in April, Governor Otti came in person to sympathise with the victims of the fire disaster. He made a promise to offer some palliatives to cushion the effect of their loss. Few days after, exactly on April 23, the Governor fulfilled his promise and extended financial assistance to all the victims and set up a machinery for the rebuilding and upgrading of the market.

Again, when the news of the disappearance of three kids from one family at Ikwuano Umuahia broke out, Governor Otti, inspired the security measures that went after the abductors and the search continued up to Ekwuluobia in Anambra and Warri in Delta State until the three siblings were rescued. He showed sympathy to the family as the search lasted and later received them and the community leaders at his Nvosi country home.

Asa Development Union, the apex socio-cultural organisation in the Ukwa West Local Government recently passed a vote of confidence on Governor Otti and two of the impressive incidents cited by the Union related to the Governor’s show of empathy. The Asa people identified the Governor’s immediate response to an emergency call on him to intervene when a building collapsed in their Obingwu community, and the Governor’s show of empathy concerning the death of one miss Ochieze Ogbonna from Umuahala Village in Ukwa West at the Inner Galaxy Steel Company. The people say they received the necessary attention from the Governor when these incidents were brought to his attention.

Kudos must also go to the Governor over the way he has managed the May 30th dastardly killing of five soldiers at Obikabia junction in Aba. Through a genuine show of empathy, the Governor has been able to assuage the Army and control a volatile situation that would have escalated and generated into more tension. The Governor has also engaged the wives and families of the victims through personal visitations, donations and scholarship awards. He also adopted them as “families of the government”

There are several other cases where the Governor has applied himself to the feelings of the people and took actions to ameliorate their pains. He took up a human nature and put himself in their conditions. I believe that a leader should be a man of his words, a man of remorse and empathy. Empathy makes us better humans. Governor Otti has shown proof to be a man of empathy and this is a credit.

Indeed, Governor Otti is setting standards in many areas and this is because he is an independent leader.

Beyond politics, there is one asset for which all Abians must embrace him. He is unencumbered. Recent leaders of Abia had struggled with the burden of gratitude to their benefactors and had been hindered by such encumbrances.

Governor Otti’s gratitude, unarguably, is to no one in particular or group but to the people of Abia, to the masses and electorates. He cannot be said to have been made by a particular godfather. It cannot be said that power was handed over to him by a particular clan. He is not answerable to an overbearing city elders or party stakeholders. He is only answerable to God, his conscience, and to the people of Abia State. This has caused the end of the surreptitious sharing formula and the end of multiple layers of power. He is standing on his feet and holding the mantle. This, to me, is the real freedom and the true liberation for a people.

Governor Otti is asserting his personality as a man of empathy and responding to the needs of the people. This is victory for Abians and I consider this victory as a giant leap for our dear state of Abia and as a great milestone in our journey as a people. It is certainly the higher ground of our socio-political development as a people united by our common humanity and ancestry.

These acts of empathy cut across the entire state. I have not heard of the governorship being constructed as belonging or gratifying a particular section or clan but Abia. The perception of Governor Otti is that of a true statesman who is looking at the entire Abia as his territory. The message is that our task of nation-building has just begun.

Many may not realise the barriers we have broken and the steps we have climbed up the stairs of our anthropological movement. Only those who know the enormity of damage caused by the baggage of encumbrances will appreciate the tenacity of purpose exercised by Governor Otti in ushering in the new Abia. The ripple effect is that the old encumbrances of cabals and clannishness are over and a new day is born in Abia State.

Governor Alex Otti has carved a noticeable identity, the reputation of a change maker and the reputation of a man of empathy. His infrastructural revolution has provoked universal applause and acceptance. From labourers receiving their deserved wages to security of life and property; from street lights to good roads and more, it has been a lullaby of jubilation. The song, Otti is doing well, is in the air. Pensioners have their own lullaby of joy.

Indeed, a man of empathy is on the throne.

Adindu writes from Umuahia