By Jesse David
No doubt the politicking to 2019 has long began, dearly beloved, i beseech you to bear in mind that governance will soon be put on hold, because we are already in the eve of election. Marvelled I was, when I watch Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, his health counterpart, Isaac Adewole, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani and a former governor Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu (facing trail on a corruption case) and some member of the ruling All Progressive Party (APC) at the lunch of the South-West campaign office for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general election.
Unpleasant, but true that this men in power are inattentively not concerned with the plight of ordinary Nigerians, with the myriad of challenges bedevilling our nation, we should at least see some sought of commitment in bringing succour to the citizens. The President and his men may need to playback their memory, prior to 2015 general election and refresh their mind and remember the half-baked and subdued campaign promises.
Few among the myriads of problems, we as a nation face today is the lingering fuel scarcity. In April 2015, Tam David West, a trusted ally of President Muhammadu Buhari told the World and all who cared to listen that a Buhari regime would return a litre of petrol to N40 as to N87 sold to us by clueless ‘Jonathanians’, since December 2017 the price of N145 per litre remains unobtainable and hoarded from the reach of the poor masses, while black marketers are eating their cakes and having it, selling the product for as high as N300 per litre.
May be President Buhari and his men have forgotten the centrality and cruciality that this commodity “Petrol” holds in our monolithic economy, a slide hike in the price of petrol stairs up an immediate increase in the prices of other goods, if there is a hike in fuel price, the Maize farmer in Saminaka Kaduna state will jack up his price of maize and so also will a Palm-Oil trader in Aba market will jack up the price tag for his commodity, leaving the poor masses to buy in penury, leaving many Nigeria with the bitter experience of sleeping at filling stations queuing for fuel, but amidst these, NNPC the cash cow has so far spent N300 billion naira paying for subsidies on fuel that were not budgeted for, in sane communities such grievous illegality, like spending out of your budget cycle would have cost the President and his men their seats, get them investigated and punished, but trust our nation Nigeria, it happened and nothing has been done or would be done to punish the law breakers.
But then, for how long shall we continue like this? How much more misery and wretchedness shall we continue to face in Nigeria? My message here is simple; if we lost the past, and perhaps the present, we needn’t lose the future. It may be safe to say we need leaders that have consistent vision for what Nigeria could be and achieve, but my fear is that now we need much more than that. We need a mass of people with consistent vision to steer the wheels of our nation come 2019.
May I end by sharing the excerpts from the 2018 New Year address by Chinese President Xi Jinping that showed the heart of a consistently visionary leader that has his people at heart, “Our GDP rose to the level of 80 trillion Yuan (12.3 trillion US Dollars). Over 13 million urban and rural jobs were created…1.35 billion people were covered by basic medical insurance. More than 10 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty… Our country’s great development has been achieved by the people, and its fruits should be shared by the people… officials at all levels must constantly hold in their hearts the interests and concerns of the people, and regard the benefit of the people as their highest career accomplishment. They must think for the people, respond to their needs, and work for the greater happiness of the people”.
Distinguishable, in his New Year address to Nigerians, President Buhari said: “We Nigerians can be very impatient and want to improve our conditions faster that may be possible considering our resources and capabilities…We must give a long period of trial and improvement before the system we have adopted is anywhere near fit for purpose”. Fellow Nigerians shall we continue like these? Be the judge of your conscience.