In recent times, there has been a growing view that election results may start to go in favour of opposition parties, not necessarily because they are the best choice but as a form of protest against the ruling party for unfulfilled promises ahead of the 2015 presidential elections. In the past two years, the party has attempted to make good on its election promises but has to a large extent, undoubtedly failed to do so.
Some of the most ambitious promises made by the party during campaign include the assurance to reclaim every inch of Nigerian territory and liberate fellow citizens who, under the current dispensation, are resigned to life as captured and conquered citizens. While the Muhammadu Buhari-led government chased back insurgents on assumption of office and has been able to rescue some of the captured Chibok girls with the support of international negotiators, the recent attacks on soft targets shows that the terrorist group is rebounding and still able to wreak havoc. Government officials have been kidnapped and reclaimed territories still remain a shadow of their original self.
President Buhari at the Chatham House, London, United Kingdom on the twenty-sixth February 2015, said corruption will have no place in his administration. He noted that the institutions of state dedicated to fighting corruption will be given independence and prosecutorial authority without political interference. This has however struggled to be with allegations of political persecution and recorded loss of big corruption cases.
Contrary to promise, there has been a fraught initiation of broad social investment programmes in education, health, and safety nets such as free school meals for children, emergency public works for unemployed youth and pensions for the elderly. In most states of the federation, workers are being owed not to talk of retirees. The APC’s Publicity Secretary who is now the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in December 2014 had pledged that the party, during its first term in office, will create three million new jobs a year through public works programmes with a primary economic target of shifting the economy towards value-added production. That pledge is still a far cry from reality.
Over two years now, most Nigerians are still waiting for the change that the APC promised. Of course, politicians making promises they will never keep is a phenomenon that has unfortunately become an integral part of our democracy today. Painfully, several of the above listed promises are attainable as well as required. Two years after electing a party that promised change, we still find ourselves lacking the most basic of needs. We still lack job security, employment for the youth, viable pension for the elderly, and so forth.
It all goes back to the flawed party system and the political process we operate under. As previously stated, it needs be reiterated once more that our country requires a future in which representation impacts governance and creates a working and reliable policy space in which transparency and government accountability are valued.
May God Bless the people of our beloved country, Nigeria.
Funmilayo Adetokunbo A-A is a Political and International Affairs Analyst, based in Somerset, England, United Kingdom.