April 13, 2015
THE mounting excitement about the results of the 2015 elections hardly leave room to consider any encumbrances to the change that has been promised since the herald of that buzz that at the beginning seemed like one of those slogans that manage to exist till the end of the campaign. Change is here, it appears, to stay. It is a sweeping change that would have profound implications for the way we do things. Change has affected the central government for the first time in 16 years.
At the beginning of the renewed democratic experiment in 1999, clear majorities were not available at the National Assembly. However, with the dynamics of politics, the opposition parties kept losing grounds that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, often danced its way to favourable decisions on issues it pursued. Change would affect the National Assembly too. The All Progressives Congress, APC, counting on its victories, and sympathies it could generate on issues, would be able to get enough numbers to do its work.
Nigerians are basking in the luxury of the peaceful conclusion of the elections, seemingly patience for change to visit their corners, wherever they are, could be exhausted quickly. In the states, the issues are local, direct and more disturbing. Expectations of a bandwagon effect (people voting for the same party in the states as the one at the centre) did not work. In some places, the belief was that local issues were better treated as local. However, making governments more responsive to the needs of the people is a common yearning among our people. Election promises have not changed much in more than 60 years.
The promises of education, employment, health services, housing, electricity, potable water, rails, roads and other means of transportation are indicators of the state of our development. The heightened concerns about security, shrinking democratic spaces, access to justice and niggling services most public institutions provide, should be other areas where Nigerians expect to “win”. Failure to attend to these matters in sustainable manners, by exploring the linkages they bear, threatens every opportunity for our country’s development.
Whether we count our victories at the centre, states or local government areas, the most important thing is to run governments that would look after the interests of our people. The winners in the elections are Nigerians, the ordinary people, millions of whom have no political party membership, but trooped to vote for change. They are waiting for the content of change. One huge advantage the new governments would have is that the revelry could give them opportunities of hands on experience for the practical sides of implementing vast promises made during the campaigns.
Source: Vanguard NGR