I was holding out on commenting on the Chistmas day bombings until I saw what the New Year had in store for us. Unfortunately, it came with its own problem.
Imagine Mr Ojo and his family at the peak of their joy happy that they had lived through 2011 and seen another Christmas day despite the chaos of the year. They had made plans after church to visit grandma and meet with the rest of the Ojo clan. As they were coming out of church, they spotted Mr Offor and his family and went over to say hi. Mr Offor was also excited because his son just came home from school in America after 3 years. He was a very proud father showing off his doctor son who came in from ‘obodo oyibo’. And that was the end of the story.
It was such an inhumane act. Ending the lives of whole families on probably the greatest day in ‘Christaindom’ when there is a celebration of the birth of Jesus worldwide, is just a dastardly act. Planning to end lives at all is just borne of an evil mind. New year’s eve was even scary with rumors of THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBINGS after the watch night services but thank God we crossed over safely. The fireworks though scared me to pieces – It was like people decided to throw bomb-sounding fireworks that night.
To my – and I’m sure a great number of us – relief, there were no mass bombings like Christmas day but the crisis of New Year was equally devastating. Removal of fuel subsidy … I mean – Come on!!!
I discovered that the real fuel price should have been N40.02 compared to the N65.00 we were paying. It wasnt even subsidised in the first place.Why should Africa’s greatest oil producer have to pay so highly for petrol and petroleum products? Due to the long history of mismanagement here, we do not have the capacity to refine oil or our own refineries and have to import refined petrol and other fuels.
Nigerians are ofcourse enraged over the drastic increase in fuel prices. Many petrol stations have closed down and those that are still open have long queues in front of them and have overdoubled their prices. The response from the government is that they want to use the money to improve infrastructure. Which infrastructure are they improving? Nigeria runs on fuel … If fuel is not available, then the country is on some sort of temporary pause due to a drastic reduction in activities.
We all know that we cannot count on PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) formerly known as NEPA (National Electical Power Authority) which is the main power provider of the nation and so 85% plus of Nigerian businesses run on a backup power supply – the generator. Most of these generators use fuel and this would cause a general increase in the prices of products and services as entrepreneurs have to find a way to balance income and expenses so that they can make a profit.
The average Nigerian is not as worried about the increase in fuel price as he is about the increase in the prices of everything else. As vehicles have to fill their cars to transport goods, the prices of goods have to increase to cover the increased transportation cost and so the sellers of goods in turn increase their product prices to cover their extra expenditure.Even ‘aboki’s’ won’t sell N5 sweets anymore – the most reasonable ones would probably sell for maybe two for N15. The main problem here is the ripple effect!!!
This quote was extracted from a joint statement issued in response to the removal of fuel subsidy by the National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC);
“We alert the populace to begin immediate mobilisation towards the D-Day for the commencement of strikes, street demonstrations and mass protests across the country”
In other words, we should be expecting a strike and at this rate it just may be indefinite. With the level of unrest in this country, one can only hope and pray that the peaceful demonstrations do not turn into something violent. A friend of mine told me that Nigerians would react to this situation in five stages …
1) Denial 2) Anger 3) Rebellion 4) Depression 5) Acceptance
… and this is typical Nigerian fashion. Referring to the recent toll imposition in Lekki, we can see that after the protests, in which a few died, Nigerians have finally accepted the situation. The funny thing is that most of us have started making jokes about this issue – Nigerians are happy people. We are so used to bearing and grinning and this makes us a very flexible people.
But tough skin is not a blessing to Nigerians – its a curse. We have gotten so used to hardships that we just sit back and dont do anything about our situations. If we must be better, we need to forget ‘E go beta’ and take action. Its not time to relax and hope. Its time to stand and act!!! But then, most of us are too scared to do anything. At this rate the rate of crime is definitely going to shoot up drastically because people are going to go hungry and they have to fend for their families.
Previous attempts to end the subsidies in Nigeria have prompted industrial action and street protests. Take the strike against fuel price rises in 2004 which caused most petrol stations to close, leading to transport chaos and a well patronised petrol black market.
Yes we need prayers. Lots and lots of it! But we need action as well … Nigeria go better but no be by wishing! Fellow Nigerians, what do you think?