BY: AKIN-AYOADE Omotayo Chris

When on Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 the 515 congratulatory phone call which conceded defeat to General Muhammadu Buhari from the erstwhile president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan went viral on the Internet, a sizable percentage of the groaning Nigerians went jubilating, hoping that the Change they voted would bring the much-awaited changes and indeed some changes came soon after swearing in which made them jubilate the more as the hitherto almost nonexistent power sector bounced back to life and people began to pickup the pieces of their lives and businesses.

Who conjured this “magic”? became the question within and outside the shores of the country and consensus conclusion was unanimously reached by many who had known the General to be a man whose home has no room for nonsense thereby giving the phrase BODY LANGUAGE some prominence in our daily conversations.

The same BODY LANGUAGE put the hitherto moribund NEPA on its toes and we heaved a sigh of relief for about 3 months only for the BODY LANGUAGE to go into abeyance thereafter thereby throwing the Nation into darkness yet again. Someone once said that the so-called BODY LANGUAGE may have turned to BODY ODOUR but I was quick to tell him that the Office of Mr President deserves some respect and besides, this is a man who has {in my own words} extended passion for Nigeria, only for this “critic” to call me again in recent days to ask for my opinion on the recent developments in the Land and I demonstrated NO hesitation in baring it all since the journey to the world of CLUELESSNESS began with some insensitive decisions by the immediate past occupant of the Villa which eventually graduated into what today has succeeded in labelling the ex-President, a visionless leader and justifiably so from all the performance indicators of his turbulent 6 years of misrule.

The same power sector that has over the years milked Nigerians dry without any commensurate service to justify the monthly presentations of bills is now being given a blind support for higher tariffs by the super minister, who against all odds and apparent gross disapproval forced many bitter pills down the throats of many Lagosians in the name of “good governance”.

The tolling of Lękki-Ajah road, a very narrow passage that due to its width and quality can NEVER anywhere in the World be shortlisted amongst the Trunk “F” Road, let alone Trunk “A”, drew a very wide condemnation from not only the road users but also a number of human rights activists on the accounts of the secrecy that shrouded the deal between the Lagos State government and LCC – the Lekki Construction Company and despite the fact that factual evidences nailed the joint government of Babatunde Raaji Fashola and his political progenitor, blind eyes were turned to the legitimate protests, tanks rolled out and the Nigerian rulers did what they know how to do best, mauled the masses to the point of sending a bona fide citizen to an early grave. The rest as they do say in this part of the Globe is now history.

Unfortunately, the same anti-people approach to governance is now being replicated at the Federal Level and by the same man who governed the State of Acquatic Splendour with neither human face nor feelings. On the contrary, however, one would have expected someone who enjoyed the largesse of good and great governance as practically demonstrated by the likes of the late sage,  Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo to replicate same when he had the opportunity to be the number 1 citizen at the State of Acquatic Splendour, this he never did, rather, he added more to the burden cum sorrows of many whose children and wards managed through thick and thin to gain admission to the State owned University, LASU . This he did by hiking the School Fees so high to the extent that students on the yearly bill of about #20,000 were forced by Fiat to pay as much as between #100,000 and #250,000 and even more in some cases for science related courses. A confirmation of his senselessness was apparent in the reversal of same heartless decision close to the general elections of 2015 and after the economy of many students and their parents/guardians had been severely punctured by the needless hike.

Now that time has come for “the boys” to be paid back, he, despite all the startling revelations of gross mismanagement and abuse of public trust, got the nod, got elevated amongst the many millions of Nigerians with better credentials and became a Federal Minister BUT unfortunately, the leopard is finding it difficult to change the colour of its skin.

When one thinks in retrospect about the dirty bickering that characterized his nomination as sponsored by his political progenitor, one gets pained the more that someone who went through this should have come to the Federal with passionate passion to get applauded by the masses, but alack the day the thought of this man crossed the mind of Mr President to be made a minister.

This overrated SAN who doesn’t sign cheques may have forgotten that government cum governance is a continuum or perhaps he has NOT deemed it fit to check the records left behind by the previous occupants of the Villa, otherwise he would have seen that an administration had at one time added more to the burden of Nigerians via additional payment of Five Naira on the purchase of Petroleum products as a condition for discontinuation of tolling and the subsequent dismantling of toll gates across the Land.

This levy on all Nigerians was to take care of our roads across the nation and whether or not these roads were indeed taken care of with the many Trillions of Naira ever collected is another case that the toothless EFCC should have investigated before Obasanjo left the throne, this and the many rots of his regime are definitely going to make a good piece for another day.

One of the many social contracts that bind us together i. e. the government and the governed is the welfare of the Citizenry and accountability of the process of governance, on the account of this,  one would expect that Mr SAN who is deemed to know better would see some sense in cushioning the probable harsh effects of re-introduction of tolling by advising Mr President on the need to bring down the cost of buying a litre of our God-given liquid gold which price was hiked by government to make for the cancellation of the tolls i. e. if its re-introduction would at all make our roads Motorable round the year.

To conclude that Mr. Super minister has come to add more to the burden of Nigerians might even pass for an understatement as he again has blindly succumbed to the dictates of the oppressors who have never for once deemed it fit to carry the downtrodden along in the process of governance but do all to snuff life out of them. Or how do we explain the senseless ban on the means of self-generated power for the common man.

The so-called “I better pass my neighbour” category of power generating sets doesn’t only give some comfort to ease the negative effects of the daily stress Nigerians go through, it also serves as a means of sustaining them and their sources of livelihoods.  For example, in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos alone, research has shown that close to 3.7m micro businesses like barber shops and other SMEs undoubtedly rely heavily on these MINI NEPA but without deep thought or any consultation whatsoever {adequate or otherwise} , a blind ban was placed on them on the ground of emissions and the same “scientists” who came up with this obnoxious theory of emissions were quick to loose sight of the many giant generators that do pollute not only the air via their VERY THICK emissions just like the PPP waste trucks of Mr. SAN would daily becloud the city of Lagos but also constitute environmental nuisance on the account of the very horrendous noise they make to the disturbance of the neighbourhood, a replica of the wicked ban on OKADA, the the commercial motor bike operators whose business helped millions of Lagosians in the course of their daily mobility from one point to another and as usual, this ban was brutally enforced without any alternative provisions for the survival of the riders even as NO plan was made for respite to cushion the harsh consequences of the ban on millions of commuters who had to treck a substantial portion of their daily journeys to and fro their businesses, offices and homes.

Electricity which is the galvanising force in any industrial part of the Globe has gone back to its pre-May 29th era of near-zero availability and this super minister doesn’t see any common sense in compensating the long-raped masses of Nigeria with either boosted supply or reduction in tariffs to equate the supply, rather, his blind and wicked approach to governance is now being stupidly applauded by an infinitesimally insignificant portion of the population present at his press briefing, a very sad development where Kudos was  given to SOMEONE who is FORCING THE ALREADY IMPOVERISHED CITIZENS TO PAY MORE FOR LESS/NOTHING or simply put, applauding him WHO WANTS US TO PAY MORE FOR DARKNESS, what a nation!!!

It is therefore herein sent as a passionate appeal to Mr President to seriously view the actions of some keys ministers and for mention, Raji Fashola and Ibe Kachukwu so that the already impoverished Nigerians would NOT be further tormented to the extent of asking to CHANGE the CHANGE.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

Tags: politics

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