Monday, January 16, 2012

The Fuel Subsidy Removal Palaver

The “mother of all protests” against the removal of fuel subsidy continues into the second week, albeit with somewhat less force. Much heated debate however continues on the streets (as it did earlier in the House of Reps). Especially by people who would score cheap points or at least let off some steam by hauling expletives at the President. Unfortunately, it looks more like a SouthWest issue. The North is mostly too busy with the Boko Haram menace, while the South East has quite bluntly expressed unreserved support for government’s policy on the matter.

Unfortunately while the so-called masses continue with their tyre burning and barricading of major roads (and extortion has inevitably cropped in); and the middle class elites continue with their heated discussions at street corners and at media houses, the real beneficiaries of petrol subsidy are most certainly engaged in some other types of activities. This tiny group, comprising of stinkingly rich and corrupt officials at the NNPC and allied government agencies, or the cabals that smuggle petroleum products for re-selling at neighbouring countries, not to talk of their political god-fathers involved either in refining petrol products abroad to be re-imported back into Nigeria on their terms – this tiny group are not to be found wasting words or sweat in their evil quest to maintain the status quo.

There is absolutely no need for any “security report” before one could make a good guess as to what they are probably doing even at this very moment – writing fat cheques to mould opinions through the mass media and putting pressure on appropriate quarters, including both government and Labour, in order to confuse issues and protect their rotten interest. Any one who is ignorant of this critical factor has no business offering any commentary on the subsidy removal issue!

At the end of the day, we believe, Nigerians will eventually realize that both President Goodluck and Labour Leaders have been the major patriotic parties used by God to shake a monumental corrupt structure that Fuel Subsidy represented. The President needs an informed, interested and outspoken public to make “democratic” demands which will “compel” him to take necessary efforts to tackle the corrupt cabal – most of which are alleged to have been his sponsors and staunch supporters for the top office. Only the most naïve would require the President to take steps that would not only amount to political suicide, but will also not yield any lasting impact – such as unilaterally hoisting some top fellas into jail – without first ensuring that such a process will not only be fully supported by the public, but will actually be driven by the public. The public’s response to the President’s “dialogue” on the previously unmentionable issue of fuel subsidy is currently being spearheaded by the Labour Congress. Labour is of course under its own pressures – not only from political forces that would want to use it as a tool to further their own selfish hidden agenda, but also from the naïve and ever-skeptical followership which automatically sees a “sell-out” in any responsible discussion or rancor-free agreement between Labour and Government!

Discerning Christians must therefore continue to pray that the Almighty God will use the on-going process as His joker to achieve the deliverance of our beloved country from the hands of the forces of pauperization who have kept us in bondage for so long. At least, now people are asking seriously why our refineries are not working and official reports documenting monumental corruption in government agencies like the NNPC, which the average Nigerian was totally uninterested in a few weeks ago, are now the subject of hot passionate discussions. So far so good, but prayers and good confessions remain paramount.

In conclusion, Nigerians need not despair at the on-going situation. Rather with thanksgiving, we should continue to request that the good Lord will complete the good works He has began, and release His joker on the jokers who have kept Nigeria under their pockets all these decades.

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