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Monday, March 4, 2024

Arise O Compatriots: Spit Out the Fodder and Raise Up Your Fists



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The talks between the Federal Government headed by HRH King Lagarde Iweala Jonathan I, Nigeria Labour Congress, and the Trade Union Congress pertaining the tyrannical petroleum products (premium motor spirit) price hike is gradually coming to an end and with this morning’s announcement from Labour Congress President Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, our darkest fear is quickly drifting into a morbid reality.


The protests staged against this selfish and conceited policy was initiated by Nigerians whom, cutting across all ethnic, religious, and societal sundry, stood affirmed as we continued to shoulder the effect of our nation’s crass mal-administration. The widespread media assumption that the mass protests were sponsored by political opponents is as baseless as the shallow idea to remove the oil-subsidy in the first place. Nigerians were simply pushed to the streets by an unyielding corruption of practices, practices that would wear you thin but inject the already grotesquely obese with further amounts of fat. The provocation bubbled over to where throngs of citizens at last decided to review the “democracy” this nation has been autocratically controlled by.


A government that asks her citizens to bear the crushing burden of bomb-blasts by a political sect has already deteriorated intellectually and physically. A government that has repeated countless times that the oil-sector has been infiltrated by “cabal” (their sponsors) and is too incapacitated to arrest and bring them to book… a government that feigns ignorance despite the sinking teeth of Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu, Andy Uba, Tony Annenih and hundreds of allies into the national cake…is indeed dysfunctional.


It is obvious to everyone that the present government of Nigeria has resolved to extending the legacies of their political godfathers. These people are all paid by the sweat upon our brows, yet the impoverished are still coerced to give into sugarcoated theses from the likes of Lamidos, Iwealas, Maduekes and to the pharaoh-esque measures employed by our security forces.

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No country can ever get it right when citizens are held hostage by engineers of corruption, both foreign and domestic. Political shortcomings prompted by high-level exploitation has become rabidly epidemic, leaving all sectors of our nation contaminated.The perpetual rape of our social, economic and political systems has grossly affected the sons, daughters, and those yet unborn of this land. It has affected everyone down to the civil servant asking for a paltry minimum wage of eighteen thousand naira, the petty trader selling maggi and pepper, and even the graduates turned commercial cyclists, barbers, prostitutes, kidnappers, and political bootlickers that were neither represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress nor Trade Union Congress. These very people that were never placed into consideration were the ones to ignite protest.


As for those who still think frolicking with only organised labour groups will bring an end to the current unrest, you are all living in the production waste-bin of a lost Disney film!


One wonders when the government will at last hold a meeting with the National Association of Job Seekers, Organisation of Learn-from-Home University and Polytechnic Undergraduates, Petty Traders and Street Hawkers Solidarity Front, Union of Illegal Residents of Nigerians in Diaspora and many others. These are the people pounding the pavement demanding that the government revert back to the initial N65. They are the ones who are aware that the government has discarded them, only to come around during elections to negotiate votes, intimidate, and promise paradise.


The shortcomings of those we trusted and even distrusted that remain seated in the security and economic branches our of state has graduated from bad to worse. Since the strong argument affirmed by the government alludes to tied-hands, can’t fight the cabals this, remove the oil subsidy that, we are all left with the logical and proper conclusion to demand a total restructuring of our system.

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This formula of Abdulwahed times Esele divided by Jonathan minus the masses will surely equal the sum of Oshiomole plus Obasanjo that we were once constrained to calculate a few years ago.


It’s now left to us, the Nigerians who started and are still protesting, to make the ultimate decision as to whether we will adhere to the scripted dialogue between the government and labour leaders.


To all those who surrender to the arm twisting and shortchanging of Nigerian politics, I leave unto you your conscience. By the spirit of Mustafa Muyideen Mofoluwasho Opobiyi and others who have given their lives to this struggle, you all will be judged.


Bearing in mind the sacrifices we and those in diaspora have made, not excluding the concern from onlookers worldwide, will we call it quits or rise up and reclaim our land from the native puppets and foreign puppeteers? Will we redefine a system of governance made to be accountable and equal? Will we ever make suitable use of our resources that shall one day return a smile to our woebegone nation? Should we lick our wounds and cry that the labour leaders betrayed us or should we be more motivated to fight this once and for all? People, will the N44 be worth all the struggle?


These questions are left to all the Shehu, Afolabi and Obinna to answer.


But I say this: it is time to confront the daunting challenge, be rid of tribal and religious sentiment, dispel all fears and fight courageously to remind the hypocrites in government that the ruling party slogan is Power to the People.


Igene Tennyson Jr

Concerned Nigerian


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