By John Danfulani, Ph.D
Nigeria political atmosphere is littered with all sorts of characters. There are the good, the bad, and the ugly amongst them. Of the multitude playing the power game, only a microscopic few are men and women of principle and do stand for those principles at all cost. Majority of Nigerian politicians that falls within the bracket of ” the bad and the ugly”, are propelled by insatiable greed for political and economic aggrandizement. Service to mandate givers is non of their qualms.
In 2012 PMB and almost all the key players and surrogates of APC regimes at the federal and state levels colonized the streets protesting a contemplated hike of pump price of petrol in the country. The APC national leader Mr. Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-rufa’i, Pastor Tunde Bakere, Sens. Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani, Femi Falana (SAN), H.E. Comrade Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, Comrade Governor Adams Oshiemole, Col. Abdulhameed Ali(Rtd), all the APC governors of South West, The Publisher of Sahara Reporter, NLC and other organized labour protested against President Jonathan’s intentions. Their percieved puritanical leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (then opposition kingpin) granted an interview and asserted that there is nothing like subsidy, and ended by stating that; all the talks bordering subsidy are fraudulent.
Four years later (after getting power in 2015), the same elements removed subsidy on pump price of petroleum. They repackaged the same old economic argument of advantages of deregulation and activities of cartels, bunkerers, importers as reason behind their decisions. While hunting for Nigerians mandate, they promised to tackle those snags and also undertook not to make innocent Nigerians pay for these peoples’ pillages and sabotage. On this, Femi Falana made a confirmation statement by saying “during the campaign last year, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari pledged that if elected as President by the Nigerian people his administration would not remove fuel subsidy”. Since he was one of the ringleaders of the 2012 protests and their 2015 foot soldiers,nobody will doubt that PMB and APC promised not to remove subsidy on oil.
Technically speaking their announcement of the hike in prices was a classic paragon of speaking from both ends of the mouth. They deregulated and regulated, simultaneously. It’s pure confusion and ineptitude in policy and execution. When you deregulate, you don’t place a bar on prices, market forces of demand and supply will automatically fix the right prices. The pegging of prices at N145 Naira per liter was a monumental ideological contradiction.
So far, those with conscience amongst them have issued statements denouncing the new policy of APC government. Two activist who are members of the Nigeria Red Chamber viz Sens. Shehu Sani and Dino Melaye have distanced themselves from the pseudo-capitalists policy. Sen.Melaye has given a 7-day ultimatum to APC leaders to reverse their decision or face what he called mother of all protests. Sen. Sani pounded the Bretton Woods eggheads from a moral high ground in this fashion ” It amounts to capitulation and outright deception for those of us who led millions of people, out in the street few years ago against pump price increase and against subsidy removal to now give economic excuses to justify same.
The moral flag we raised in the past is now the scale of justice to measure the degree of our conscience in the present” .
Neo Marxists radical Lagos lawyer Femi Falana has written a lengthy sermon reminding PMB and his gang of pseudo capitalists bankrolling IMF and World Bank policies of their 2012 position. H.E. Balarabe Musa has already given a clear signal that protest is imminent if their exploitative and repressive price regimes are not reversed. Comrade Omoyele Sowore the publisher of Sahara Reporters updated his social media page with an objection thriller by placing their major claims on scale of history and commonsense.
This is a cream of men that their consciences are alive and true strugglers for a better Nigeria, credible democracy, and an open society. These men have their shortcomings like all mortals but their consistency in resisting exploitative antics and killing policies of compradorial capitalist class has set a place for them in the house hall of fame. They less materialistic and complete in the struggle for a just, equitable and humane society.
Those with dead consciences like Mr.El-rufa’i the governor of Kaduna State, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, and PMB are supportive of a policy they fought against some years back. We are yet to hear from PMB himself or his other aides, but we have heard from El-Rufai and Ahmed Bola Tinubu. The APC national leader who first called for removal of subsidy in Kaduna when he came for late Dr. Bala Usman’s memorial lecture had already within a lengthy article titled ” The New Fuel Pricing:The Much Better Deal For Nigerians” justifying the removal of the subsidy. Mr. El-rufa’i thanked the people of Kaduna State for showing understanding with the policy.
Nigerians must rise against these cabals they gave Powers to on 18th March and 11th April 2015 because it’s clear they aren’t what Nigerians think they are.And not doing any of the things they promised they will do. Siddon look or developing cool feet wouldn’t help our democracy and country. If they succeed on this, impunity shall reign for the remaining part of their tenure. The long term consequence of this is that people can deceive Nigerians just to get their mandates. Let’s pull down their pillars of impunity by acting, right away. Like the famous saying goes “a stitch in time saves nine”.
You can reach Dr. Danfulani via email Johndanfulani@gmail.com