These days we are being assaulted regularly on our TV screens by different politicians making promises they don’t intend to keep. The interesting thing is that we have heard it all before. ” I will repair the roads”, “I will provide jobs for all”, ” The programs of my administration will outrightly obliterate poverty”. “Education for all”. These are all high sounding promises. They score points though, they sway the masses.
I heard that one of the presidential aspirants was addressing the Niger Delta, and promised them that he would start a ministry of Niger Delta, and that the minister of petroleum will always be from the Niger Delta area. He went further to inform them that if they vote for him… the crowd did not allow him to land. The interrupted him, it is not if they vote, it is when they vote :). Promises, promises, promises. As soon as they get into power it all becomes history. The first assignment becomes recouping the investments that brought them into power.
While in a discussion with a few friends though, I suddenly discovered that we don’t really need many things in this country. In reality, I’m looking for a leadership aspirant who comes out publicly to tell us the following lines.
“I do not promise to repair the roads, I will not eradicate poverty, I will not provide education for all, neither will I guarantee Jobs for all, the only thing I will do in my 4yrs tenor is give you power (light), I will achieve 1yr of uninterrupted power supply in the last year of my 4yrs tenor, and I will assure you that a system will be in place to make sure it continues. This is the only agenda I have for the 4yrs.”
Believe me, if a presidential aspirant says this, he’ll have my votes! Give us power, everything else is easy.
It’s such a shame that 47yrs after we gained independence we have not celebrated 1 full day without power interruption. Businesses are dying for the high cost of providing their own infrastructure. Behind the building I rent for office space there are at least 8 diesel generators (I won’t count the petrol generators), all powering businesses that are struggling to break even. Productivity nose dives when generators breakdown, generators with 15yrs guarantee barely last a year with us, we use the generators and NEPA as backup.
We sleep in darkness here, most of us. I daily go to sleep ahead of my generator – I prefer it goes off after I have worked myself to sleep. Heat is punishment for me, and it should be for you too, if you just haven’t gotten used to pain. It is suffering that makes cow hide sweet. Give us Power!
Our expectations have been weakened over time, we feel great these days, when we have power for most of a day. My 2yr old baby girl already shouts NEPA when light goes and comes, she is growing up to expect it like that – God forbid! Give us Power!
But how will you be motivated to give us power, when the lords that supply generators are the one’s financing your campaign, how will you give us power when those that sell us diesel are those that recommend you to us? How will you give us power when miscreants consistently vandalize the gas turbines. Why will you give us power, when there is so much else at stake if you do? We understand that giving us good roads ought to be easy, at least it means you are providing contracts for your fellows, giving us good education should be easy, at least we can start from your town. Giving us power is so complex, we know, but that is what we want. Give us power, power is all we need!
We are in Nigeria, not because things are not rough, but because we believe in better days. I am here not because my passport doesn’t license me to be somewhere else. I’m here because I know that the song of our children in the future will hedge on the labors of we heroes past. We are here, because we know that when the soup is not sweet and the pounded yam not well pounded is when you know the real pounded yam lover. If anyone sees the president to be, tell him I said, power is all we need!
Or what do you think?