Amidst nail biting hardship Nigerians are going through, pockets of protests have sprung up in some cities. People are ventilating their grievances against the economic policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, particularly the removal of fuel subsidy that was hurriedly announced at the dawn of the administration on the 29th May, 2023 that brought untold hardship.

As prophetically warned by President Tinubu himself back then in 2011 when he led street protests against the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for daring to remove fuel subsidy, Tinubu said “My party has taken a position and that is my own position also. THERE MUST BE CONDITION PRECEDENT BEFORE ANY TALK OF SUBSIDY REMOVAL SHOULD BE ENTERTAINED. Certain things must be in place, in terms of infrastructure and people-oriented policies that could absolve the impact of such removal”.

However, President Tinubu didn’t practice what he preached to President Jonathan. There was no “condition precedent” before he enthusiastically removed fuel subsidy. “Certain things in terms of infrastructure” were not in place. Principally, “people oriented policies that could absolve the impact of such removal” were missing and as predicted, Nigerians are pouring out on the streets to vent their anger.

“That is the essence of democracy, which is a government for the people, of the people and by the people” Tinubu warned Goodluck Ebele Jonathan when himself, Prof Wole Soyinka and former President Muhammadu Buhari led Nigerians to the streets to protest.

Respectfully, the calls by top government functionaries like the Senate President, Sen Godswill Akpabio, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, Sen Simon Bako Lalong, Tinubu’s eldest son, Seyi Tinubu and others for Nigerians to show understanding can best be described as self-centered, self-serving and sacrilegious. While they appealed to Nigerians for ‘understanding’, their lavish lifestyle has gone on unrestricted.

Sen Akpabio couldn’t appeal to senators for ‘understanding’ to suspend the purchase of luxurious cars, Wike drives cars that can feed a thousand people for months. Seyi Tinubu’s wrist watch alone can build, equip and maintain several Primary Health Care centers in remote villages. Their appeal was for the masses to continue to show understanding while walloping in abject poverty so that there would be extra cash to fund their luxurious lifestyles. The appeals were simply self-centred

The futile journey of blame game embarked upon by Tinubu and his co travellers, is to say the least, inexcusable. Tinubu warned in 2011 about the attendant consequences of fuel subsidy removal without “people oriented policies that could absolve the impact of such removal”. He knew there would be consequences.

The starvation of the people is barking and there will be no hiding place for the night plunderer. The hunger of the common man whose take home pay cannot take him home at the end of the month, the famine of the artisan whose means of livelihood has stopped because clients cannot afford to buy building materials at the inflated prices to enable him work on a daily basis to earn a living, the malnutrition of diabetic ketoacidosis patients whose routine drugs are out of their reach thereby making them drop dead daily. Hunger has delivered a child that is asking “where is our food”?

The silence of the most revered Man of God, Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye who made screaming headline ‘Kidnapping: RCCG petitions Jonathan…to stage one million man protest’ on October 11, 2010 pierces to the bone marrows. Why has there been a pin dropped silence and not headlines like ‘RCCG G.O Adeboye declare Fire on Pastors who endorse Jonathan for money?” as it was the headline on 5th, February 2015. Our Daddy must know that at the end of the day, it is not the gun of the oppressors that hurts but the silence of our friends. Evil prospers when good men stay away from society and do nothing.

The sudden discordant voices within the North against Tinubu while the same voices maintained ear deafening silence during Buhari’s administrative malnourishment says a lot about our so-called patriotism. A nation cannot be built on primordial sentiment.

President Tinubu, we believe is a listening leader, he wouldn’t allow the advice of Prof Adamu K. Usman of blessed memory to find application. Prof Usman said “Now is the time for change and you are the instrument for change. Come out and dare the guns of the oppressor. In our situation you either die on the street by bullet of the oppressor or by hunger and misery in your house. You either die at once on the street or by instalments in your house. You either die with honour while seeking to reclaim your right or like a dog clubbed to death by dog eaters…the strength of the oppressors lies in your lack of protests, in your lack of fight”

Clearly, Tinubu’s rejection of the same prescription he gave Jonathan in 2011 has delivered RENEWED HARDSHIP and he must act fast beyond mere meetings with governors. The only parameter to measure the efficacy of his administration is availability of food at affordable prices.


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