Promise, in the context of this write-up, could be said to be an offer of inducement by the seeking party to the other party soliciting cooperation and assistance in a deal.
It is subject to fulfillment and it is said to be fulfilled when executed within a specific period of time.
Everybody makes promise at one time of the other. The challenges of life make it so. How much it is fulfilled is a function of sincerity propelled by integrity. Above all, it is a single most-challenging tool of life that makes or mars goodwill.
A fulfilled promise promotes trust, confidence, cooperation, love, etc. It also creates goodwill and presents the promiser in the light of sincerity.
Since independence, successive political leaders, at all levels, had made electioneering campaign promises in their parties’ manifestoes to the masses of this nation but these promises are hardly fulfilled either by omission or commission (only God knows). The negative impact of this non-fulfillment by the unpatriotic leaders need not be overemphasized.
Nevertheless, the nation, in many decades, has suffered incalculable losses due to non-fulfillment of election promises. Trillions of naira have been lost to incessant labour strikes. Several lives lost to incessant medical workers’ strikes. Many citizens languished and died in prison custodies awaiting trials, etc; all due to industrial actions from non-fulfillment of government’s promises to the people.
Unfortunately, this level of political consciousness continued unabated and the cumulative sad effect is that the electorates’ confidence and national patriotism were completely killed leaving in place a nation where the citizenry runs berserk for sustenance with no regard to law and national interest.
This provokes intimidating crimes, corruption in work places, looting of public funds, tax evasion, poor attitude to work, careless use of corporate properties, ‘tapping’/conversion of public properties for private use, low national productivity, violence, heightened agitation for self determination and sustained threat to national unity. And so, a super-rich nation like Nigeria becomes a beggar in the comity of averagely rich nations due to the callous and unpatriotic actions of an infinitesimal fraction of opportuned citizens as power-brokers, who turn money-bags overnight and frustrate the golden growth of a blessed nation.
Fortunately, this crop of political leaders appears to be on fast decline as indicated by unfolding events.
Nevertheless, no matter the grave frustrations of the citizens in the hands of these ever-disappointing leaders, there are service or people-oriented leaders the masses ever hope for. And events in recent times indicate that the era of this is in the offing.
In 2015 when the then Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, emerged as a contender for the office of the State Governor in the general election of the year, little or nothing did anybody know that a service-oriented leader was to emerge.
His campaign train traversed the cities and towns of Rivers State soliciting their mandates. He made promises. He noted the resentment of the people with promises. They had enough of it with not much to write home about vis-à-vis the huge revenues accruing to the state. He also noted the voters’ apathy of the people as antecedences indicate that voting for one’s candidates no longer counts in the country.
As he trailed on, he kept assuring the people that their votes would count this time around, and that none of his promises would be unfulfilled. This sounded like the usual empty shell thing to the fed-up people of the state.
However, he was given the mandate but the people least expected the fulfillment of his promises. After all, Nigerians are already immune to non-fulfillment of election promises by political leaders. But true that “wonders shall never end”, the attendees at the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on 29th May, 2015 did not reach their homes when the sound of caterpillars on many hitherto terribly bad roads in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Obio/Akpor LGA and the environs rented the air. Road construction works started in earnest. A feat quite unprecedented anywhere on the swearing-in day, thus manifesting a service-oriented consciousness with a fast and pragmatic approach to government delivery. The awe-struck Rivers people were ushered into a dawn of unprecedented developmental trajectory so greatly evidenced today. Since then, it has been achievable people-oriented projects/programmes galore.
Aware of infrastructural development as key to the growth of a developing nation, spurred by burning desire and determination to transform the state, and conscious of his election promises and time of delivery, he traverses the state to flag off development projects here and there.
His “Operation Zero Potholes” on Rivers roads soon turned all the 23 local government areas of the state to construction sites on even spread of road construction and transformation. And just in less than two years in office, the people of the state began to witness, in amazement and excitement, a massively revolutionized construction and transformation of strategic/internal roads in the state that immediately earned him the befitting title MR. PROJECTS and prompted the Royal Fathers of the state to say “Your Excellency, your Traditional Rulers are very proud of your achievements in less than two years in office” in the Traditional Rulers Council meeting with Governor Wike on 30th January, 2017. (Paul M. Pepple 2018, “KING JAJA 76th Birth Day ed”).
This even spread of road infrastructural development/transformation soon impacted positively on all the 23 local government areas of the State as evidenced in the great improvement in transportation and communication, increase in residents population, improvement in business and social lives of the people and translating in the potential rise in the economy of the communities and the state. And within three years in office, Governor Wike undeniably, transformed the state through massive infrastructural and other sector development to the appreciation of the good-loving people of the state and beyond. “We can attest without fear of contradiction that there is no local government your people-oriented projects have not touched”, said the monarchs.
To enumerate Wike’s achievements within three and half years in office would require a great space. But this is unnecessary since they are so obvious. For what the eyes see needs no witness. Nevertheless, a scratch is imperative here.
Wike has made impressive impact on Road, Education, Health, Housing, Employment, Empowerment, Social Welfare, etc. A trip from Trans-Amadi to Borokiri, Akpajo to Rumuolumeni, Oroigwe to Opobo, Saapenwa to Abonnema, Omoku to Omuma, Andoni to Ndoni, Ogu/Bolo to Khana, would petrify the sojourner on network of strategic and internal road infrastructural achievement of this administration.
His policy on education has constructed and transformed many schools from basic to tertiary institutions across the state; employed and trained a good number of teachers; rebuilt, upgraded and equipped many schools across the state, many internal/ international scholarship programmes for Rivers State students, etc.
The health sector has witnessed the construction and reconstruction of many hospitals and health centres across the state, equipped and upgraded many hospital/health centres; training of medical personnels in the state, construction and equipment of ultra-modern doctors’ quarters, etc.
Employment policy has owned the ICT based job creation platform for job seekers, creation of Neighborhood Safety Corps, many skill acquisition/employment programmes, empowerment of widows, traders, young entrepreneurs, youths, women, civil servants, numerous job creations across the state, etc.
Housing policy saw the construction of ultra modern NBA secretariat, Federal High Court/National Industrial Court in Port Harcourt. Ultra modern Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat, ultra modern NLC secretariat in D/Line, Port Harcourt, ultra modern Mile 1 market destroyed by fire many years ago, completion of Rumuokoro ultra modern Market, construction of Port Harcourt Fruit market just destroyed by fire few months ago, 50 units low cost houses at lriebe, 50 onebedroom flats for DSS, 25 units 2bedrroom flats for NAF, 20 five bedroom flats for state judges, 24 three bedroom flats for civil servants, 50 local houses in Ogu/Obolo, numerous mini markets across the state, construction of ecumenical centre for religious worship.
Social welfare policy reconstructed and equipped the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, and many civic centres across the state. The list goes on.
The people of the state praise and wish him greater strength. The traditional rulers of the state extol and honour him, the media and international organizations commend and recognize him with various accolades. The different religious fathers praise and bless him for amazing performance within just three years of governance.
Yes, previous leaders had performed. But not on record with such level of rapid and equitable distribution of development in all the 23 local government areas of the State in just three years in office to the wide appreciation and commendation of all and sundry in and beyond the state/nation.
This is the unique and awesome aspect of Wike’s performance as he seems to be driving these all-sector developments in a truck dropping them here and there wherever he goes within this short period. It is pertinent to state here that a service or people-oriented leader enjoys the confidence, cooperation, trust and support of his followers. This is evident in the overwhelming support to Wike in the incidental re-run election of December 2015, six months after he assumed office. Impressed with the good start, a pointer that Gov. Wike could be the expected service-oriented leader, abundantly justified today, the electorate of the state stood steadfastly by to revalidate the collective mandate given him in the governorship election earlier that year. And Wike was returned to office with overwhelming victory.
Also, the rapid reaction of Rivers people against any issue from outside the state that tends to present the governor in bad light, and the volume of impressive social media testimonies to Gov. Wike’s performance eloquently attest to this appreciative angle. He enjoys this vanguard till today!
As his campaign train moves round the towns and cities of Rivers State again, it would simply be pointing, boldly and proudly, to the numerous evidences of his governance delivery in one single term, a unique one at that.
Ukutumoren writes from Port Harcourt.