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Empty Promises: A Nigerian Political Status Quo

Empty Promises: A Nigerian Political Status Quo

The Nigerian political climate is awash with empty and grandiose promises. From the government to the political opposition, there seems to be a lack of interest in making the desperately needed changes in the country. 

We live in a country where it’s a norm for political leaders to fail to live up to their responsibilities and pledges made during their electoral campaigns, and this has led to many problems which they met on the ground to remain stagnant or even conflagrate into shoddier situations. They make promises to provide more jobs, invest in health and education, improve the remuneration of civil servants, improve infrastructures, reduce corruption, etc., but they are seldom finalized upon. They issue manifestos to attract attention and support from the masses, but they lose focus and fail to deliver on these promises when they transit into power. This has made the Nigerian populace have a great deal of circumspection towards them.

The electorates later give valid criticisms of their leaders for not performing up to their expectations, but they still do not learn from the events and their previous mistakes. They may be possibly prepared to make similar mistakes again by electing such deceptive and corrupt politicians into office, because of 3 things which include:

1) Certain interests, which may be political, regional, religious, or ethnic.

2) Their inability to be politically wise helps them to critically examine the political setting of our country. This makes them fall so easily for those who do not have their best interests in mind. 

3) The lack of other viable options, among political aspirants.

At the end of it all, their living conditions fail to improve because of the bad political decisions they’ve made.

However, there are only a few notable politicians who are very much concerned about doing their best in terms of state administration, but they become insignificant due to the dominance of the corrupt political elite, who are not diligent about improving the living conditions of the people.

A major reason why our leaders renege on their promises is corruption. Corruption is highly prevalent in Nigerian society, and this forms a hindrance to making any meaningful and positive progress in governance. Many politicians only show concern in filling their pockets, and as a result, the country becomes poorer at the expense of the politicians.

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Lack of Accountability and Sincere commitment is also another reason why politicians do not deliver on their promises. Lack of accountability has made many of our leaders do whatever they want without having to be answerable. A lack of sincere commitment on the part of politicians has had a knock-on effect on our country because they are more committed to self-enrichment than they are to ensuring nation-building.

At times, I ask myself, why should politicians make promises on health, education, infrastructure, etc. Isn’t it the responsibility of the government to provide these services in return for the taxes we pay and the revenue gotten from our resources? Politicians should not promise to deliver on things that are their responsibilities while in power. It is very appalling that even when they make these promises, they renege on them because they have no clear, pragmatic, and concrete plans on how to achieve them.

When some governors achieve little or nothing in terms of governance, the tone of their speech begins to sound outrageously self-gratifying and egotistic like they were doing the people a favor, not realizing that they were under obligations to give this to the people. 

Our leaders should become more conscientious and take steps to address these problems, rather than making promises they never have the intention of fulfilling, which will only erode the trust the people have for them.

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