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What is in the first 100 days?
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan came under closer media scrutiny this week, as he attained his first 100 days in office. Indeed, commentators had plenty to say about the conduct of his administration, particularly his perceived failure to deliver on his campaign promises. His government was thought to be slow in taking off against his inauguration pledge to hit the ground running at once and the most visible development so far appears to be death and destruction induced, in the main, by the Boko Haram sect. That creates doubts whether he possesses the will to deal with the threat. This is a major concern because in spite of his numerous assurances, the death agents still strike at will.
However, while there were many constructive criticisms, there were many more outlandish ones, coming from delusory minds that have confused the first 100 days for the full course of a four-year tenure of the president.
If one may ask, what is in the first 100 days? It is certainly an insignificant period in the life of a government that has a four-year course to run. That is why it may be wrong to judge Jonathan’s performance in office just now. In fact, talks of first 100 days and achievements that may be recorded in it by a Nigerian administration are completely out of place because marking of first 100 days is a creation of the United States of America, a system concerned with things other than the provision of basic infrastructure for the people since they have had decades of developed and functional facilities in place.
Even if an assessment were to be made of the present administration, the fact that its take-off did not go as planned will make a fair one impossible. Jonathan took a long time to put his cabinet in place because a t the time his list of ministerial nominees was ready to be sent to the Senate for confirmation, the National Assembly went on an extended recess that the president did not anticipate. But since their confirmation, most of the ministers have been working on strategies to quickly advance their various sectors. That will ordinarily suggest that things are going on in the administration towards the enhancement of the living standards of the people, even though it may also have demonstrated indecisiveness and not have moved fast enough in many areas.
However, while Jonathan has come under the klieg lights, not much attention has been paid by critics to state governors who came into office at the same time. Yet it is the state and local governments that should have more direct impact on the lives of the masses because they are closer to the people. It is true that the Federal Government controls a larger percentage of the nation’s revenue and has the obligation to ensure easier life for the people. But such resources have to spread all over the federation and in doing so, it takes a longer time to feel the impact. It is unlike the states that have relatively smaller areas to apply their funds and such application should immediately be visible to the people where it is properly done.
Again, the Federal Government has a huge task in its hands, tackling major infrastructural questions, including security of lives and property in the country, international relations, maritime; it is burdened with initiation of regulatory policies for different sectors of the nation’s economy and their implementation. Basically, the Federal Government is supposed to be up there facilitating and watching over the smooth development of the country with the state and local governments as foot soldiers. The states and local councils are the organs that should have more direct bearing on the daily lives of the people in terms of agriculture, health, education, potable drinking water, access roads, etc.
This is not to excuse the Federal Government for its failures, but if one argues that the Federal Government has done nothing in the last 100 days, how many state governments are standing out in their performance over the same period? Most of them may not be performing today because they are not the focus of media criticisms; yet, they are the organs that should attract more attention. It is time for this to change.Share