Expectations of The Electorate From Their Elected Legislators, By AbdulQudus Abdullahi
Strong desire to access the necessaries of life that are rarely made available by successive administrations is one of the instruments that awaken the interest of electorate in what to expect from their elected officials upon their assumption of office. They crave to find feet in life and these basic amenities, when provided, serve as sturdy foundation towards championing that art of finding feet in life.
The high cost of living and other harrowing economical issues have combined to worsen the current situation, leading to an increase in the country’s poverty index. The citizens from all parts of the country are stuffed ideally as to what awaits them in the forthcoming general elections, thus enabling many to hold programmes poised at orientating the electorates on who to vote for and who should be collectively sacked through ballot. Besides, political campaigns that are usually conducted in a mealy-mouthed parlance and accompanied by condiments of mere rhetoric that contains no modicum of reliable substances, constitutes the second instrument of salivation that awakens, sustains and enforces electorate’s expectations from their elected leaders.
Most politicians promise electorate heaven on earth. For, elections aren’t easy to win by presenting facts to the electorate as they are, seekers of elective offices devise avenues to awaken their sensitivity by making mind-blogging pledges that could hardly be enlivened in the world of reality. Those vying for parliamentary seats join the rank of these politicians. They are dragged into making campaign promises that ought to be an exclusive heritage and business of the executive arm.
To enliven their chances of getting elected just like their executive arm; co-politicians, legislators in both National Assembly and the state houses of assembly have evolved constituency projects for the benefit of endearing themselves to their constituents and for matching up with the executive arm for praises that usually trail politicians who put structures on ground for all and sundry to see.
To this discourse, mentality of electorate is woven to what they see with their eyes. They are hard to convince on the invisible roles lawmakers play in the chamber of the houses of assembly.
These constituency projects introduced are backed with funding for every legislator to enable him/her inject life into the projects especially the ones promised during electioneering. It is in the effort of legislators to quench the expectations of electorate that they have become stuck to execution of projects that are well out of their constitutional duties and responsibilities. They promised electorate different projects during campaigns, without which their chances of winning the election would have been far behind the first zero after the decimal point. Out of wisdom and in pursuit of winning goal at polls, legislators provide funding for the fulfillment of these pledges.
The goal is to satisfy expectations of electorate, the ones politicians themselves intentionally implanted in their gullible minds. It works for them in the end especially for the trust and future electoral victory and that is the ultimate goal of the pledges, particularly for legislators who can continually contest for the office beyond the restricted two-terms earmarked for the executive arm.
Failure of successive elected leaders in certain quarters to fulfill their campaign promises has dampened and lowered these expectations among the electorate.
In recent times, they have realized that their sensitivity is being toyed with by same politicians they entrust with representative duties. Campaigns are merely made, they are rarely fulfilled. This bad trend has affected sincere politicians.
Only few from among Nigerian lawmakers appear matchless politicians to their predecessors in the executive arm of government. Their giant political strides are felt by their constituents quite adequately and far ahead of what was once felt from their legislative predecessors and well above the status of their co-lawmakers representing other constituencies.
This wouldn’t have ordinarily been beyond bill sponsorship, oversight functions over the executive and the judicial arms in an effort to champion the task of checks and balances, but they have stepped out of that legislative shell to provide much needed improvement especially in provision of social amenities, the trailblazing construction of brand blocks in dilapidated schools, and sponsoring of indigents from their various constituencies, adds color to their ardent craving and desire to quench expectations of electorate in their constituencies. All these are besides the unsung projects executed and the spectacular bills they must’ve sponsored on floor of their various Houses.
The politicians vying for these seats must think beyond their personal gains and center their goals to what might change and uplift the already broken trust from the people. The hardship felt by Nigerians from the APC administration is unprecedented and it would take only proven sons of the land who had worked tirelessly for the people to win in the forthcoming elections.
Takeaway, as loyal Nigerians, nothing should matter to us more than the absolute enthusiasm to salvage the country, to bring sanity into the system, to ignore every distraction marauding as political campaign. There is also a need for us to be intentional in our quest for a country that works. Our legislator must be held accountable in every of their dealings.
AbdulQudus Abdullahi is a 200 level student of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria