By Olanrewaju Ganiyu
“Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.” —-Dick Gregory.
In any Democratic society world over in which Nigeria is no exception, electioneering is a globally acceptable concept in the political firmament. Constitutions allow politicians to go on the hustings the period before an election.
Rallies and meetings are organized, politicians make themselves available to partake in a series of debate. Through this, electorates get to know whether they share common views.
As an integral part of electioneering, manifesto makes the people more hopeful: it is an election pledge.
Meanwhile, the citizens over the course of election campaign exude their eagerness to host candidates in their various community and to hear from them what they have for the people and how they intend to go about policies formulations without necessarily affecting their well-being negatively. They believe that promises made by a candidate and the manifesto of a political party that produces such candidate is a determining factor for good governance.
While it is customary of candidates standing for election to make promises, whether sincerely or not, there is possibility for Sod’s law to pay out especially in a domain where there is no workable structure in place for successive government to inherit.
In the developed world where nobody celebrates corruption, politicians make promises and strive to fulfill them owing to the respect the have for the views of their people. It is believed that if a government fails, individuals find it extremely difficult to achieve certain goals no matter how they try. The reason is that government whether good or bad infuses all aspects of citizens’ lives.
In this part of the world, winning an election is the dream of many politicians while using the office to deliver for the citizens is not their major concern and that is why they are called mealy-mouthed politicians. They make lots of promises with no intention to deliver, but only to canvass for votes. If the narrative Continues, chances would always be given to the emergence some politician with sugar-coated promises who are fond of building castles in the air with electoral promises on which they cannot cross their heart.
Electoral promises should not be used as a tool for deceit to rob democracy. Although the system is corrupt and there may not be possibility of a desired leader coming to lime light through this faulty system: However, politicians should try as much as possible to show some senses of mythophobia as it does no nation no good.
Despite the enormous potential Nigeria has to lead the world, politics of hypocrisy and leaders that are bankrupt of viable ideas continue to be a serious impediment driving her away from her promised land. Citizens are now overwhelmed by a sense of despair, the status quo is not in anyway uplifting and the situation is totally ironic.
President Muhammadu Buhari like all other president in 2015 and 2019 respectively, during electioneering promised social amenities, security, employment among others. He gained the popularity in 2015 because of his proven track record.
Since the position of mealy-mouthed politicians that Nigeria has attained a greater height in the current dispensation has generated controversies, there are counterclaims from different quarters that the so-called economic improvement has no positive impact on the lives of citizens.
Not only that, all sectors are being faced with one or more challenges. For example, politicians travel out of the country for medical treatment is a clear manifestation of total fiasco in the health sector.
The Citizens meanwhile frown on politicians traveling out for medical care. They are of the opinion that if everything is working well as the presidency spokesmen claim, no reason would justify those at the helm going to Saudi-Arabia, the United Kingdom, India, etc, for medical treatment.
It’s no news to anyone that politicians and those that are well-to-do ignore some prominent heath facilities such as; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Federal Medical Centres across the length and breadth of Nigeria, University College Hospital UCH, Ibadan and fly abroad. Even the multi million naira worth of health facility in Kano, Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital, was there watching the president flying abroad when he was off colour.
Furthermore, the current dispensation has been on for six years and it has two years left to complete its two terms mandate of eight years.
The truth of the matter is that the presidency does not change who you are, it rather reveals who you are. If Nigerians at this time of the current dispensation still complain of feeling no impact on their lives, the policies and the so-called achievements of the government, then the long-awaited political Messiah is not here yet.
While six years is enough for a serious government to transform a rotten society, the fulfilment of electoral promises made by president Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019 is beyond the realms of possibility.
The status quo is an indication that twelve years is not enough to draw a workable blue print for a country with a total land mass of 923, 768 square kilometres, having lost the election in 2003, 2007and 2011 before his emergence in 2015. The period during which he lost at three elections consecutively, i.e 2003 – 2011, could have probably been the best time to make a better plan for Nigeria.
Unarguably, the signs that this government has failed to live up to electorates’ expectations are prevalent.
Since Nigerians cannot get what they were promised such as: potable water supply, good road network, quality education, security of lives and property, employment, food items at a reasonable amount, stable power supply among others. On the contrary, the number of out- of -school children, cases of extra-judicial killings, increasing number of unemployed youths, rampant kidnapping, etc, ravaging the country are indices for measuring a failed nation. Thus, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally, all the candidates standing for election all over the world know what electorates want, they radiate all senses of decorum and try as much as possible to remain tactful while speaking to people, they tell them what they want to hear, they promise all sorts of things in the name of transforming their society, knowing full well the readiness of the people to cast their votes en masse for any credible candidate who puts the interest of the people first.
For this reason, any serious government whose concern is to create an enabling environment for the people should pay attention to its electoral promises, these promises should be committed to writing and be used as the second constitution for it to have several achievements credited to its tenure in the end.
The most disturbing of all the deteriorating scales of security and corruption in the country.