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HAPPENING NEW YEAR

By NBF News
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ANOTHER year is 24 hours away and people are full of expectations as they look forward to fulfilment of their dreams. It is an annual ritual that keeps the failures of the past year at bay. The beginning of every year affords people deep reflections on the past as they plan.

Changes are fast-paced in a competitive, technology-driven world. To participate in the changes that 2011 will bring requires serious planning, concentration and focus. People want to start on a clean slate - a fresh life to usher in a new lease but they bear the burdens of past years. Plans cannot become reality without good governance.

It is the duty of government to ensure implementation of right policies and programmes. The government must ensure that in 2011, the enabling policies for the healthy growth of the nation and its inhabitants are in place.

Last year was not particularly helpful to the realisation of citizens' potentialities as most policies of this administration were bereft of considerations for the well-being of the people. The budget deficits that went into recurrent expenditures speak volumes about the administration's concerns for the people.

Riots, kidnaps, armed robbery and political violence were rampant. They slowed down growth and development.  Violence continues unpunished. Jos and Bauchi are good examples of the celebration of impunity. With the mollified treatment of thugs, political violence thrived.

The disquiet in the Niger Delta region rages with varying scales. Very little will change in 2011 with the persistent neglect of the deteriorating region.

The New Year is significant in the nation's political history. After 50 years of independence, the elections will reflect the level of the country's democratic development.  It is a unique transition in our history. A former Vice President became acting President, then President and now wants to run for office. The complications of this setting are new to us and we could manage the consequences well after the elections.

History is in the making. How will it turn out? Politicians are bickering ceaselessly. They are unwilling to concede grounds. There is palpable apprehension about the success of the transition. Before our eyes, little Cote d'Ivoire is building up.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has a monumental role to play. It must be honest and forthright in its handling of the elections. A necessary first step is a credible voters' register. INEC is still battling with it. The nation looks up to INEC for free, fair and acceptable elections in April.

Nigeria's stability and the successes of its citizen this year, will largely depend on the April elections, which the people expect to produce elected public officers who will bring the much-expected succour into their lives.

We wish our readers a happy and prosperous New Year - a happening New Year-