It was Pope Francis who said that “A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces.”
As the march towards the 2019 general elections gathers momentum, aspirants to various elective offices across the political party divides have been bracing up for their individual aspired elective seats, from states and national assemblies, governorship, and the much coveted nation’s number one seat, the presidency.
Like Senegal, Kenya, Gambia and Ghana where women involvement in politics is between 50-60 per cent, Rwanda has made considerable progress and development after the genocide episode over 20 years ago because of visionary leadership in the country that deemed it fit to give about 60 per cent quota to women in the affairs of politics and governance.
The prospect of a competent and an accomplished woman like Mrs.Pauline Tallen from Plateau South Senatorial District is bound to ruffle feathers because of the difference she is going to make in the red chambers of the National Assembly.
Pauline Kedem Tellen, OFR is a woman of substance and a politician of note. In 1999, she was appointed Minister of State for Science and Technology to the cabinet of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. She became deputy governor of Plateau State in 2007, becoming the first woman to occupy that position in northern Nigeria. In 2011, she contested to be governor of the state but lost to Jonah Jang.
She was honoured as Woman of the Year for her contribution to Nigeria at the 10th African Icon of Our Generation Award.
While Tallen was in office as deputy governor of Plateau State, she exhibited the qualities of a servant leader, as a philanthropist, and social crusader against corruption and injustice in her community and state at large.
It was Robert K. Greenleaf in the Essay, “The Servant as Leader,” who said that, “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…”
Mrs. Tallen gave all her best as deputy governor to public service because she saw it as a duty to give back in the spirit of give and take. No wonder she became a model and it is one of the signature lines that she is remembered for across the state and in Nigeria.
Also in her days in office, aside from her excellent performance record which earned her a presidential commendation, the principles of integrity, hard work, discipline, decorum and demeanour, strict adherence to work ethics, rules and established professional conduct are the best elements which many associate knew her.
For anyone who truly values good governance and wellbeing of Plateau South Senatorial District over and above personal or other basic and primordial interests, a major point of departure from the political landscape is an increased demand for competence.
No one in Plateau South Senatorial District that ever had an encounter with Mrs.Pauline Tallen could doubt that she is eminently qualified to be described as a good leader. Her leadership qualities are needed in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly in 2019 for Plateau South Senatorial District to get the change it deserves.
As a consummate and highly experienced political leader with deep commitment and unrivalled passion for grassroots development, Mrs.Pauline Tallen has always stood out among others and has never allowed the trappings and grandeur of office to stand between her and the goals of lifting her people from the shackles of poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness and mass unemployment.
Addressing leaders of Plateau Independent Publishers (CPIP) in her Jos residence, Mrs. Tallen said her decision to contest the Senate seat is not just to satisfy her personal interest or that of the people of Shendam but the interest of the Southern zone.
“You know me well. I am not a tribalist. I don’t treat people based on sentiments. I believe in fairness to all. These and many other issues have prompted me to contest to ensure the Southern zone gets better representation.
She also spoke on the need to fill the “mandatory quota for women participation in politics as resolved in the Beijing declaration that has been adopted in many African governments.
“It was unfortunate that while the involvement of women in politics and their identification in electoral process in other African countries has been enormous and encouraging, the case of Nigeria is different as they have been neglected.“The world in general and Africa in particular have realised that in order to move forward, women must be involved in politics and in the art of governance”, she said.
Her statements on policy issues and critical matters of the day are clad with iron cast vision and purpose and geared towards illuminating, dissecting and resolving complex and contentious issues of national, regional and international implications.
In fact Mrs. Tallen can be best regarded as a facilitator, arbitrator, negotiator, administrator and political plenipotentiary par excellence in our present democratic continuum and with her experience, dynamism, resourcefulness, competence, patriotism and commitment to excellence, she is best placed to represent Plateau South Senatorial District 2019 and beyond. To God be the Glory.
–Davou is a journalist and a political analyst based in Abuja
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