Deciding which candidate to vote into office is simply a matter of party affiliation for many people. Others, however, pick their candidates based on specific characteristics they look for in their candidate of choice.
Here, one is bound to begin to think: What makes for a good politician in the first place?
But as one begins to think about it in relation to the set of politicians we have, it becomes a difficult question to answer.
In Kaduna state where I came from for instance, it becomes really a much more difficult riddle to solve.
After all, there are not many candidates available here who one could label as “good” politicians.
Instead, I stopped looking for a good politician and started thinking about the qualities an ideal politician should possess in order for me to actually endorse him:
In this wise, I did some more assessment of the candidates posing to govern the state in 2019 including the incumbent governor, Nasir elrufai and likely challengers from within his party and in other parties.
The deeper I probed, the more I became convinced that in the final analysis, there could be only one man that can scale the odds and come out tops based on the following yardsticks: Sani Shaaban, the princely Danburan of Zazzau.
Honesty – since dishonesty is what has become expected of today’s politicians, being honest can sometimes be difficult for some political leaders because it makes them vulnerable. It reveals who they really are and discloses their mistakes, which gives opponents the opportunity to criticize or reject openly.
Besides Sani Shaaban, I found that none of the likely candidates I assessed, agrees that honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust which are the foundation to evoke confidence and respect from teammates and constituents.
Integrity – I am less interested in finding a candidate who is trying to ride the waves of public opinion than I am in finding a candidate who will stand up for what they believe in.
My ideal politician should therefore not appease me by telling me what he thinks I want to hear, he should have his own opinions and stick to them, which is exactly Shaaban’s style.
Patriotism – It is so hard to ask for politicians who put the best interests of the community, state or country ahead of their own political careers or legacy.
My ideal candidate should be ready to make decisions that benefit his constituents, even if they ruin his career; a rare trait I find only in Shaaban.
Intelligence – While all the candidates in my assessment list have the educational pedigree, it seems that only Shaaban has been anything close to applying it in practical terms. He has not just excelled in his schooling but uses it to help him make his decisions instead of having to rely so heavily on “advisers”, “advocates” and “lobbyists”.
Reason – Nobody can change the society overnight, and Shaaban, the good politician politician he is, has aptly been able to realize that. This is why I became impressed when he pointedly reasoned that “in the long run, there’s very little that a state governor can accomplish in an eight-year term, let alone only four years. They should still 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. Even if some changes may not be seen until long after their terms, they should at least get the ball rolling.”
Charisma – Most of the candidates I assessed appear to make people want to follow them by delivering the speeches they think the crowd yearns for. But this is at the bottom of Shaaban’s list because he believes the people must not sacrifice their fate for someone who is simply a good speaker.
Compassion – This is another humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something to alleviate that suffering. While the other candidates tend to see compassion as a weakness, Shaaban on the other hand, 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 Shaaban, unlike all the other likely aspirants I assessed, flexibility is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find the common ground. This, according to him, is why 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.
This characteristic allows him to recognize setbacks and criticism, to learn from them and move forward.
He aspires to respect different views, analyze problems, and identify the best solutions – not based on loyalty to political party, but rather based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the people as a whole.
These may be my personal yardsticks for the choice of a candidate. But then, of course they can be applicable in all situations in any democratic clime.
Based on this personal assessment, I make bold to safely conclude that Sani Shaaban is surely poised to be the candidate to beat in the coming race for the Kaduna government house.