By Ayo Sogunro
ASK: “WHAT HAS NIGERIA DONE FOR ME?”
As I have suspected for a while, the unsolicited trekking I undertook from Yaba to Ojota to protest the 2012 subsidy removal is now just an intensive workout session. President Buhari and his team of economic wanksters have taken a leaf from Jonathan and his team of economic wanksters. Worse, the new economists in town have outdone Jonathan’s ambitions of N141/l; they have pushed the price up to N145/l—in spite of Fashola’s touted logic on falling crude oil prices.
What does Nigeria really do for anyone? The government owns and controls all land, waterways and natural resources. Yet, Nigerians still pay taxes, charges, tolls, tariffs, rates, fees, duties and even bribes just to get standard services. Free education is a packaged myth. Low-cost housing is non-existent. Subsidised agricultural products—you joke. Welfare? Universal healthcare? Nada. The only shambolic thing this country has attempted to give all citizens freely is the fake-ass subsidy on petroleum. And now, even that has to go.
REMEMBER OCCUPY NIGERIA
Unfortunately, the partisan foolishness that rented part of our brains during the 2015 elections has now decided to buy the entire space. In the midst of this depressing news, some APC fools and some PDP fools have decided to exchange follies and turn the fate of Nigerians into a popularity contest between Jonathan and Buhari. A plague on both your houses!
Do not let these “my-intelligence-is-for-sale-to-politicians” activists deceive you with rhetoric: Occupy Nigeria was not about the character of Jonathan. For fuck’s sake, Jonathan hardly had any character in late 2011. He came into power in 2010 and spent the first year pussyfooting as a nice guy.
Do not let these irrational mathematicians deceive you with figures and claims of “no money”: Occupy Nigeria was not about numbers.
So, what was Occupy Nigeria about?
Occupy Nigeria was a resistance against the imposition of additional economic costs on Nigerians despite continuous government wastage. The subsidy removal meant low-income and poor Nigerians—some 112 million people—would face an increase in the price of transportation, raw materials, services and consumer goods. Yet, politicians will continue to get cars, houses, allowances, healthcare, special assistants, private jets and whatnot. This injustice was unjustifiable in 2012 and it is unjustifiable in 2016.
Occupy Nigeria was not the half-assed anti-GEJ campaign that APC’s revisionists are trying to make it. For those who remember, Occupy Nigeria was a protest against the collective wastage of Nigeria’s government inclusive of ACN, APGA, ANPP, CPC and PDP. Occupy Nigeria would have happened whether or not GEJ was president.
I pity the conscience of the APC fools congratulating themselves on their ability to move from Occupy Nigeria to Partisan Nigeria. Their justification—that Buhari’s government has integrity—is utter rubbish. Integrity is earned not conferred. While Buhari may have personal integrity, his government is yet to PROVE that it is different from previous governments. Buhari’s focus, so far, has been on tackling the corruption in Jonathan’s government. Nothing indicates that Buhari’s government will not be proven equally corrupt come 2019. In any case, what comfort will the factory worker whose expenses no longer fit into her income derive from the knowledge that Buhari, and not Jonathan, is responsible for depriving her?
I pity the conscience of the PDP fools rejoicing that GEJ has been “vindicated”. How does a latter evil justify an earlier evil? GEJ was wrong and Buhari is also wrong. Their maths may be correct but their choice of victim is wrong. Whatever the economists may say, there is absolutely no reason why ordinary Nigerians—and not the government—should pay the price for inefficiency. If GEJ had sold his jets and zoos rather than attempt to remove subsidy, maybe he would have won a second term.
ONE DAY, THE POOR WILL EAT THE ECONOMISTS
But what about the maths? Maths can be written and re-written. The government issues oil blocs, licenses oil mines, controls the borders, controls foreign exchange, and licenses marketers. Yet, it insists, somehow, that Nigerians must pay for government incompetence and political patronage. If the government can’t lower the maths or fix the scams, then it should bear the brunt. Why should Nigerians suffer because the government is inefficient as a subsidy policeman? It is that simple.
But Nigerian politicians are all selfish. Buhari will rather maintain a presidential fleet than reduce the Budget. Some say there is no available foreign exchange–there is never available foreign exchange for Nigerians. Yet, politicians are still mooching on our resources. From the President to the most junior legislator, these politicians are fed, clothed, bathed, transported, secured, and may even get buried at the expense of the Nigerian state. Where does the money come from? Damn, even the Obama family pays for their own meals in the White House. When we are done selling all the stupid cars piling up in Abuja then—and only then—can the president look Nigerians in the eye and say: “Folks, it’s your turn to pay up. Otherwise, why should Nigerians pay for the crimes of the looters when the moochers are having a field day?”
EVERYTHING IN NIGERIA IS GOING TO KILL YOU
What’s the way forward? Well, we will take our punishment lying down. Anyone looking for a protest to launch their political career should find another topic. As for me, I will simply try to insulate myself against policies like this. My sympathies to all the Nigerians who have little or no control over their economic fates. They are going to have a very bad year. But, at least, we can still curse.
-Here’s to you, my dear President Buhari: shame on you for your unwillingness to cut down official waste and your willingness to add to the economic burdens of Nigerians.
-Here’s to APC and their collection of fools: shame on you for taking our side when you had no power and for suddenly seeing the other side now that you have power.
– Here’s to PDP and their collection of fools: shame on you for being PDP, and for being so bad that Buhari started to look good to Nigerians.
And if any of you above-listed assholes pops into my comments to defend why ordinary Nigerians—and not the government—should suffer this 2016, may the 401 gods of Ife confer eternal suffering on you and your descendants.