It is another season of promises as we approach another electioneering year. Nigeria holds an election every four years, to elect politicians into offices at the state and federal levels. The offices to be occupied at the state level include the state house of assembly (legislators), the executive governor, and the vice. At the federal level are the seats of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the office of the president, and the vice. These offices are crucial because they determine largely the well-being of the country economically, politically, security-wise, and more. Politicians use political parties as vehicles to actualize their ambition. The biggest question is, how aligned are the ambitions or aspirations of the politician, the political party, and Nigerians?
The ruling Party
In 2013, a political party All Peoples Congress APC was formed. It is an amalgamation of three parties and two fractional parties. The parties are the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). The fractional parties are the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the new People’s Democratic Party. The merger was for the sole purpose of wrestling power from its arch-rival the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Unfortunately, since 2015 there seems to be a misalignment in the aspirations of the politicians, the party, and Nigerians. Kindly note, this misalignment isn’t peculiar to the 2015 elections but largely elections in Nigeria.
If wishes were horses
Despite this misalignment, politicians and the political parties make copious promises to Nigerians. For example, a politician once alluded to the fact that any serious government will fix the electricity problem in Nigeria within six months. After eight years, Nigeria’s power generation has grown from about an average of 7,000 MW to an average of 9,000MW. As the giant of Africa, we are still far from the promised Land. In recent times, we have experienced blackouts due to failures in the national grid.
Furthermore, there have been promises of a viable economy using the social democratic philosophy. APC is generally considered to be a center-left political party that favors controlled market economic policies, and a strong and active role for government regulation. A substantial number of its political leaders are followers of or politicians who subscribe to the social-democratic political philosophy of Obafemi Awolowo and the socialist and anti-class views of Aminu Kano. Unexpectedly, the inflation rate currently seats at 15.6% compared to 9% as of 2015. A Gross Domestic Product of 6.3% in 2014 to 3.98% in the last quarter of 2021. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.5% in 2015 to 33% in 2021.
Way to go
The conversation on the street is that APC rode to power on the promise of change, unfortunately, Nigerians did not confirm, positive or negative change? Promises are easily made but fulfillment is a different ball game. As we commence the 2023 electioneering year, many politicians will make promises they can’t keep. Paint a picture of an Eldorado, but it takes dogged commitment and genuine purpose to achieve these beautiful dreams. It is expected that all Nigeria think hard and vote wisely.