Failed promises are synonymous with politicians. During the electioneering periods they often try to outdo each other by making promises they are very sure they wouldn’t and don’t have the intention of keeping in order to win votes during the election. In Nigeria and even all over the world, this is what we live with – a trend we just believe has come to stay.
In the just concluded general elections in Nigeria, it was obvious that people were so tired of the antics of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was the then ruling party. The masses were fed up with lies and gross corrupt practices that were swept under the carpet while the eyes of accountability turned the other way. It was as a result of this “political revolt” that the All Progressives Congress (APC) came into power. Nigerians did not have a better choice but they would accept anything that was not PDP. However, one thing is sure, the APC did not win the elections because of their campaign promises because from the onset, Nigerians never believed in promises. And the fact that the campaign promises which APC brandished were glaringly unreasonable and practically unattainable was enough to turn the poll results against them had there been a better alternative.
BuzzNigeria did an article recently on the campaign promises President Muhammadu Buhari and his APC bandwagon made to Nigerians as they campaigned round the country and a look at them will show that there was no intention to fulfill them. But having won the elections, PMB might make things better before his tenure ends in four years, but he’ll never fulfill most of the promises he and his party made to the people in the campaigns. Let’s look at these six:
1. Stabilize the Naria at 1 USD = 1 NGN
If this a dream, Nigerians should better wake up because it will not happen. If any country at this present level sets out to achieve this, there has to be a plan, structure and then, a period to get it done. But so far, there is no such thing and the time is ticking away. PMB has got just four years and he promised to stabilize the naira which was at 199.0151 NGN to 1 USD on Friday 29 May 2015 – the day he was inaugurated but has risen over the past few days to over 220 NGN to 1 USD. It’s not about being pessimistic, it’s about being realistic, we will not see this happen, at least not under PMB, except he has come as a ‘life president.’
2. Provide One Free Meal (to include fruits) Daily, for Public Primary School Pupils Nationwide
This is a good idea that will never be sustained in Nigeria, even if it is started at all. The Osun state government is a vivid example. The Aregbesola-led state gave one meal a day to pupils in state schools during his first term and he got very popular for it among his people. But how did it impact the state? Negatively! First, the programme has been scrapped, the state government is broke and its workers (whose children were fed) are taking an industrial action. Although, it was a good populist programme, it was not proven to be sustainable on a state level, yet, the APC decided to make the same promise to the Nigerian people. We are talking about billions of naira to be spent every day. Let’s see how it goes.
3. Create 720,000 Jobs in the 36 States in the Federation Yearly (20,000 Per State)
This is another fairy tale! If you want to create nearly a million jobs within a year, you don’t tell stories, you swing into action by bringing up policies and developing strategies. This promise by PMB to create 20,000 jobs per state in a year for people with basic education is obviously not going to happen anytime soon not to talk of within one year as promised. The government does not seem have a clear plan as to how they are going to accomplish this ambitious goal. It is almost two months already since they took charge and yet they have not rolled out any job program that could whip up 720,000 jobs nationwide. Nigerians are still watching.
4. Pay Allowances to the Discharged Corps Members While Unemployed
PMB promised a regular grant to unemployed graduates to support them while they look for work or get some training as a lot of people who finish school and complete the youth service don’t get a job soon after. They have to get-bye for some time until they find a decent employment. This is a pretty good idea for a government to think about but not so in a country like Nigeria. The problem with Nigeria is that we do not have a system where these things can be properly run. When you put a youth on a temporary grant pending, how do you know when he finally gets a job so you can stop his grant? People would just go on taking the free money until the government gives up and closes the programme. But if accountability was in place, it is a brilliant idea and less ridiculous than promising to feed tens of millions of kids every day.
5. Provide Free Education to Tertiary Level for Students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Education Fields
The education system in Nigeria is poor, outdated and in disarray. Nigerians looked forward to a government that will change the fortunes of the sector and provide a better standard and quality of education which could still be affordable, not necessarily free. But along came PMB and the APC and promised that their government will foot tuition for students in science, technology, engineering, maths and education (during the electioneering period, only the APC could muster the courage to include free education as one of their campaign promise). But today, nobody is mentioning it…not even the APC.
6. Pay N5,000 Monthly to the 25 Million Poorest Nigerians.
Haba, this one is just an insult to intelligent Nigerians. There are questions surrounding this one. First, how does the government intend to determine the 25 million poorest who will be receiving the aid in a country where records are mostly unreliable and anyone can easily dupe the system?
Second, do you know how much will be involved? That’s N125 billion every month and N1.5 trillion for a year. Attempting to throw that amount of money around the country is a fantasy programme that will never get off the ground, because the money is probably just going to end up in the wrong pockets and not reach the poorest people who really need the money. Except you fix the system first, QED!
7. Create at Least Five Million New Home Owners in the Four Years in Government
PMB told us he will build for low-income earners an outstanding five million houses in four years – two million in his first year and one million every other year. Is he really for real? Now, even if the government decides to do that, it can never be achieved in seven years not to mention four years. The first level planning will take several years before the actual building of the houses begins. You don’t have to be a building expert to see that this promise is unrealistic.
These Ones May also not Be Feasible:
- Removing the Immunity clause for elected officials from the constitution, especially in criminal cases
- Banning all government officials from seeking medical care abroad
- Constructing at least one functional airport in each state of the nation
- Ensuring timely payment of retirement benefits to pensioners
Nigeria wants change, that’s why they voted for it. Nigerians are tired of being duped, no matter the guise. They want to see a visible improvement in the country, and if PMB and the APC does not make that happen, Nigerians will keep them where they have kept the PDP.