Keeping the Words of the Inauguration Ceremonies!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

One of the most significant items in any Inauguration ceremony anywhere, in a democratic dispensation or even in any military dictatorship, or in any meaningful organisation is the Inaugural speech and promises of the would-be-leader or chief executive of the state or an organisation.

Inaugural speeches of chief executives of states and of organisations are always speeches over-laden with promises. Here public duty-bearers who are to assume responsibilities for the state or for an organisation speak about their manifestoes and strategies for the implementation of such agenda.

It is similar to the party manifestoes during electioneering campaigns. It is always emotion parked. The would-be-leaders make effort to speak from the heart. And the people believe them. It is about the first encounter between the people and the new duty bearers in case the duty bearers are in their first tenure.

It marks an important moment of mutual trust between the government and the people. On the part of the people, they are full of expectations of the new administration. They repose their confidence in the beautiful oratory of the new crop of leaders, believing that they would deliver on their promises.

But the experiences with most Nigerian duty bearers after the inauguration ceremonies and the hand-over of the baton of leadership are nothing to write Rome about. The Inauguration ceremonies are usually organized with pomp and pageantry. Nationals from across the globe witness such functions.

But when the chips are down, when the ceremonies are over, one experiences the most abysmal of all disappointments. Most of the public duty-bearers in Nigeria will forget as soon as they leave the arena of the Inaugural speeches their flamboyant promises to the people. They would swear by both testaments of the holy writ that they had never made anybody any promises.

It is not surprising that credible leadership has been the bane of Nigeria's development. Most Nigerian public servants have short memories. They make promises recklessly. And these promises are never kept. And so, people learn from the beginning, never to trust their leaders, because both the past and present ones are all made of the same stuff of in- authenticity city and pride.

It is unimaginable to estimate the volume of harm being done in the polity when the people do not have social trust and confidence on their leaders. But today, the present crop of Nigerian leaders cannot afford not to keep their words made public during the Inauguration ceremonies following their victory at the pools in the 2015 general elections.

The reasons are obvious. There is an unprecedented massive support from the people towards the current crop of leaders. The results of the general elections of 2015 are evidences thereof. One thinks that the leaders will for the first time put on their thinking caps for better service to the people. Otherwise, the battle would have been lost even before the fight could begin.

This is what every reasonable government must struggle to avoid. It is therefore incumbent on the part of both the government and the governed to make governance in Nigeria a result-oriented enterprise. The promises at the Inauguration ceremonies are not enough. The people too, must not be satisfied with sheer mediocrity.

The government ought to do its duty and seen to have done the same. That would be the essence of both the state and the true meaning of good governance. Anything short of this expectation would be a travesty of good governance!

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