ON PROMISES AND PLEDGES....DO THEY REALLY MATTER TO SOME?

Toilet time.... Scene....one of the college bathrooms.... Bob-Manuel (not real name) had just stepped in to clean up his person for the day. My unexpected challenge on him was no less sudden as it was shocking... "You promised us that you would see to our welfare! You assumed office several months ago! Yet no positive change! Not in the hostel facilities! Or the student cafeteria! When exactly are those changes you promised us going to come?!"

This was akin to sacrilege....as seniority was strictly observed among medical students....quite unlike the main campus. It was usual for a junior to address his seniors as Dr This or Dr That... So, it was not customary for a year-one student to talk to a clinical student in such insolent manner at all!

You see, the fellow had taken the time to embark on room-to-room campaign prior to his election as the Welfare Secretary of the (Medical) Students Association. I had spared the time to listen with rapt attention as he explained away his carefully-arranged manifesto....believed him....voted for him...and in my infantile innocence, had expected him to keep his word after gaining entrance into office!

His response took quite a while in coming... He slowly raised his head....and spoke quietly....as he wondered what particular offense he did me to warrant such "verbal assault" on him!

Then, it dawned on me. Bob-Manuel had no intention of redeeming hollow pledges he could hardly recall!

His is a vivid illustration of the attitude and mindsets of our newage political class...all talk and no action! Merely a case of grooming self for a future of bare-faced lies, deceit and thievery. Dwelling on empty promises just to gain political office....with violence and monetary inducements as props!

I have just learnt that the actual production cost of a barrel of petroleum is merely about $5! So, if this amount of oil was sold for over $100, imagine the humongous profit we made from sale of crude oil.....and what we stand to gain if our refining capacity is upgraded and we sell value-added processed oil products!

Our refineries have been intentionally left comatose for eons by this weird govt to pave way for its cronies and apologists to reap huge profits from needless importation of refined petroleum products. Phantom subsidies have been coopted where there is need for none! Some of those foreign refineries were actually built with monies stolen from our coffers! So, if our rulers own refineries in foreign lands which they need to sustain by sabotaging the economies of their fatherland, where do we go from here?

Besides, since the international price of oil has dropped, why has this not reflected in the pump price of petroleum products in Nigeria where we are made to believe that such things are left to the dictates of market forces?

......and so the lies continue...

Dr Tosin Akindele is a Lagos-based Medical Practitioner, a former Secretary of AGPMPN Ikorodu zone, a former Secretary of the Quackery Committee of AGPMPN Lagos State Branch, founder of Analytical Minds, a good health advocate and social critic.

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Articles by Tosin Akindele