Marking of first One Hundred Days in Office was pioneered by President Fredrick Delano Roosevelt (FDR), in the United States of America on June 11, 1933, after assuming office on March 4, 1933. It may have been seen as a mere ceremony, but it became an unavoidable ritual in governance, especially as Historian Arthur Schlesinger popularized it in his work, The Coming of the New Deal.
Since then, the ritual became a compelling convention in the United States of America, and other countries copied it. Nigeria too adopted it. Military juntas in Nigeria valued the ritual. Civilian governments in Nigeria valued it more than a ritual, as it also served as an election campaign strategy.
The much-expected celebration of 100-days in office was at the volition of FDR. He was worried about how the depressed economy could be revamped at the period he had just been coincidently elected into office, a situation that brought about his New Deal policy that revived the economy. As it turned out, the ritual, usually done with fanfare or in a low key using the media, became an avenue for elected officials to render first stewardship, just as the citizens and the press challenge them to do so.
Your Excellency, 100-days might not be enough to hurriedly meet all the expectations of the people, especially given the peculiarities of your enthronement and the COVID-19 disaster, the same way that peculiarities made George W. Bush, Obama, Donald Trump, among others, to opt for a longer duration, even up to first 365-days or first 1000-Days to appraise achievements.
Our dear Governor, Senator Douye Diri, although you did not declare 100-days celebration bash, perhaps due to the impact of COVID-19 scourge, it is worthwhile to say that you started on a good note, and should be celebrated and cheered up.
For instance, you abated political crises that ensued following your miraculous enthronement, by suing for peace, declaring an inclusive style of governance, and empathizing with organizations and persons who were victims of the crisis. Security of lives and property, also improved. The community policing apparatus being put in place by your government is another laudable effort to enhance security.
In less than 100 days, your administration accorded premium to the welfare of civil servants and retirees, and also set machinery in motion for the much-desired people-oriented governance. To achieve the mission of good governance, your administration made key appointments; enacted the 2020 Prosperity Appropriation Law, Public Procurement Amendment, Fiscal Responsibility and Debt Management Office Laws, to bolster service delivery.
Improvement of infrastructures and enhancement of the aesthetics of Yenagoa, the Capital City, and other parts of the state, is also prioritized, and it is commencing with the Edepie-Etegwe-Imiringi-Tombia proposed major Flyover, as one of your pet projects.
Even the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected private and public activities, worldwide, is frontally and admirably tackled by the state, under your leadership and with the support of your Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
These early achievements, in addition to the zeal and patriotism showcased by your administration, within this short period, constitute a beacon of hope for better days ahead. This is in line with the aura of optimism that followed your divine enthronement, and Bayelsans are hopeful to reap good governance and prosperity.
Never the less, I implore you to do more and also appoint competent and selfless persons to form a State Executive Council; advisers and assistants whose portfolios should match their profiles, so as to propel more achievements.
I bring you solidarity from myself, my family, and the good people of Yenagoa-Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, which you ably represented in the past.
While praying God to protect and guide you and your Deputy in the mission to improve the fortune of the people through the Prosperity policy thrust, I reiterate my commitment to effective representation at the National Assembly, to support the development of Bayelsa State.
Prof. Steve Sinikiem Azaiki, OON,