EAST Sepik Governor Alan Bird and his show of great statesmanship has been the talk of the town the past few weeks.
Governor Bird demonstrated true leadership and humility when welcoming Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his high-powered delegation of foreign diplomats, development partners and senior cabinet ministers to Wewak, East Sepik.
The prime minister visited to open several government-funded projects and new interventions in East Sepik.
For the latecomers, the outspoken Governor Bird is a firebrand Opposition stalwart who is very vocal when holding the government accountable and instituting leadership change.
Governor Bird’s aptitude for putting his people first irrespective of which side of the haus tambaran he stands and fight is a rare feat of political maturity and statesmanship.
Governor Bird rolled out the red carpet for the prime minister and his entourage in Maprik, East Sepik, last month, helping to promote his province at a time of division. His detractors might want to claim that the governor is now wining and dining with the Government but again that, too, is misleading.
People forget the fact that political science is a social science.
According to Wikipedia, for example, political science is the systematic and scientific study of human behaviour in relation to all the activities that involve the seizure of state power, the consolidation of state power and the control of state power.
So you see that when dealing with human behaviour you cannot dictate to a human being how to behave as if he or she is guinea pig in a controlled experiment in a laboratory.
Politics is not a science of rigid conformity, but is fluid and flexible and open to maneuvering and change. It is about dealing with different people and shaping their opinions and how they feel.
This goes to show that Governor Bird knows how to play politics and he is good in the game.
And it comes as no surprise therefore that he is the prodigy of the grandmaster himself – Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare.
It is written that when an enemy comes to you for food and shelter you provide these things to him. And later challenge him and he will yield to your will. The subsequent event doesn’t change Governor Bird’s position.
He is an ardent follower of his people’s wish and is a no-nonsense opposition strongman who fiercely believes in what he stands for and will never stray from what he is mandated to do or is expected of him.
He manipulate time to suit his purpose. British author and theologian CS Lewis (1898-1963) said: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Humility is like water, soft yet it can overcome the strength and solidity of rocks. And like the Japanese art of jiu-jitsu, humility is gentle, soft, supple, flexible and in yielding to the opponent’s force you can use it against your opponent, rather than confronting your opponent with your own force.
Reminiscing Sana, the memoir of Sir Michael Somare, Bird wins the respect of both foes and friends alike. And when he takes up his spear again to fight for what he believes in he will be regarded as a worthy opponent by those facing him. He stands tall in the pantheon of our leaders past and present. And he is now the oak among the willows in the opposition ranks. He has won the country’s admiration. Governor Bird knows the seat he represents produced the great leader Sir Michael.
As they say, patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait. One day this man will live the legacy of the seat he represents and the mandate he commands.
For now, with all due respect, the National Alliance Party leadership should be given to Governor Bird if popularity matters in politics.
David Lepi, Pom