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No, Alhaji you can’t downsize promises…you re-negotiate them, sir!

“We are in a completely different situation from that which we envisaged. We did not in our wildest dreams think that the price of oil will crash from about $100 to $30.”

“When you campaign, you say you’ll do A, B, C, but when you win elections, you’ll prioritize. We were elected for a four-year period, not for one year. Things, we hope, will not be bad all through these four years.”

These two UNFORTUNATE quotations, credited to the Hon. Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, by The Cable, have kept me worried since last night. Why, you may ask, if you don’t already know. I believe that promises made are promises kept, and if you are not going to keep your promises, you must re-negotiate them with utmost humility. Alhaji Lai Mohammed who, for all intent and purpose, still speaks like the spokesperson of the ruling APC, lost me here.

First of all, and quoting The Cable, oil prices which the Honorable is now blaming for the “change in plans”, was $79 when APC kicked off its presidential campaign in November 2014 and was $54 by February 2015. So, what the hell is the Alhaji talking about, biko? Is he telling us that the economic team of the party were not monitoring the scary trend of the downward spiral of global oil (and indeed commodities) prices?  Didn’t APC plan for this eventuality? If not, I’m scared.

Secondly, I think it is duplicitous to say you promise one thing during electioneering campaign and then prioritize after you win. C’mon man! So, you took Nigerians on a ride! You made promises you knew you won’t fulfil? What is the APC government telling Nigerians?

Look here, man, most of us rallied round Buhari to get rid of the PDP government. Aside the obviously wasteful and rapacious character of that government, it also failed to fulfil its promises to the people. Even some good initiatives ended up as sinkholes for slush funds, which have now turned up in private pockets at home and abroad. Most Nigerians voted for Buhari and others against PDP and their presidential candidate-and not necessarily for APC. Smartly, though, APC latched on to Buhari’s goodwill and the negative sentiments against ex-President Jonathan and his party to dominate the narrative with innovative campaigns and some people-oriented promises.

Now that the day of reckoning has come, so to say, Nigerians are not going to be hoodwinked or sweet-talked into forgetting the reason they voted PMB/APC. Granted that the situation was not the making of the current government, what people want is some form of clear strategy and plan to demonstrate the ability of the government of the day to tackle the mess left behind by the PDP/GEJ government. At the moment, we are “believing God”, as some Pentecostal Christian are wont to say.

So rather than “nicodemuosly” disown or repudiate the campaign promises, APC should take a comprehensive look at its campaign promises, most of which were not thought through apparently, and come back to the people with a firmer promise-in the light of the prevailing economic situation. Anything short of that will not just be clueless (a tag that should remain the exclusive preserve of some people  we know, it would amount to alienating those who stuck out their necks for PMB/APC, taking the people for granted and, indeed, playing into the hands of the opposition. 

Meanwhile, I am supremely confident in the disciplined and charismatic leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, and I trust his ability to make some informed changes sooner rather than later to earn, in some cases, and retain, in other cases, the confidence of more Nigerians and lead us out of this slippery precipice his predecessors brought us to.   
No, Alhaji you can’t downsize promises…you re-negotiate them, sir! No, Alhaji you can’t downsize promises…you re-negotiate them, sir! Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Monday, February 29, 2016 Rating: 5

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