Dear Editor,

March 19 is just around the corner, when the people of Vanuatu will decide, what the makeup of the next Government will look like. As a citizen of the country, I would like to take the time and the freedom to express my strongest opinion with regard to the type of leadership that will take the country forward into the future.

Vanuatu as a country will graduate from a ‘least developing country’ status on November this year to entering a developed country status. Now, while that sounds good, the reality is there will be a huge economic implication for the people of the nation that will result from that important development. Therefore, the question, I am asking is, “what does that mean in terms of the kind of leaders we decide to put into the red roof after March 19? As a country, we need to realize that in many areas we are competing both on a regional and global level. Therefore, we need capable leaders who can be able to deliver to the expectations.

I strongly feel, 40 years onward, Vanuatu needs visionary and well-educated leaders. Leaders who can stand shoulder to shoulder with our regional partners, leaders who know what they are doing and they can deliver what they are preaching during the campaigns. We must put a stop to people who feel their term in the parliament is an opportunity for them to make a fortune for themselves. And when their tenure of membership in the parliament is over the voter’s living standard in the communities has not improved at all.

40 years of Independence is a long time, and we have had many experiences that we can reminisce about. Now looking back, we cannot repeat the same mistakes by committing the future of our country into the hands of people who cannot deliver the services the country needs. From experiences of the last 39 years, there have been many clear evidences of leaders who have entertained their personal agendas above the well-being of the nation. So I strongly say to eligible voters this is our opportunity to choose someone who has a vision for the country and you know he or she can deliver what he or she has promised.

Because you see vision is everything for a leader. It is utterly indispensable. Here are two reasons why it is so: -

1. BECAUSE VISION LEADS THE LEADER - A person who has a vision for his community, his voters, and his country will do everything possible to achieve the goals. Will not sit quite in the parliament or be absent from the parliament session instead be there to contribute to the decision making, which will affect the lives of his voters.

2. VISION PAINTS THE TARGETS, SPARKS AND FUELS THE FIRE WITHIN AND DRAWS THEM FORWARD – A visionary leader is a person who knows what the target areas are so he will do his uttermost best to hit those targets. Not only that, but have the ability, the fuel and the spark to deliver that service to his people. If there is no vision for the people, we will end up with the leaders who scheme around to corrupt the system for their own personal gains. Moreover, we have seen and heard enough of that over the last 39 years. Someone made these comments: “Show me a leader without a vision, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t going anywhere. At best, they’re travelling in circles.”

So to get a handle on vision and how it comes to be a part of a good leader, understand these things:

1. VISION STARTS FROM WITHIN – Vision originates from within you. My question to those of you who are going to contest the upcoming election on March 19 is, “Do you have a vision for your community, your voters or your country? If you do not have a vision then history is likely to repeat itself.

2. VISION DRAWS ON YOUR HISTORY – Do you have a history to base your vision on? What can you do best for the people of Vanuatu? Remember it is not what you can do best for you and your family but what you can do best for the people who gave you the right and the privilege of being a member of the parliament.

3. VISION MEETS OTHERS' NEEDS – Remember if your goals/targets do not meet the needs of the people of Vanuatu then it is not a vision at all. And you may not be the right person for the job because Vanuatu needs leaders who can dream dreams for and with the people and bring those dreams to reality.

4. VISION HELPS YOU GATHER RESOURCES – A visionary leader is one who does not only dream dreams but one who casts vision and solicits on behalf of his people to deliver what the people need in order to make the livelihood of the people easier.

As we count down toward March 19, I know there are many Campaigns happening in every community and islands. I want to wish everyone God’s blessing as you look forward to the General Election. If ever I was asked, "What would be our most urgent need to move the country forward as we graduate this November from our Least Developed Country status?" My answer is what you have just read, “Vanuatu needs Visionary Leaders”, and so together let us make it happen.

Nos Terry

Port Vila

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