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Now That Elections Are Over

Now That Elections Are Over

The heat and wild current of the 2019 general elections gave way to the passage of time on May 29, when Mr. President and the state governors were sworn into office. Drums were rolled out and flags of authority were hoisted into the Nigerian air as they took their routine oath of office.

While the losers fume and curse and pass the blame around, the winners introduced electricity into the air, by jumping and punching the air and mocking the oppositions.

Elections are like football. Winners must emerge and expectedly, they should extend their hand of fellowship to the losers, who should equally embrace them, depending on the political culture and complexion of the contest.

Election is a mechanism designed to ensure smooth transition from one administration to another. It is a playground opened for free contest into public offices in competing social situations, especially in democratic societies.

The much expected 2019 general elections have all gone and the winners sworn into the various offices. Their electioneering campaign promises and their long symphony of inaugural speeches will be buried in the libraries of political history and perhaps, exhumed when their performance does not go in consonance with their promises.

The all- consuming question is what they have to offer, especially the electorate who gave them the mandate to rule. It should be known that the success of a government is not measured by its strength to defeat its opponent, but by its quality of leadership and its capacity and political will to provide the basic needs of the citizenry.

Nigeria has experienced twenty years of uninterrupted democracy. However, going by the macro- economic indices for sustainable development, we are still far from the road to economic development. With misplaced priorities and brazen impunity, Nigeria spends more in recurrent than in capital projects. It is no more news that the Niger Delta states who have suffered deprivation and neglect for almost a century, still play politics with development projects.

Without any fear of contradiction, ill will or prejudice, the NDDC is still far from meeting or even approaching its core mandate. Niger Delta states governors use state funds and paraphernalia of offices to build their personal empires and become even stronger than the states. More money is spent on election and in oppressing political opponents, than in ensuring the main objectives of government. Government projects are chosen and cited according to support map for the governors, rather than what the people need.

Strong statistics and superior argument show that many state governors in the Niger Delta region are found wanting in terms of project initiation and completion. Some of them, however had good intentions, but they came into power through the window, therefore in their attempt to balance political equation, were compelled to kiss both the saints and the devil.

As we enter into another incarnation of democracy, state governors should be reminded that political parties are the vehicle through which power seekers reach the seat of government. The government is not for any political party, but for the state. Opposition politicians have the right to enjoy the rights and privileges of the state, even as the government deserve the respect and loyalty of the citizenry.

It is therefore necessary for the stakeholders to wrap up with Martin Luther King's dictum that the voice of our enemies will not matter in the end, but the silence of our friends.

 

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