In today’s modern times, incompetent leaderships, corruption, debts carried forward to next generations, subordination at the price of the people, behaviors that destroy norms and values and others have caused people in different parts of the world to face deep social and economic crises, consequently compelling them to stage uprisings. But the situation in Eritrea, as can be witnessed on the ground, is different owing to the nation’s exemplary and devoted leadership. But this didn’t materialize overnight; it was a process that surmounted several obstacles, and is being transferred on. Back in the 1960s, the Eritrean revolution was on the verge of collapse due to under-nationalistic sentiments and political divergence, both results of an erroneous leadership. The People’s Front leadership however, faced this dangerous challenge head on and succeeded in making every Eritrean fight along a national political line. And this enabled the Front to have a leadership, just like its name devoted to the people and nation, and founded on the values of the society.
Transparency, equal organizational system that doesn’t discern between files and ranks, practical and exemplary governance, all principal characteristics of the People’s Front, and other values have contributed to the success of the struggle of Eritreans. The People’s Front fought to satisfy the demands of the people objectively and pragmatically, at the same raising their level of political awareness with every challenge on the way.
We have learned it the hard way during the liberation struggle that a sane and right leadership is among the decisive factors for victory. Had our few and limited resources not been deployed efficiently by a competent leadership, and the resilience and dedication of the people and freedom fighters not been transformed into a driving force through competent organizing, then we would never have succeeded.
The culture of dedication, resilience, heroism, martyrdom and cooperation cultivated during the bitter times of the struggle, all take example from the leadership. Because, the leadership had vowed to overcome all challenges during hard times and put the interests of the people and nation upfront.
The characteristics developed during the struggle also continued after independence. The life of a leader in Eritrea means being more dedicated than the people, and living modestly without any personal privileges or gratifications. The compensation of leaders in Eritrea is not a fat salary or other benefits, but hard work for the good of the people and nation. Leaders in Eritrea (the majority) deliver their leadership duties while living among the people, in the same living standards, at times even lower than, ordinary citizens.
Accordingly, the strong bond between the people and the leadership is an Eritrean political culture that has its roots in the values of this nation and the envy of other peoples and nations.
Luxury and relaxation do not exist in the vocabulary of the Eritrean leadership. While leaders of other countries are heavily guarded with armored cars and mechanized weaponries in their palaces, in Eritrea everything is among the people. And it is because of this that Eritrea today has shown the progress that African countries have not seen in their 50 years of independence.
Just for the sake of storytelling: when the new president elected following the Egyptian revolution was recently seen conducting his “Selat Eid Al Fetir” prayers with his people, many residents of Cairo and international media were astonished at the occurrence. But what astonished us Eritreans are the people and media outlets that have never seen such a thing.
Such a scene is a daily occurrence in Eritrea. In this nation brought and preserved by a bitter struggle and heavy sacrifice, a leadership that puts the interests of the people and nation upfront; a leadership that is free from corruption and idleness; a devoted and exemplary leadership is the key to success and an illustration of a bright future.