Politicians And Isaiah’s Prophecy


By Isaac Asabor 

Dictionary of the bible authored by D.M. McFarlan defined Prophecy as a “…unique gift of God, an outpouring of divine spirit, so that the chosen spokesmen might warn, exhort, encourage, and declare God’s will in the events of the nation of mankind and in particular in the acts of his chosen people, Israel.”

Despite the fact that the prophecy of Isaiah which was quoted by Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew chapter 13 verses 14 and 15 has a spiritual undertone in its entirety, no one can watch the behaviour of our politicians and deny the fact that the prophecy has not been fulfilled in their political lives.

The scripture says “You will be ever hearing but never understanding, you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts…”

Given the foregoing scripture, one cannot but concur that our politicians are ever hearing about the grinding poverty and deprivation which the majority of the people are passing through but they pay deaf ears to the situation. As it is, they are after their own pockets.

In the same nexus, they see the unbearable social and economic degradation that people are faced with, yet they seem to be closing their eyes to the situation.

In fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy, their hearts have become calloused that they are hardly moved by the people’s cries and yearnings. Social services are rendered to the people only when they protest or cry concerning any particular service. Political leaders no more see the provision of social amenities to the people as a burden of duty. They seemingly see it as favour done to the people and not as social responsibility. Little wonder that they do not bother when they spend millions of naira in a hypocritical blitz to advertise the projects they executed within their constituencies.

Before the supply of electricity throughout the country came to the appreciable level it is at the moment, Nigerians have lamented over the years about the epileptic power supply.  It now appears that before any scintilla of value is added to the lives of the people through the provision of social services, protests and demonstrations have to follow. Those responsible for providing services to the people no more do their jobs as a point of duty. Simply put, they no more perform their duties voluntarily. They do it only when they are prompted by protests, riots or endless dialogues. This attitude that has negatively permeated leadership structures across the nation is not ideal for the growth of our country. Our leaders, particularly the political class, would not just do the necessary duties required of them except they are coerced, so to say,  to do it. They are either cajoled through dialogue or compelled through industrial action to perform their duties. In my view, it is not proper. Leaders should do what they ought to do not until they are cajoled or compelled to do it.

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It is not only that our political leaders are literally deaf and blind to the plight of the people, but their hearts are also calloused so much so that they are not moved. Deploying bulldozers to destroy people’s houses no more cause them any emotional stress. Assigning heartless and inconsiderate team of taskforce personnel to destroy markets where people earn their living no more cause them sleepless nights. As Prophet Isaiah prophetically said, their hearts are calloused. They no longer have feelings for the people. In other words, they have ceased from being their brothers’ keepers. To some of them, as long as they are no more qualified to run for the same position again in the next elections, it is no more necessary to operate people-oriented government. Recently, a governor of one of the states in the Niger Delta that I have high regard for during an event on Peace organized by the Nigerian Labour Congress at Abuja snobbishly and rhetorically questioned the business of the poor over the N5,000 note debate. I was not stunned when he made the sarcastic comment as I watched him on the television since an African proverb already has it that the cat that decides to be sleeping in the pen of he-goats would sooner than later begin to emit disgusting odour that is characteristic of  a he-goat.

This piece is not intended to castigate any politician but to make a clarion call to some of our political leaders to begin to listen to the people and as well address the problems of the people as they see them, not until the people begin to protest or have suffered enough.

Back in the days, a politician once sarcastically said that the masses were not suffering as long as they were not eating from the waste bins. Another leader, who is part of the present government, once said that telephone is not for the poor. But thank God, today, telephone is now for the poorest of the poor. Our political leaders should make the well-being of the people their utmost priority because that is why they were elected in the first place. In my view, it is basically for the sake of the people that there is political governance, and by extension without political governance many politicians would be jobless. Therefore, I believe political governance should be people-oriented rather than pocket-oriented.

Be that as it may, for the sake of the people, hospitals, schools, markets, roads, provision of water and electricity should be improved to the extent that they would impact on the lives of the people. With this, governance would be meaningful to the people. In my view, achieving this political feat across the nation may not be possible until the ears of our politicians begin to hear; their eyes begin to see and until their hearts begin to emotionally perceive the plight of the people. Also, governance should not be overtly legalistic in some cases. For instance, the hearts of some political office holders are so calloused that they derive pleasure in bulldozing the homes and shops of people within their constituencies without showing any remorse. To me, governance should have a human face.

Millions of Nigerians are already becoming human vegetables because of diverse economic hardships exacerbated by bad leadership. An African proverb says “One cannot be living at the bank of a river and be washing his or her hands with spittle.” Literarily put, despite the rivers of natural resources that are flowing across all the geo-political zones of the country, millions of people are daily washing their hands with spittle.

Pastor Sunday Adelaja, the founder and Senior Pastor of the Embassy of God in Kyir, Ukraine in one of his messages said that leaders “…must use their positions to serve the people.They must use their influence and affluence to raise people from under and not to oppress them.” He also posited that when leaders serve the people sincerely and faithfully, they would create trust in people.

Finally, as Nigeria clocks 52 as a nation, it would be germane if our political leaders should allow the words of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua to reverberate in their soul. In fact, the late president at the closing remark of his inaugural speech delivered on 29 May, 2007, said: “Let us stop justifying every shortcoming with that unacceptable phrase ‘the Nigerian factor’ as if to be a Nigerian is to settle for less. Let us recapture the mood of optimism that defined us at the dawn of independence, that legendary can-do spirit that marked our Nigerianness. Let us join together, now, to build a society worthy of our children. We have the talent. We have the intelligence. We have the ability.” Our leaders should please internalize these words of wisdom and make it their guiding principle in their day-to-day political activities.

 •Asabor wrote in from Lagos. E-mail: [email protected]

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