King Goodluck "rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time For The Peoples' Own Do-or-die Battle

King Goodluck "Rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time for the Peoples' Own Do-or-Die Battle to Save Nigeria!

© Ogaga Ifowodo


As my first reaction to Goodluck Jonathan's withdrawal of the oil subsidies he and his predecessors have been giving to their contractor friends, and so to themselves as well, for the past two-and-a-half decades, I posted the following satiric monologue to my Facebook page:

"Says President Goodluck Jonathan: I am the Death and the Resurrection. I will raise the price of all foodstuff, every good and service in my country, till the people shall neither afford yam nor fish, nor pay the fare to farm or workplace, till they shall verily die of sickness and hunger. Then I shall flood the land with food and medicine, and resurrect them from death, that they and the world may know my power to do as I am told by the IMF and World Bank. And if any of the people, led by the NLC or troublemakers called human rights activists, should protest, I will order the army and the police to shoot at them, to throw them in jail. Yea, even so will I let Boko Haram throw bombs in their midst! For oil is thicker than water, and must cost a thousand times more. So that there be enough billions to feed me, my wife and children and the throng that beseech me daily on my throne on the Rock set on high in Abuja. For I, Jonathan, a lucky man chosen by God, have spoken!"fuelsubsidy

But I remain restless. Mostly because I am far away from the streets of Lagos or Abuja, from the barricades, where I would love most to be right now. Because the first month of 2012 proves, by Jonathan's decision to play King Rehoboam and chastise us with scorpions where previous rulers used mere whips – see "Jonathan Plays the Oil Subsidy Game and Imperils the Nation," a co-authored statement/article http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20160&Itemid=154 -- to be the year that the long-suffering Nigerian people must wage their own DO-OR-DIE battle to save their lives and that of the tottering nation. Since 1960, but in particular, since 1999, the band of mercenaries and nation-wreckers known as the PDP has been waging its own do-or-die battle to loot Nigeria to the ground, as two-time head-of-state, General Obasanjo made so clear. They have merely been calling on the greediest and the meanest to "come chop." And now that there is little left to chop, they have decided to squeeze the very blood out of the veins of the masses.

From Burutu to Birnin-Kebbi, Aba to Abeokuta, Jos to Jese, Maiduguri to Mokwa, Sapele to Sokoto - across the length and breadth of Nigeria - deep-seated disenchantment, sorrow and tears announce the abject state of the people. No one is happy with the false edifice called Nigeria handed to us by the British at independence and kept intact by successive rulers. A bloody genocide and an even bloodier three-year civil war was fought a mere six years after that so-called independence to keep the Nigeria-edifice shakily erect. Now it is tumbling down. And from the seething anger of the Niger Delta to the boiling anger in the east, the rage of the west to the fury of the north, every single section of the country wishes for ANOTHER country. Meaning, one which will inspire their loyalty and patriotism. One which will exist for them and not only for the kleptomaniac cabal of thieves and scoundrels with a choke-hold on the nation's jugular.

There is only one way to this goal of the democratic, just and equitable Nigeria of our dream: a sovereign national conference at which we debate and agree on the terms of peaceful and prosperous co-existence through responsible governance - one that responds to the people and not to the contractor class or the IMF/World Bank. But rather than work towards this goal, our governments pretend that all is well with the rotten and collapsing national edifice. And they happily, insouciantly, make the sole business of governance that of awarding bogus contracts never intended to be performed, thereby supervising the collapse of every institution, of every productive aspect of the economy, and of the meager but already existing infrastructure. So that against every argument to the contrary at the factual level, and against every reason to the contrary at the level of public morality and the objective of government, President Jonathan has doubled, tripled - indeed, multiplied to an immeasurable degree - the already unbearable misery of the people by withdrawing the phantom subsidy that has always benefitted thieving contractors with permanent tables in the federal and state houses but, also, made it possible for the masses to perform the daily miracle of drawing water out of stone to keep breath and hope alive. As an immediate aftermath of Jonathan's callous decision, transporters have adjusted passenger fares so that a one-way bus trip from Lagos to any major destination north, east or south of the country costs almost, all or more than the minimum wage. Talk of a take-home pay not taking you home! And yet that is just a tip of the iceberg!

Jonathan's logic of worsening the disease before the cure - in short, of killing the patient so he might perform the spectacular medical feat of resurrection - makes the choice before every sensate Nigerian at this point clear: fight or die! You will die anyway, but only in installments. In fact, one, according to the reports, has already died at the hands of Jonathan's storm-troopers in Ilorin; his name is Muyideen Mustafa, a boy who chose to speak up. Some have been jailed and maimed already. Now is the time for all Nigerians - except, of course, the thieving one percent - wherever they may be, to stand up and be counted on the side of the masses. We must make Jonathan reverse his punitive decision to withdraw oil "subsidy." We must compel him to do the only right thing: clean up the mess in the oil sector; recover the billions and trillions stolen by the oil cartel his administration has identified; drastically reduce the cost of government, in particular the astronomical salaries and allowances paid to all elected and appointive offices; free himself from the clutches of the IMF and their local agents; and swear a new oath to serve the people and not himself or his remorseless party and coterie of nation-wreckers.

It is now or never! Time has run out on Nigeria - well, by my nation-clock, it is a minute to the midnight of disintegration! Unless we fight to fold the wings of time.



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King Goodluck "rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time For The Peoples' Own Do-or-die Battle To S
Ogaga Ifowodo posted on 01-03-2012, 20:30:31 PM

King Goodluck "Rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time for the Peoples' Own Do-or-Die Battle to Save Nigeria!


© Ogaga Ifowodo




As my first reaction to Goodluck Jonathan's withdrawal of the oil subsidies he and his predecessors have been giving to their contractor friends, and so to themselves as well, for the past two-and-a-half decades, I posted the following satiric monologue to my Facebook page:


"Says President Goodluck Jonathan: I am the Death and the Resurrection. I will raise the price of all foodstuff, every good and service in my country, till the people shall neither afford yam nor fish, nor pay the fare to farm or workplace, till they shall verily die of sickness and hunger. Then I shall flood the land with food and medicine, and resurrect them from death, that they and the world may know my power to do as I am told by the IMF and World Bank. And if any of the people, led by the NLC or troublemakers called human rights activists, should protest, I will order the army and the police to shoot at them, to throw them in jail. Yea, even so will I let Boko Haram throw bombs in their midst! For oil is thicker than water, and must cost a thousand times more. So that there be enough billions to feed me, my wife and children and the throng that beseech me daily on my throne on the Rock set on high in Abuja. For I, Jonathan, a lucky man chosen by God, have spoken!"fuelsubsidy


But I remain restless. Mostly because I am far away from the streets of Lagos or Abuja, from the barricades, where I would love most to be right now. Because the first month of 2012 proves, by Jonathan's decision to play King Rehoboam and chastise us with scorpions where previous rulers used mere whips – see "Jonathan Plays the Oil Subsidy Game and Imperils the Nation," a co-authored statement/article http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20160&Itemid=154 -- to be the year that the long-suffering Nigerian people must wage their own DO-OR-DIE battle to save their lives and that of the tottering nation. Since 1960, but in particular, since 1999, the band of mercenaries and nation-wreckers known as the PDP has been waging its own do-or-die battle to loot Nigeria to the ground, as two-time head-of-state, General Obasanjo made so clear. They have merely been calling on the greediest and the meanest to "come chop." And now that there is little left to chop, they have decided to squeeze the very blood out of the veins of the masses.


From Burutu to Birnin-Kebbi, Aba to Abeokuta, Jos to Jese, Maiduguri to Mokwa, Sapele to Sokoto - across the length and breadth of Nigeria - deep-seated disenchantment, sorrow and tears announce the abject state of the people. No one is happy with the false edifice called Nigeria handed to us by the British at independence and kept intact by successive rulers. A bloody genocide and an even bloodier three-year civil war was fought a mere six years after that so-called independence to keep the Nigeria-edifice shakily erect. Now it is tumbling down. And from the seething anger of the Niger Delta to the boiling anger in the east, the rage of the west to the fury of the north, every single section of the country wishes for ANOTHER country. Meaning, one which will inspire their loyalty and patriotism. One which will exist for them and not only for the kleptomaniac cabal of thieves and scoundrels with a choke-hold on the nation's jugular.


There is only one way to this goal of the democratic, just and equitable Nigeria of our dream: a sovereign national conference at which we debate and agree on the terms of peaceful and prosperous co-existence through responsible governance - one that responds to the people and not to the contractor class or the IMF/World Bank. But rather than work towards this goal, our governments pretend that all is well with the rotten and collapsing national edifice. And they happily, insouciantly, make the sole business of governance that of awarding bogus contracts never intended to be performed, thereby supervising the collapse of every institution, of every productive aspect of the economy, and of the meager but already existing infrastructure. So that against every argument to the contrary at the factual level, and against every reason to the contrary at the level of public morality and the objective of government, President Jonathan has doubled, tripled - indeed, multiplied to an immeasurable degree - the already unbearable misery of the people by withdrawing the phantom subsidy that has always benefitted thieving contractors with permanent tables in the federal and state houses but, also, made it possible for the masses to perform the daily miracle of drawing water out of stone to keep breath and hope alive. As an immediate aftermath of Jonathan's callous decision, transporters have adjusted passenger fares so that a one-way bus trip from Lagos to any major destination north, east or south of the country costs almost, all or more than the minimum wage. Talk of a take-home pay not taking you home! And yet that is just a tip of the iceberg!


Jonathan's logic of worsening the disease before the cure - in short, of killing the patient so he might perform the spectacular medical feat of resurrection - makes the choice before every sensate Nigerian at this point clear: fight or die! You will die anyway, but only in installments. In fact, one, according to the reports, has already died at the hands of Jonathan's storm-troopers in Ilorin; his name is Muyideen Mustafa, a boy who chose to speak up. Some have been jailed and maimed already. Now is the time for all Nigerians - except, of course, the thieving one percent - wherever they may be, to stand up and be counted on the side of the masses. We must make Jonathan reverse his punitive decision to withdraw oil "subsidy." We must compel him to do the only right thing: clean up the mess in the oil sector; recover the billions and trillions stolen by the oil cartel his administration has identified; drastically reduce the cost of government, in particular the astronomical salaries and allowances paid to all elected and appointive offices; free himself from the clutches of the IMF and their local agents; and swear a new oath to serve the people and not himself or his remorseless party and coterie of nation-wreckers.


It is now or never! Time has run out on Nigeria - well, by my nation-clock, it is a minute to the midnight of disintegration! Unless we fight to fold the wings of time.



..Read the full article
Re: King Goodluck "rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time For The Peoples' Own Do-or-die Battle
Patcho posted on 01-03-2012, 22:57:22 PM
Were Jonathan's name David, the people will still Love him.
No matter his sins, they would return to Love him.
The challenge is for GEJ to keep his name with David's appearance.
It is not late...Sovereign National Conference to the Rescue.
Re: King Goodluck "rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time For The Peoples' Own Do-or-die Battle
Fjord posted on 01-04-2012, 13:45:55 PM
QUOTE:
There is only one way to this goal of the democratic, just and equitable Nigeria of our dream: a sovereign national conference at which we debate and agree on the terms of peaceful and prosperous co-existence through responsible governanceâ€\"one that responds to the people and not to the contractor class or the IMF/World Bank. (emphasis added)


The above, from the article, exemplifies the scale of wrong-ness with elements of the Nigerian leftist/liberal movements and thinking. No, a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) is not the only way; there appears to be so much placed on the SNC, so much so that anyone realistic ought to begin to question this single-solution model to the problem, of Nigeria. Ifowodo also makes an assumption: that the SNC will lead to a 'Nigeria of our dream'; isn't it correct that dissolution ould be an option on the SNC table?

QUOTE:
Jonathan's logic of worsening the disease before the cureâ€\"in short, of killing the patient so he might perform the spectacular medical feat of resurrectionâ€\"makes the choice before every sensate Nigerian at this point clear: fight or die!


Another unnecessary hyperbole, limiting other viable options. Fight or die?

QUOTE:
We must compel him to do the only right thing: clean up the mess in the oil sector; recover the billions and trillions stolen by the oil cartel his administration has identified; drastically reduce the cost of government, in particular the astronomical salaries and allowances paid to all elected and appointive offices; free himself from the clutches of the IMF and their local agents; and swear a new oath to serve the people and not himself or his remorseless party and coterie of nation-wreckers


The writer moves close to a confluence of enchanting prose and reason. Jonathan ought to do all these; but, where to start? The man claims the fuel price hike would put the corrupt cartel out of business in the long run (how long the run is isn't unclear, this ought to be clarified).

And, there's a great deficit of consistency in this article: it opposes: opposing the fuel price hike, asking for a SNC, then seeking that the president clean up the mess that is Nigeria?

Now, to the murder. Unfortunate. What will this government do? http://transparencyng.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6132:muyideen-mustafa-occupy-nigerias-first-casualty&catid=85:national-security&Itemid=86 A man is dead; he was no criminal, and he was shot dead by a bunch of idiots working for Jonathan. What will Sanusi and Okonjo-Iwealla say about this murder?
Re: King Goodluck "rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time For The Peoples' Own Do-or-die Battle
Iyke posted on 01-05-2012, 00:08:27 AM
My first problem with the subsidy removal is the timing. people were on holidays, some even went to their villages, and bam! it happened, those who finished their money during the festive periods got stuck in their villages due to sudden increase in transport fares (100% increase)

Whoever suggested that timing is a sadist
Re: King Goodluck "rehoboam" Jonathan's Oil Subsidy War: Time For The Peoples' Own Do-or-die Battle
Datuouwadaberechi posted on 01-05-2012, 23:12:50 PM
lets give them a chance. even though i have serious trust issues with this PDP-corruption infested administration, the idea behind subsidy removal has a lot of merit. as sanusi noted in the townhall debate, even if nigeria wished to continue with subsidy, it should be directed at production and not consumption. subsidizing consumption is indeed an anomaly.

again, we have been threatened for soooooo long with this subsidy removal, i think we should just let it happen so we know that is the worst this govt can throw at us. moreover, there is room for potential benefit.

pls read the article below objectively. i'm not saying it is the best written on the subject, but the analogy of NITEL against other communication networks is worth a second thought.

As the controversy of the removal of oil subsidy heats up and labour unions in Nigeria threaten mass strikes; I stumbled on an email sent by a Nigerian in Diaspora on the issue of fuel subsidy. Part of the email reads \\"President Jonathan is on the right path in
removing the fuel subsidy if the revenue accruing from the programme is properly managed. Consider this, citizens in developed countries don't enjoy fuel subsidy. Then, why are citizens in poor developing countries enjoying fuel subsidy? After all, the benefits of fuel subsidy are reaped by the Nigeria political class and the economic elites. How many Nigeria poor and low income earners own automobiles, use gas range and air condition, etc.?
In my view, the fuel subsidy program is nothing but a subsidy for the rich and the middle class Nigerians. In fact, it is not an economic necessity but a part of the luxurious life of the wealthy and the middle class. More importantly, the subsidy is a leakage in the Nigeria economy. As recently revealed, the costs of managing the subsidy program has ballooned.\\"
After going through the mail, I then paused and asked: Who is Nigeria really subsidizing? Is the government subsidizing for the rich to become richer or for the poor to become well to do? Why are jobs not created in spite of Nigeria's position as an influential member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC? Can the removal of subsidy bring about job creation? These and some other issues have continued to harass my imagination.
As I pondered about these knotty issues, the analogy often given by the Federal Government in the communication subsector. In the communication sector, de-regulation has given Nigeria an edge as multiple operators have come and invest, SIM prices has crashed from 30,000 Naira in 2001 to 100 Naira in 2012 and in some cases SIM Packs are free. Call rates have crashed from per minute billing to per second billing (from 60 Kobo to 10 Kobo).
Whereas private investors like MTN; ETISALAT, GLO, AIRTEL etc are charging less yet making fantastic profits to stay afloat the Nigerian Telecommunication NITEL have gone moribund because they are waiting for subsidies. Four attempts have been made to sell NITEL but all attempts failed woefully. The reason for government's inability to sell NITEL is because it is overpriced. This is the fate that has befallen most Government owned businesses all over the world.
In Nigeria, there are oval possibilities that when Organized Private Sector Operators start building refineries, the price of PMS and other petroleum products would crash. Today, Nigeria has only four refineries but some rich Nigerians have fifteen refineries overseas, several private jetties in Nigeria, hundreds of sea-going vessels and workers.
Assuming that a full-fledged refinery producing at full capacity employs 20,000 people, then the four refineries would employ 80,000 people. Similarly, if the 15 refineries owned by Nigerians abroad were located in Nigeria, they would have created at least 300,000 jobs. When this is added to those who operate the oil badges, the jetties and other related jobs, at least the jobs created would have risen up to 700,000. The existence of a subsidy regime denied Nigeria the opportunity of enjoying these massive job opportunities.
For a nation that operates a crude oil monoculture, Nigeria has wasted her resources on subsidy for 50 years. Billions of Nigerians taxpayers' money is spent to subsidize petroleum products for consumption of well-to-do Nigerians. The worst aspect of the subsidy regime is that unpatriotic oil racketeers smuggled these subsidized products over maritime and land borders of the coast of West African countries, Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Sudan. These are the wastes the removal of SUSIDIES is meant to curb and on the long run create job opportunities for unemployed graduates.
Only yesterday, Wednesday, PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and cabinet members, rose from an emergency session of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, with an approval for the Federal Government to procure 1,600 mass transit buses on Monday 9th of January to cushion the harsh effects of the removal of fuel subsidy. The 1,600 mass transit buses formed part of the N10 billion revolving loan set aside by the government to address transport infrastructure in the country. The revolving loan according to him is payable over a five years period and attracts a 5 per cent interest rate under the Urban Mass Transit Programme and would be made available to credible transporters, labour unions and other Nigerians involved in transport business.
Nigerian youths are more concerned about whether the removal of subsidy will bring about job creation. The answer is in the affirmative. The Federal Government declared her irrevocable commitment to creating job opportunity for the army of unemployed youth in the country. Under a new scheme: government has introduced the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria nicknamed (YouWin!), and an estimated 110,000 jobs are being planned as part of government`s efforts to tackle unemployment in the next four years.
While President Jonathan and his economic team are making concerted efforts to appeal to the UNDP, and other development partners to contribute their quota the bad statistics seem to be unending. Added to these bad statistics is the disclosure by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which puts the number of Nigerian graduates who completed the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) within the last five years but have remained unemployed at over 200,000. This is appalling. It should be noted that President Jonathan appealed to the UNDP to assist Nigeria in this programme which aims at providing jobs for the young.
The President disclosed that due to the age distribution of youths, \\"which makes youths more in number\\", it was imperative for them to take the driver's seat of the country's development and therefore need all the support his administration could offer. Under the YouWin programme thriving enterprises would submit business plans for expansion which will take in other youths and build capacities through the financial assistance to 3,600 youths. Again, over 3,600 Nigerian youth is estimated to benefit from the programme. It is expected that the new scheme would create between 80,000 and 110,000 sustainable jobs over the next four years. All these are policies that would encourage job creation.
Experts say the Nigerian government spends N1.4 Trillion in fuel subsidy and this huge sum of money is weighing down the economy of the nation. The subsidy regime is certainly unsustainable if government has to create jobs, provide much needed infrastructure and improve on service delivery in the economy. Government's long-term objective is that the revenue to be realized from the removal of subsidy would provide additional finances for the federal government to grow Nigeria economy particularly in the area of job creation. So the removal of subsidy is a stone that can kill two birds; it will cure the culture of corruption in the country associated with the downstream sector such as plugging the leaking economy as well as create jobs for Nigerians.

The removal of subsidy is indeed painful on the short-run but it is certainly the only strategy of creating a new economy to employ youths in the country. Beyond job creation, the removal of subsidy would no doubt improved social services delivery and physical infrastructure such as roads. In the medium term, the policy will ensure the Turn Around Maintenance of our refineries and encourage Foreign Direct Investment in the industry.
When the cruel cabal feeding fat from subsidy is uprooted and the revenues accruing from subsidy are judiciously managed, the decay associated with the Nigerian economy would be a thing of the past. States administered by transparent leaders will also have more money to spend on service delivery. All these strategic moves are in line with President Jonathan's transformation agenda. Since there can be no gains without pains, no sacrifice can be too much for Nigerians to bear in our upward climb to economic stability, infrastructural sophistication, sustainable peace and social progress.
Even opponents of deregulation do not want the Nigerian economy to collapse. Greece has gone bankrupt - with hundreds of billions of Euros in debt. The removal of the fuel subsidy may save Nigeria from experiencing the Greek syndrome, resulting in the collapse of the country's economy. Nigeria must do all within our endurance limits to avoid the GREECE SYNDROME. Greece spent too much and did not have the income to pay off the debts. A huge chunk of the money Greece spent was on public services without putting in place measures to curb bankruptcy. Those pushing for policy reversal do not know the depth of the economic adversities that would arise from sustaining a laissez faire regime of wasting national resources on oil subsidy. With the removal of subsidy, there is no doubt that, in the foreseeable future, Nigeria's economy will be more dynamic, virile and competitive in Africa and the world.

Idumange John Is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, ICEN
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