Senator Abraham Dillon is a politician, civil rights activist and humanitarian.
He currently holds a senatorial position in the House of Representatives in Liberia. In an exclusive interview with African leadership magazine, he shares his thoughts on integrity and why he is big on people-oriented areas. Excerpts;
2022 is loaded with political activities. Campaigns have started in some quarters and the air is generally thick with political activities. What message do you have for citizens of countries who are going to be choosing their political leaders?
Firstly, let me say that I am a firm believer in the tenace of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. And elections to public elected offices should be about democracy. The people should know who they are voting for and why they are voting. The will of the people especially in Africa elections must always be observed and respected.
As we go through this many elections, we can only hope and call on the leaders in Africa to allow the free will of their people to be exercised. Their decisions should be respected and post-elections, good governance should be the order of the day. This will ease the political tension and instability that result from the manner and conduct of these elections. So I’m going to call on my fellow African leaders to be democratic and respect the wishes and will of the people. We should let good governance and democracy thrive.
Leadership positions are often very challenging and we are sure you have had your fair share of these challenges. How do you deal with this?
Well, the challenges are enormous, but with courage and will, we can face them. Leadership is about courage to do what is right and the use of common-sense approach. I have the tendency to plan with my people.
Leadership is also about planning with my people and not for the people. The tendency of planning for the people sometimes is greeted with resistance and non-corporation because you don’t know what the aspirations of the people are. But if you plan with them, you incorporate their aspirations and then you implement it as a policy maker. There are challenges in environment like Liberia and other places too, but I’ll be specific with Liberia and my inner situation. We have for decades being doing the wrong things, so it came across as being normalized and generally accepted. And if you are an agent of truth seeking to do the right thing, you will meet a lot of resistance and resentment. Like an African parable will say “a speaker of truth has no friends and even if he or she will have friends, not very many friends.
The first challenge you will face is loss of friends. But you’ve got to stand up and fight with integrity. You have to win the perception of having integrity because if you even have the integrity and courage to do right, but the perception is that you don’t have it, it is difficult to penetrate and win such a fight. Your personal conduct and the content of your character should speak to the change you are seeking to achieve. That is why they say “we should be the change that we want”.
Click HERE TO ACCESS THE INTERVIEW HERE on pages 31 – 33 of the April 2022 edition of the African Leadership Magazine.