Written by Odimegwu Onwumere
The announcement of the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy is causing a lot of angry public discussion and disagreement. Nigerians have been caused to lose sleep and peace since the January 1st avoidable proclamation was made. No matter all the hallucination of benefits the proponents of this inane policy are watering down the throat of Nigerians, the fuel subsidy removal is a debauching New Year Gift from President Goodluck Jonathan-led government to Nigerians.
Why this decree came as an Olympian shock was that the Federal Government (FG) had told Nigerians in December 2011 that the fuel subsidy departure was due for April this year, while it was still consulting, and Nigerians looked up to that period. Against that backdrop, Jonathan didn’t wait a minute before he struck like a terrorist, as if Nigerians were animals in the zoo. It is saddening when a man whom his followers believed so much in, cannot stand by his word. This type of behaviour is hoodwinking: just what Jonathan has exhibited.
Terrorists are known for causing deaths and destructions. The same way, Jonathan’s unilateral decision on the fuel subsidy deletion may put Nigerians in a box throughout the remaining months of the year. Imagine where a people began the year with bickering and tinkering. In the traditional belief, it is a bad omen. The myth is that whatever one faces first in the morning goes a long way to show how the person’s whole day was going to be. If at the opening of the door in the morning and one is greeted with fortune, the person smiles throughout the day. But if the person is greeted with misfortune, the day is already spoilt. Pray that the latter is not Jonathan’s scheme to Nigerians!
What is the better way to define terrorism? More Nigerians are today wondering the future of the country than ever because of the militarism that trails the imposition of the fuel subsidy policy by the FG. This is terror to Nigerians and they are reacting, the same way the world peoples did when the news filtered in the air on September 11, 2001 that terrorist had attacked the New York City and Washington D.C. The way Nigerians are wailing today about their fate in Nigeria under Jonathan, was the same way the world cried, watching the Twin Towers in the USA on TV collapsing into images of flames. But somebody would ask: was it not ‘just’ on May 29, 2011 that Jonathan became an elected president?
As TV showed the unrelenting efforts of the survivors of that dastardly attacks on USA., Jonathan and his foot soldiers are rather showing arch-anger against Nigerians protesting his tormenting policy called fuel subsidy removal. Many protesters have been inimically arrested and many reportedly shot dead and wounded in different locations across the country. It is only a fool who sits down when terror struck. Nigerians are not fools. Just as war broke out in the wake of September 11, 2001 between the USA against terrorist, Jonathan-led government of Nigeria is attacking peace-loving Nigerians at the wake of their protest against his policy by any means necessary. This act is like beating and making hogwash of a child and at the same time telling the child not to cry from the ground the child was subjugated to. Is this not double punishment? Tormenting the protesting Nigerians with arrests and killings at the wake of the fuel subsidy removal is the worst of bait that any government can stake with its citizens.
Jonathan has behaved like he had altercating grudges against Nigerians by his gesture without minding the untold hardship he has subjected Nigerians to, as they return from the Christmas festivity and after. Can Jonathan ever agitate for peace in Nigeria again when he is not behaving like one who wants peace? What manner of peace was Jonathan preaching that Nigerians should always imbibe when he was even the first to clamour for revolution because of this fuel subsidy removal that has been characterized in many quarters as fraud? The deaths and gratuitous destruction of property by the unfriendly Boko Haram at Madalla in Niger State on Christmas day seemed something that Jonathan waved with the back of his left hand after his speech to Nigerians to see terrorism as something that has come to live with them and they should contain it? Have Nigerians not been killed enough through arsonists and government’s pursuit of economic and political interests?
If a government as Jonathan’s cannot blink and sit back into its thinking chair to re-consider the impacts the common Nigerian is about to suffer because of the fuel subsidy removal lucre, the government’s kind of terrorism is spreading like wildfire. How could Jonathan go to work before thinking? He had promised Nigerians that 1, 600 buses were to be sent on the Nigerian roads to help alleviate the masses transportation burden. The buses have not even arrived than he struck. Even if they had arrived, what significant could mere 1, 600 buses have/make in a country of over one hundred and fifty million people with a rate of 80% earning less than half a dollar a day? Jonathan should define the mother of terrorism if not fanaticism, hatred and poverty. These are being born in Nigeria because government’s practice of injustice is on the increase against the common Nigerian. Nigerians have solely provided for themselves what in other civilized climes government would not want journalists to know that it was incapable to provide. But in Nigeria, government like Jonathan’s boasts about its readiness to engage its citizens in a contest of revolution on the public outcry.
As a zoologist with a B.Sc. degree in Zoology in which he attained Second Class Honours, Upper Division, an M.Sc. degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology, and a Ph.D. degree in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt, Jonathan is merely rearing shadow like animals on fuel subsidy without first curbing the corruption bedeviling the petroleum sector. He reared Nigerians like animals by the fact that he didn’t recognize that the issue of fuel subsidy was in the 2011 budget which was supposed to be exhausted by the end of March, when the 2012 budget will be operational. The National Assembly had not even given the policy a nod. Jonathan needs to be called to order that Nigerians are not animals that can be reared anyhow the herdsman likes. Even, animals in the developed world do they not have some incomparable rights?
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Author and Media Consultant based in Rivers State. Call: +2348032552855. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org