Democracy is about returning leaders through the ballot box with the expectation that they keep the promises they have made. Recently, our aptly unelected but judicially legitimate president sat down with members of the Fourth Estate. Reuben Abati and Guardian Editorial Board took their trade to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa and obtained some promises.
However, because Nigerian journalists have unfortunately become notoriously lazy and don’t do their jobs/homework, and the penchants of politicians to just promise, I am tabulating the specific promises contained in the lengthy interview. It is our responsibility as citizens to hold the President’s feet to the fire. Enough of the empty promises of the last two years, if Baba Go Slow wants to be taken seriously, it is time to deliver and stop talking:
Type Cost Date Completion
Gas Venture Projects $1.5 bn Unknown
Constructing New Transmission Dec, 2010 & 2011
26 (Not 21) Zonal Road Plan N116bn Varies
Railway Development Program Dec 2010 (Repair Signs and Stations)
Early 2011 (100 Loco LAG/KAN)
2012 (100 Loco PH/MDG)
Dredging of River Niger Dec 2010 –
Construction of 7 Inland Ports Unknown
Devt. Of Large Scale Farming N200 bn
Break Up NNPC-Create NOC
Concession 3 Roads
Roll back 631 Highway Contracts
Complete 13 Critical Roads
Onne to Calabar Track Rehab
Air Hubs for Abuja, Lagos, PH and Kano
Air Safety Reach Int. Stds. By 2011
Police Reform to begin Jan 2010
Special Security Allocation to 6 cities
Crime to go down in these cities 40%
Land administration reform b4 2011
Far Reaching Promises
Gas Pipeline to Link IPP
Standard Guage by China $3bn
Now it is incumbent on Reuben Abati and his crew that obtain these promises from the president to ensure that by the end of 2010, we have 6000MW and all Nigerian Railway signs repaired. Yeah, as if those was supposed to be an achievement! But for an inept federal government that is a characteristic failure in all its responsibilities be it the defense of the territorial integrity of the nation (remember Bakassi), maintaining internal security (Niger Delta), securing our borders and ensuring legal immigration, maintaining high level diplomacy and image abroad, ensuring a stable economy and currency, providing a modern judicial system, maintaining a strong tertiary healthcare and education systems, availability of energy and petroleum, provide durable road, rail and air transportation networks and even administer elections: anything will be an achievement!
Name one thing that the federal government does right apart from looting the treasury and perhaps we can celebrate this day in peace.
Happy Democracy Day!