Since the beginning of the year when the announcement of removal of fuel subsidy was made, I have personally witnessed bloodshed, fights, and the pain the average Nigerian is going through. I have to make it clear that irrespective of the need for objectivity, good dialogue and valid economic reasons for the removal of fuel subsidy, I support the the “Occupy Nigeria” initiative. We have to speak out now.
I also don’t want to be drawn into the validity of the case for subsidy removal because no matter how valid the case is, the fundamentals for leadership and creating “buy in” were ignored by the government.
Just before posting this, I read the report by KPMG of the audit conducted on NNPC and one can see the depth of corruption in Nigeria.
Is removing fuel subsidy the “only” way to safeguard the economy? I categorically say No.
Do they have to remove the subsidy (if ever) at the time the government did? I categorically say No
Will removing subsidy make the life of Nigerians better in the short and medium term? I categorically say No
Does leaving fuel subsidy have the potential to destroy the Nigerian economy? I don’t think fuel subsidy has any more power to destroy the economy than the ridiculous corrupt practices currently taking place.
While I am no political activist, I believe that the 3 emotions that consistently drive us, humans, to behave irrationally have no respect for position or class. Let’s review these emotions
Fear – Fear cripples. The fear of the unknown has been billed as one of the causes of irrational behaviours in humans. In our personal lives, the amount of things we don’t do, decisions we don’t make, or the opportunities we missed simply because we fear the unknown is staggering.
Pain – Pain either forces one to be defeated or creates a strong drive to fight back, and it doesn’t matter whether fairly or unfairly. If you have experienced the pain of poverty, it takes a strong will to not bulge when corruption comes to ease that pain.
Greed – I wrote a poem about greed some years back, I think I should share a part of it with you –
Greed is a word I encounter everyday
Not that people speak it, they act it
It’s like their clothe, they wear it, or more like their skin
Being moisturised, pasteurised, plus all other forms of rise
All to stay younger and amass more,
Very soon they’ll be mesmerized, when they are pressurised to face the realities of this life
I mean, like the skin greed comes in different shades of it,
Black, white, yellow, tanned, orange
But I am not like one of those
I am in the image of the one who has no colours defined: No
Wonderfully made he gave everything I need without sorrow
If I ever moan about what I own, then it’s not meant to be my own
I may be broke, eaten to the bones, but you may never know,
Cos I am made whole, when I’m content with what is meant to be my own.
My prayer is hope I’m not alone.
Greed creates a feeling of lack where nothing is enough, no matter how much. When I look at the amount of money (in billions of dollars) that is carted away by individuals through various means, it sounds so unbelievable.
I am currently in Nigeria, and it is a great feeling to know that people are standing up to corruption and the government. When we win this fight, there’s a few more to fight. We need to:
1.) Stand against corruption at every level
2.) Promote integrity in all we do
3.) Realise that it’s not a few bad eggs; most of the eggs are bad.
My question to you is what will you do to make this world a better place?