Every four years, Nigeria’s enters another election season when politicians visit places they’ll never set foot in again to whisper sweet nothings into voters’ ears.
For the 2023 elections, nothing has changed. Politicians are again making promises they’ll probably forget or find difficult to fulfil if they get what they want.
Let’s take a look at some of them so far.
Fuel will become ₦100 per litre
On January 25, 2023, during a live appearance on Channels Television, Dan Nwanyanwu, presidential candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, promised to revitalise our refineries in 3-4 months.
Also, he would build modern refineries in all six geo-political zones. Thus, by the end of his first six months, fuel would be sold for ₦100 per litre, saving us from the problem of independent marketers.
One thing the current administration has taught us is if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably never going to happen.
Relocation to the Sambisa forest
Everyone wants a leader who’d lead them fearlessly into battle. Hamza Al-Mustapha, presidential candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), plans to be just that.
During an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa, he said that if elected president, he’d end our insecurity and terrorism crisis within six months. But that’s not all; he plans to spend his weekends and holidays in the Sambisa forest, where notorious extremist groups like ISWAP and Boko Haram are often camped.
Creation of 30 million jobs
One of the things Adebayo Adewale, presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has on his agenda is the creation of 30 million jobs.
He plans to achieve this using cryptocurrency. It sounds promising, but Nigerians have seen this film before, and we didn’t like the ending.
In 2015, President Buhari promised to create 3 million jobs annually, but gave us a 33% unemployment rate instead.
No more generators or foreign education
Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has castles in the air, too.
While explaining his manifesto, he said if elected, he’d draft a Nigerian Patriot Bill that’d ban public officers from giving their children foreign education.
He also plans to restrict their access to private and foreign hospitals, generators and boreholes for as long as the ordinary people can’t afford these amenities.
In theory, most of these campaign promises sound like good plans and a step towards making our lives easier. However, why do we hear nothing from these politicians after elections, and their campaign promises end up looking like lies?
No punishment for failed promises
Sadly, there is no provision in the law that holds politicians accountable for their campaign promises. As such, fulfilling it or not is entirely up to their hardly reliable goodwill.
Lack of funding
While some elected officials have plans to fulfil what was promised, they soon realise Nigeria –and by extension, states– are only rich on paper. For instance, a report last year showed that Abia state hadn’t paid some of its workers for 22 months. In such situations, the elected government would have to solve the existing problems before fulfilling his campaign promises.
Need for restructuring
Early December 2022, President Buhari, while addressing members of the Senior Executive Course (SEC), accused state governors of being responsible for the poverty level as they were looting local government allocations. According to the president, the local government chairmen would pocket half of what was allocated and thus fail to embark on necessary projects.
An evil we’ve been dealing with for a long time is corruption, and it, unfortunately, begins at the grassroots level. If we’re to experience any real change, the entire system would need to be cleaned and restructured.
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