Opinion / Editorial

After the Promise, Comes the Lai by Emmanuel Bello

Lai Mohammed

Emmanuel Bello, in an opinion piece for SUN NEWS wrote about the recent denial of campaign promises by the Presidency.

When you find it difficult to fulfill a promise, you could lessen the impact of the embarrassing situation by doing any one of the following. One, you could deny ever making such a promise in the first place, accusing your opponents of trying to set you up. This method is very effective when dealing with imbeciles and children, though the latter group almost never ever forget a promise made.

Two, you could advance fantastic reasons you can’t keep the promise like pointing to the huge pile of work you are dealing with. The problem with this method is that people are bound to ask you if you were not aware of these same things when you were busy making promises. Three, you can blame internal saboteurs and swear on your good intentions. Your traducers may not take you seriously if that’s all you can come up with. Even the road to hell is paved with good intentions, they would remind you. Finally, you could just shut up and leave everyone wondering. After all, no one can misquote silence! And promises, by nature, are very tacky things: the more you want them to go away, the more they stare you in the face, demanding that you own up to them.

Sometimes, you are even forced to wonder why you ever made the promise in the first place. Did you underestimate the challenge? Were you deceived by campaign directors who only used your influence to grab power? Were you out of touch when making the promises? These are the questions that keep many a power broker awake at nights? They even come out sometimes to sound as if they are regretting (remember “why did I become president?”) But then campaigns are all about promises and nothing is wrong with that because that is how to win elections. With the crowd surging and the heat on; and with the need to sway the mob, a desperate candidate could about just make any promise he or she had no idea how they were going to be fulfilled. I’ve been on some campaign trail myself and I can speak of the urgency, the atmosphere and the energy that propels such promises. A candidate arrives a rally ground amid frenzied supporters chanting the campaign’s slogan. The campaign’s top directors whispers something to the candidate minutes before he climbs the podium, telling him what they believe the audience wants to hear. It may be the need to fix a bad road; or to build a bridge; or to provide a befitting hospital; or to tackle youth unemployment; or to build a school, market, hall or some other needs of the community.

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