Buhari: Promise-breaker Or Promise-keeper?
Over the years, I have found out that politicians in Nigeria offhandedly and casually make lofty-promises that they indubitably know they would do nothing about, because they know that many Nigerians are naïve and they do not keep campaign promises.
In fact, most religious Nigerians think it is a “sin” to hold public-office-holders accountable, even within the confines of our constitution. Furthermore, most Nigerians are too enslaved and confined to punish public-office-holders on the condition that they fail to bridge the gap between what they promise and what they eventually do.
You may not like it, but I am here to tell you that it is a new day in Nigeria! A bevy of people are arising—keeping the records of everything—our prospective political leaders say before they get to the office and what they say while in the office. I have said it before and I will say it again here: It is not prayer alone that births a great nation. Even the nations of Israel and Saudi Arabia (that we are religiously copying) are not praying alone to get to where they are today. Citizens in developed countries are intelligently watching everything their leaders are saying and doing, and they are daily demanding for the best from those they elected into different offices. For the umpteenth time, watching and holding your leaders accountable is not a “sin”. Whoever is teaching you all that wants you and your children to be enslaved and caged everlastingly!
Going back in time to when GMB was looking for power in 2014 as a woman would look for a lost coin, he made many sumptuousness promises as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is making them today. He said too far many things in 2014, but for the purpose of this piece, I have chosen to touch on a few of them, so that Nigerians can know whether he has fulfilled those promises or not.
In 2014, he said he would “initiate and instigate action to amend the Nigerian constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to States in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit.” When he finally got to power, he went ahead to tell us that he does not believe in any form of restructuring! And when we began to make noise, he constituted a panel, so we could stop making noise. I guess we were disturbing their sleep in Aso Rock!
The panel was led by Governor El Rufai and till today, the report submitted is nowhere to be found. Also, the ruling party, the APC—that was shouting about restructuring when GEJ was in power is now still as water about it. This is what double standards and duplicity of those in the corridors of power is all about. They wear a mask when they are in power and when they get to power, they remove it. Nigerians now know that they only wanted GEJ out of the highest office in the land, not because they love the common man.
Also, GMB (that later became PMB) said that he would “attract the best and brightest of our sons and daughters into our politics and public service by aggressive recruitment of private sector people, academics, and professionals within Nigeria and in the Diaspora through internships, fellowships, executive appointments, and special nomination to contest elective offices.” When we heard that he would attract the best and brightest of our sons and daughters, we thought he would be a departure from what we experienced under the lackluster leadership of GEJ.
We thought he would work with the best of us, not the worst of us. Even when he vainly waited for six (6) months before making major appointments, we thought he would give birth to high-flying team of professionals, but we were all disappointed when he came up with the same people—who have brought us to where we are today as a people. And if you think I am not saying the truth, kindly mention one star-Minister under the leadership of President Buhari.
He also said that he would “prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict, and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitizing the EFCC and ICPC as independent entities.” Today, are we having a different three arms of government? Also, is the EFCC truly independent today? Is there any difference between the EFCC under Obsanjo and Goodluck, and the one under President Buhari?
In addition, he said that he would “Amend the constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases; restructure governance for a leaner, more efficient and adequately compensated public sector, while promoting effective participation of the private sector for more robust job creation programmes to employ the teaming youth; require full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contacts over 100million naira prior to award and during implementation at regular intervals. Fully enforce the freedom of information ACT 1 so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the public and then such data sets be published on regular basis.” Has he amended the constitution to remove immunity from prosecution of elected officers? Also, as promised, has he been able to fully enforce the freedom of information ACT 1?
Lastly, he said he would “amend the constitution to require Local governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data, and items of spending over 10million. And provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmes.” Has he been able to do as promised?
And who is asking him questions today on his failed promises? Instead of asking him questions, most Nigerians are already caught-up as spiders—in the web of mere politicking—that will not lead Nigeria to any important place in the comity of nations.
Written by Ademola Adeoye