The norm for governance to take back seat and adjust for politics to take centre stage once the perimeter of time hovers around elections has become natural in our clime. Of a fact, the year 2019 will matter more to every genuine political actor, observer or enthusiast than the just freshly birthed 2018 – and the reason is not farfetched.
Many have defined politics as who gets what, when and how. In one of my previous writes, I stated that politics is a winner takes all conquest, the loser gets nothing except there is a realignment.
2019 will be a year of note for the All Progressives Congress as they seek to do what the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP were successful at for 16 years – which is, to retain power.
Throughout the 16 years of PDP rule, a retrospective look has shown that the party were able to hold on to power for as long as they did, not because of her exploits in governance but mostly because of her political sagacity. However, over that same period Nigeria and Nigerians have evolved. Citizens have become more politically aware and as such mere political prowess would no longer be enough to guarantee political success.
Crucial among the Challenges facing the ruling APC has been the task of managing the technicalities in balancing politics and governance. On one hand is the Buhari led government bearing the burden of meeting the expectations of the electorates who voted it into power, and on the other hand is the APC led administration with an army of committed and loyal party men/women waiting to be empowered by the same leadership they enthroned.
The recent somewhat controversial appointment of 209 board chairmen and over 1,200 board members was engineered to do just that. Although board appointments are to last for four uninterrupted years, one would argue that these appointments were made later than expected – which somehow belittles it’s original intention, which is to reward those who worked for the success of the party in 2015.
Just like most advanced marketing books preach: people buy the feeling not the product – a statement that implies that we buy products either for the convenience it offers, usefulness, relevance or just for a show of class and status, which explains why one may not expend on an out-of-fashion item no matter how sophisticated such an item is.
The President in his New Year speech tried to communicate what his government has done and where the government intends to focus on moving forward, but unfortunately, the beautifully ranged and rendered speech would not make much meaning to the man on the street who all he sees and understands is the feeling he gets from government implemented policies – this feeling manifests in terms of his standard of living, transportation costs and earning ability – an area the APC led government hasn’t quite lived up to expectation.
If the APC led government must improve its goodwill moving into 2019, then it must improve on its offerings, focusing not just on the offerings that sound nice but on the offerings that gives the citizens great feeling of near contentment. Among those offering are addressing the issue of minimum wage, tackling the problems bedevilling the petroleum sector and improving power supply. For a better wage, a cheaper and available fuel, more hours of power supply for homes and businesses when felt denotes good governance across board.