The Audacity To Breathe

On January 1st 2012, the Federal government of the Republic of Nigeria gave its people the biggest New Year’s gift it could imagine; the subsidy on the importation of PMS was removed, causing the price of fuel to go up by about 115% (rough estimate).

The chaos that ensued almost immediately was to be expected. People crammed themselves into the fuel stations, in an attempt to get fuel at the old rate, and of course, people started talking.

As a young person, most of the information I received about this issue came to me through Twitter, and I saw what we all had to say about it. It started out with complaints, but there were more jokes than anything. The youth made the most ridiculous and hilarious jokes, while some sat back and asked themselves how it was that we could joke about that kind of situation. I have two explanations for this:

Firstly, we have taken so much punishment as Nigerians, that we have developed tough hides; and so when faced with a catastrophe, it seems much easier for us to laugh about it, than to be somber. Secondly, the realization of what the full effect of this subsidy removal would bring had not yet dawned on us.

Today, the 3rd of January, protests have begun all over Nigeria. Amongst the people protesting are market women, carpenters, commercial vehicle operators, newspaper vendors, mechanics, and every other manner of the common person that you can imagine. People have taken to the streets, putting their lives on the line as the police have been ordered to break up these protests in as violent a manner as possible. People have been beaten bloody; the police have thrown teargas and fired their guns right into the middle of the protesters, all in an attempt to stop them from marching to protest the injustice. The stark reality of it is, before the end of today, many people will die. Some people (such as myself), sit and monitor these activities, and try to supply as much information as possible. Some have mocked us, calling us “armchair activists”.

Some however, have said a lot of ridiculous things. I’ve seen statements on twitter that amuse me. Such as, “I don’t see why you people are complaining. Petrol is so much more expensive in Ghana and the UK”. Some are even condemning our right to come out and protest the increase.

It is them I address.

Unlike Ghana or the United Kingdom, Nigeria is one of the top ten producers of oil in the world. I will not attempt to go into the facts and figures, but by the workings of common sense, it is common knowledge that we should not be paying such a steep amount for such an essential commodity. Articles by educated people such as Mr. Lawson Omokhodion, Izielen Agbon Izielen Agbon, and Professor Tam David West have shown that we do not need this supposed “subsidy”, and that we’ve been suffering for no reason. We have been shown that our existing refineries are quite capable of producing the amount of PMS we need for local consumption, and even above it. The price of PMS by any standards, should not be above N40.05/liter, yet the local refineries have been crippled and we’ve been forced to import this fuel which some “individuals” seem to be profiting from, whilst the rest of the Nigerian populace suffered for, because we were forced to pay N65/liter, when it should be N40.05 if we produced it ourselves. And now, the government has removed this “subsidy” (which in essence never existed), and instead of creating an alternative to importation, have forced upon us the price of their incompetence and corruption.

And we are not to complain?

In countries like Ghana and the UK, putting aside the fact that they do not produce even half the amount of oil that Nigeria does, we must also remember that things work in those countries. They do not require PMS to power electricity generators because they have constant electricity, and also have functional infrastructure. So the price of PMS is offset by the fact that things work. Unfortunately, the same hasn’t been able to be said about Nigeria for a few decades.

With the increase in the price of PMS, a resultant increase in the price of… well, everything has occurred. Transportation, food, accommodation, goods and services… everything has gone up. Making it twice as difficult for the average Nigerian, who already struggles, to survive.

And we are meant to keep silent?

I refuse to believe that there are some people out there that can be so insensitive that they would not understand what this action by our government is going to do to Nigeria. No matter who you may be; Nigerian or otherwise, rich or poor. It is obvious that the entire nation is going to suffer if the government is permitted to place this manner of injustice on our heads like trays of fruit. Have we gotten to the point that the legendary Fela Kuti spoke of, simply accepting orders like zombies? Are we meant to watch our people degenerate even further as it becomes even more difficult to survive in a country where there is so much? Are we meant to watch our leaders sit back and remain the fattest and highest paid leaders and officials in the world, while the average Nigerian struggles to make less than $1/day, and then cry helplessly because the little made isn’t even close to enough for them to get a simple meal to eat every day? Amongst the people who supposedly deliberated on the rationale behind removing the “subsidy” without providing a means of making up for it, how many of them actually know what it’s like to not have any fuel at all? When was the last time any of them knew the true meaning of the word “lack”? What we have in Nigeria are rulers who are grossly insensitive to the plight of the common man, sit behind the confines of their havens, and make up laws and policies that make me question their sanity and quite honestly, their intelligence.

How? I ask you; how are we even meant to stay silent in a situation like this?

For too long, like a poet Amir Sulaiman said, we have been dead men walking, mute men talking and blind men watching our people die. It has gone too far. Some say words are little, but they are more powerful than many understand. Ask the people of Libya. They’ll tell you that their protests may have been painful and bloody, but they got what they wanted in the end. Some would argue that the way to do this should be via negotiations and nationwide strikes. And while I agree with that, at this point, we must do something. We should not sit and take it, just because we can. We have every right to speak out. We have every right to cry, scream, kick, bite, make a ruckus and fight for what is our right. And if the time is now, I believe that there’s never a better time than the present.

For those who do not understand why we protest, for those who are comfortable and question our sanity, I will say this; questioning our right to protest evil when it is thrust upon us, is like asking us why we have the audacity to breathe.

Asking us to go back to our homes and accept this yoke that our president and the rest of his government wish to thrust on our heads, is asking us to dig our graves, buy our coffins and clean our best clothes for our own burials.

I may not be out in the thick of things, shouting in protest with the rest of my brothers. I may be an “armchair activist” because I’m sitting on my bed typing this for whoever seeks to know the truth. But I will for no reason under the sun, ask anyone who wishes to protest, to stay at home. I will not be a party to this evil. I will not help the government kill us.

I’d rather die.

This post does not solely reflect my views. It’s also supported by other writers such as ‘Dania Idam, Wale Adetula, Joseph Parker, Martins Ekwe, Kelvin Steve, Efeoghene Ori-Jesu, Festus Okubor, Terdoo Bendega, Oluwafemi Adebule, Dare Falowo, Coco Anetor-Sokei, Jibola Lawal, Oyebowale Odutola, amongst others.

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About The Capoeira Panda

Panda makes his home in the world of words and metaphors. In the hopes to be more than just a confused blogger, he currently works as the editor for an ecommerce company that was good enough to hire him, and lives with his flat mates & two imaginary dogs who get along just fine. He enjoys reading good books, writing, relaxing with his friends, & poking fun at his mother over the phone. When he's not doing any of these, he sometimes sits back and wonders why anyone expects to learn anything useful about him by reading this bio. View all posts by The Capoeira Panda

69 responses to “The Audacity To Breathe

  • terdoh

    I have a few questions. Just a few.

    WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE????

    The government has been misled into thinking that because they fail to provide a presentable educational system for the people, they are automatically ruling over illiterates.

    We are not fools.

    First off, that mistake of a president came out on National TV, after dancing his heart out, to tell us that we should bear the effect of The Boko Haram, and wait it out till it wears off…

    Who says that??

    Then this same president, not minding that people are still traumatized over the lost ones they lost at a period when everyone is supposed to be in a joyful mood, removes the subsidy of fuel?

    There is the popular saying, that no man is an island. Nigerians put that adage to the test. We provide everything for ourselves. Our food, our water, our electricity, our accommodation, our education, EVERYTHING is provided by the common man, for the common man.

    There is no light, there are few good roads, the common man cannot fluently speak the lingua franca, there are no jobs, no houses, and THERE IS NO FOOD! And now you remove the subsidy on fuel (a resource that shouldn’t even be imported in the first place) so the masses have to work TWICE as hard to supply their daily needs.

    IS THAT FAIR?

    I think they have forgotten the power of the people. Look at what happened in Egypt and Libya. Look at what happened on Wall Street. Please, if you know you want to, do not let the threats of the so called authorities stop you. Go out and protest if you can.

    We will all work together to move this country forward. But no man can do that alone. As many people as can come out to protest, should come out to protest.

    God Bless Nigeria

    • sophie

      Food for thought.. I particularly like the statement you made “they are automatically ruling over illiterates”… The situation in the country is sad.. We shouldn’t only HOPE and PRAY for a change this time around, we should ACT also.

    • Ebe Aguebor

      Please bear with the increase in broadcasts, facebook posts, blog articles, tweets and the like. They are a necessary means to an end.
      I humbly ask all recipients to please re-broadcast/send sensible and inspirational messages and ignore those that seek to strike fear in our hearts.
      A lot of us have been complacent for far too long whilst allowing injustice upon injustice to be heaped on us without uttering a single word of protest.
      Take a candid look at the country around you and ask yourselves these questions: Does anything really work in Nigeria? Do we have anything that truly benefits us and makes our lives easier? Are the lives of Nigerians not all about struggle for our daily bread?
      Mind you these questions and their undeniable answers affect both the rich and the poor, the common Nigerian and the ones who may consider themselves not-so-common and above it all.
      We’ve all collectively been deprived of our basic rights.
      How long shall we continue to accept this shameful lack of power supply, lack of good potable water, lack of quality education, appallingly bad road networks, insecurity, oppression, corruption and total deprivation as the order of the day and, I shudder to add, as what we deserve.
      The issue goes far beyond the ‘Removal of Fuel Subsidy’. That is just the straw that broke the camel’s back. There’s a lot more at stake here. There’s a lot more change to fight for.
      Nigerians must stand as ‘One body’ and shout out with ‘One voice’.
      These incessant and cruel punishments must be brought to an end.
      Its time for us Nigerians to wake up and let the scales of deception literally fall from our eyes. Its time for us to consider ourselves worthy of a better today and a fulfilling tomorrow.
      Let us unite and put aside everything that seeks to divide us. Let us consider ourselves as One, and forever bury our petty grievances which have for long been underscored by the unpalatable ills of tribalism, religious-hatred and the like.
      Let us fight for our future and that of our generations unborn.

      Ebe Aguebor.

      This is an excellent piece. Well done.
      May our combined efforts bring about the changes we so earnestly desire.
      God bless our Nation.

  • Deola

    I support your views as well!
    We shld not suffer anymore! Protest and fight agaisnt the gross insensitivity of our so called ‘government’

  • yemmie

    Nicely written… I’ll lose my mind if I read ne stupid tweet bout petrol being higher in uk/usa or ghana. Left to me,the best outcome of d protest shld b d toppling of dis current govt bt its most likely gna b a reduction to 80-100naira. Bt quick question is dere ne reason u weren’t at d protest 2day? I wasn’t dere either, so no judgement. Just curious.

  • coco

    This makes a lot of sense…I mean we are all aware of the absurd situation. No nigerian that resides here is going to benefit from this well except those in the oil n gas sector…however, the message should be to the president and I doubt he’s got the sense of reasoning hence the decision he’s taken! Protesting doesn’t seem to be working as even a member of house was arrested for leading the protest in abuja.. Mopols all around beating and arresting people up… We have a long way to go…

  • Passthesaltband

    This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  • Hitoriki Battousai (@PapiJebz)

    We refuse to go silently into the night…we shall be heard!!!!
    I was not at the protest today either but God bless the young men and women that were there….

  • sophie

    I totally support your views too.. We have suffered for far too long and we are still suffering.. It is time to say No.. I may be an armchair activist as they call it, but I totally support the protests. May God save us!

  • The Capoeira Panda

    Please people.
    While this post may be to ask everyone to come together and protest this, here is an actual plan —> http://azeenarh.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/when-where-how-and-why-occupynigeria/
    Let’s try to read and follow okay?

  • mahnyuell

    The term ‘armchair activist’ is not only insulting but also ignorant, the instigation for the protest themselves even came from these networks and writers.
    We shouldn’t have let it get this far, and the really sad part is that its possible that these protests may be in vain. But the strength and determination displayed today….. speechless

  • The Audacity To Breathe « Chronicles of Dania

    […] for us and the recent protests happening all over the country. The views expressed in this piece The Audacity To Breathe mostly summarize my thoughts on the […]

  • beforesheimplodes

    I support your views as well…

    Im just hoping it doesnt get worse than this…

  • Richard

    Very very good post.

    There are also many people who believe that you shouldnt be concerned simply because they or their fathers are rich enough to not be directly affected by the murderous oil prices and those are the worst people. Those are the people who have allowed us all to lie back and remain quiet as our own country’s government rapes Nigeria without a care in the world. For far too long we have been quiet and complacent with the antics of the government.
    In 2010 N250billion was allocated from the budget to the oil subsidy. in 2011 this figure allegedly rose to N1.3trillion. and did we see a significant change in the price like that should reflect? Someone needs to explain that.

  • Adaora

    I wholly support this!

  • Tkoya

    Nice article wuld say U̶̲̥̅̊‎​ have done a great job.but what ‎​ want U̶̲̥̅̊‎​ guyz to konw is that the government of nigeria is never for the people rather they are for themselves.they are afta their pocket.to remove subsidy is not a problem if the finances are directed into various sector of the economy in the right manner,but ‎​ will say nigeria is not that country nd even if the subsidy is removed minimum wage rate shld increase so that the standard of livin can meet up with cost of living.since that is not done then removal of subsidy is wrong.

  • SlevinCalevra

    God bless you aplenty Panda.

  • BragginRightz

    I LOVE THIS…

    And to the FOOLS that think complaining is a sign of poverty you should know your level of ignorance appals even the devil himself!!

  • Tope Bamiro

    Tears in my eye
    Pain in my heart
    May all d locusts eating up d country’s wealth
    Evaporate into thin air with no trace!!!

  • raihanah

    We need an overhaul.
    In a country where nothing works..a country plagued by failed sectors,poor governance and corrupt politics. In a country where the average man knows nothing of his entitlement..
    Everyone is tired,hungry and lost.
    We will not be silent.
    We can not ‘dialogue’ with fools,puppets!!
    Idiots that think shutting down internet services can stop our voices.
    We have a right to overhaul and to demand our rights.

    The reality of it dawns when the price of rent triples and transportation becomes a luxury.
    Being on a bus with people,the lamentation…

    It is dark.

    We are rising…
    We will speak…
    We must be heard..
    We must win.
    Change is need.

    Let it be echoed around the world.
    NO MORE!

  • OsizUrUnkle

    Well said.

    my comment is in the form of a link to an article, i believe the issue runs deeper than a ‘subsidy’. The government isn’t being completely honest with us perhaps there’s more to the matter

    please read this and spread the word

    http://odili.net/news/source/2011/oct/18/13.html

  • A proud nigerian..

    I’m really shut of words,hw cn the govt nt giv a fuck about its masses feelns jst cos dey r d govt..Wishd boko haram cn bomb d ryt pple 4 d 1st tym in their life..sum v lost their lives,sum wil stil lose buh d bottomline’s dat we maintain our stand til dey concur 2 our wish..

  • Rex Nelson

    Can we go back for a minute to the days when the wrath of our ethnic and traditional gods like amadioha,ogun,sango and their likes could sever a man’s head from the rest of his body for an evil act or intent.
    Seriously guys, if these bastards who call themselves leaders can considerably reduce their own take home allowances,make it a point of responsibility to have all members of their families both nuclear and extended,live,school and work in the country within the period of their public service, and ultimately go through the process of swearing in the shrines of all the major ethnic deities before assuming political office….an oath to the death if they do not make good their promises to the people…then and only then would they have won me over completely; until such a time….we must continue to speak up and cry out to the almighty…the one who reminded Abacha that he alone was most High.

  • TJ

    Very well said… I actually would love to go out and protest but sadly, when I mentioned my intentions to my mother she told me I must be crazy… How are we supposed to impart this massive change when everyone’s too scared to go out?

  • ruddie

    You have spoken my mind and spoken well as well. Whether they call us ‘ARMCHAIR PROTESTERS’ or hypocrites, I can’t be bothered with an atom of guilt. Do you know why? Well its simple,there are many ways to kill a mouse! Just cos we are not under the sun or rain,doesn’t mean we are worthless. To a very great extent I believe via blogging,tweeting,facebooking,mails,and BB broadcasts, we have created awareness amongst people who do not even listen to the news.There are lots of people who are hearing about this fuel subsidy removal ish for the first time! I believe via the internet most of us have defined it and given reasons why the sudden decision to implement it on our economy is indeed a Malicious act. Thank you very much for such a lovely post, and hope you do not mind if I re-blog it.

  • awizii

    The unity of our voices will be heard by the international community. We will fight for what is ours, and move this country forward. We have had enough, or at least I hope we have.

    God bless you Yemi.

  • Dexter-sama

    This situation, like almost everything else in the country, reeks of foulplay. The Nigerian Government, a self-replicating brood of incompetents and imbeciles, is clearly oblivious or catatonically unresponsive to the chaos, pain and suffering they create on a daily basis. The role of the government official in Nigeria is to seek monetary gain by any means necessary to splurge on unnecessary vanity to further inflate their dangerously distended egos. I may not suffer their plight, but I understand the outrage of the common man who struggles against a wave of authoritative idiocy to survive.

    Which is why this protest must happen. And must hit as close to home as possible.

    I’m a coward. Fact. But I’ll applaud the courage and strength of those who went out there today, suffering the assault of greedy “law enforcement officials” just to get the point across. Nigerians would not lie back and be anally raped any further. Maybe when I grow the balls, I’ll join in.

  • onyinye

    Very well said… I dnt think anyone has said it any better…Thank you.

  • neyah

    The truth that lies in every sentence in this piece is what makes this article refreshing…I can only say God bless you.

  • Lani

    This post is just briiliant, it’s making my hair stand.

    Can any government more openly and bluntly declare war on it’s people? Why should the hustling Nigerian have to pay for the greed and corruption of past and serving politicians?

    They allocate BILLIONS to the repair of refineries, the money is released and just disappears and the refineries don’t get repaired. In a banana republic the GMD of NNPC (or whoever is in charge) would have been shot in the street. Or at least, that’s what I would have done…

    If the industry functioning as it should, then the subsidy would be a non-issue. But PMS production is what it is in Nigeria, so here we are.

    Now if you insist that the subsidy must go, why not put cushions in place first? Improve rail and waterways tavel so the reliance on roads (and hence petrol) for transport of goods is not so heavy. Remove the subsidy by degrees, and let the people see the proceeds being used to build roads and schools and overhaul PHCN and provide drinking water. At the point we are now, I think the average Nigerian is not asking for more than these things: a job that will provide enough to eat, schools that work, healthcare good enough that malaria and childbirth are not medieval horrors, clean water, electricity to power a business; things that are so fundamental they should be human rights.

    It is unfortunate that we find ourselves where we are now, but the truth is that protests will get us nowhere. The government is single-minded, cruel and greedy and they will mercilessly crush any opposition. Revolutions in black Africa haven’t caught on yet, and I seriously doubt they will start in Nigeria.

  • engeekallouski

    Great thoughts and I completely agree that while we understand and acknowledge the need for us to freely express our grievance, we should apply wisdom in doing so. We should not help the government kill us. Let’s protest wisely and peacefully. Evil will not last forever. It’s only the living that we enjoy the good we are fighting, sorry protesting for today. Hence I say to nigeria, IT IS WELL THAT ENDS WELL. God bless Nigeria.

  • Ritzie

    Well spoken. Very well spoken. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • @Ms_BeeA

    The ignorance that was displayed on twitter today almost defies understanding. This was well-written and quite frankly the honest truth.

    This entire issue infuriates me so much. The insensitivity and outright callousness of our leadership is astounding. *sigh*

    I, Bola Ayeni also support the views represented in this post with every ounce of my being.

  • kolazon

    *sigh* I don’t care how ‘well to do’ they might be, this will still come back and bite them in the butt!! Very lovely post!

  • @purplish001

    dis z 1daful babes! My tots exactly! Pls kip it up.

  • Annie

    I may not be ‘somebody’ by anyone’s standards by I totally endorse this view. Since the news broke I have searched for info on the supposed benefits of this action & no one can seem to give me any useful info to rebut the obvious disadvantages. I find it extremely telling that right off the bat I could see the glaring problems this would cause & yet the supposed benefits are so obscure that no one can find them 2 point them out. I honestly want to be educated on this from as many angles as possible but until that happens I cannot in good conscience support this move. I cannot begin 2 imaagine the level of hardship that the common man is going to go through. Everyday I hear news about my country, everyday my heart breaks 4 my country over & over again.

  • Tanko, Abj

    Well said: we must all arouse our consciousness, challenge the very essence of leadership, re-align our varied interest to confront this monstrous, ill-conceived policies of the Nigeria government!

  • Chicasa

    On point!!!!

  • tomiabiodun

    This is very true,making nigerians suffer for nothing, i can’t remember the number of pple i’ve helped pay an extra 10 naira in buses cos they didnt have just 10 Naira, How will they go out now?? We cant sit down and make these pple make decisions that can tamper with our futures..

  • Curious

    I co-sign this write-up a hundred percent. A great dis-service has been metted out to the Citizens of Nigerian and WE HAVE A RIGHT to speak out, shout out and PROTEST so the government KNOWS we are NOT complacent!

  • xtra

    Totally and painfully true…got into an argument with a colleague of mine today who said all of us rallying against the removal of the fuel subsidy are being “obtuse”,that in the long run it would benefit everyone…I simply told him d only obtuse person in that room was him,n I jejely got up n left,before I’d be moved to slap somebody’s son…
    I have gleefully sent him this link…if he has a modicum of sense,he’ll read this and reflect properly…the so-called “advantaged” ones do not realize just how deeply disillusioned they are…they think they won’t be affected? Maybe before,but not anymore..Nigerians have spoken,and by God’s grace,we will continue to speak…
    E DON DO!!!!

  • bankole taiwo

    Its am about wot we want!!!!

  • edgothboy

    I went out and saw the carnage. We must protest or loose it all.

  • dictracy

    Wonderful piece of article, our government has thoroughly failed the Nigerian populace, if you go through our history, u’ll see that successive governments have claimed to either reduce or remove fuel subsidy due to one flimsy excuse or another, yet our country is not developed, we send our children to ghane to school because of our poor education system, our Health Care is policy is absolute nonsense, there are no good roads in the country. We cannot and will not swallow watever this government tells us hook, line and sinker, we must stand up and speak up, the time is now. Speak up or remain a stooge (zombie) forever.

  • Jideofo Onuoha

    It is a huge disappointment that President GEJ has allowed himself to be used by greedy politicians.It is crystal clear that the implications of this subsidy removal to Nigerians would be nothing more but more money to share in Abuja.There are more urgent issues he should have faced,such as the long lingering ASUU FG faceoff,or the embarrassing state of power supply in Nigeria.No doubt removal of fuel subsidy is a welcomed idea,but one that should be put in place only when other sectors of the Nigerian economy is in proper function.You can’t expect a man who earns 18,000Naira a month,who runs a generator as a means of power supply,has a motor cycle as means of transportation and has two children in primary or secondary school whom he pays school fees for of about 10,000Naira and above each,to be happy with this policy.Won’t he pay his rent?Won’t he save?Won’t he eat?Won’t he wear clothes,buy soap,etc.Fellow Nigerians this is our own time to join the rest of the world now to carry out a REVOLUTION,let us not fold our arms,let’s call a spade a spade and voice out our torments,our pains and let us put an end to this wicked policy marshalled out for us by our inhuman leaders.The time is now!!!!

  • Olusegun Joseph

    Written properly. This says it all.
    I just hope GEJ remembers Abacha. If he doesn’t, then the tales of Mubarak, Qaddafi, Mugabe n co are still fresh. GEJ earns more than USA’s president, yet the average Nigerian lives on 1$/day. Å̶̷̩̥͡ Word should be enough for the wise,We’ve said 100 but you still haven’t heard.

  • Gbenga Odunola

    Many at times i wonder how we got here in a time when we believe as a nation we heading some were. A time we believe we can move from the past shame we faced as a nation in the past. A time when hopes are high cos we believe we can finaly start to see little light shining at the end of the turnel. But what do we see happining we are back to the dark age of our present time as a nation. Sometimes i just loose faith in a nation we are supposed to proud off. Our govt as got it all wrong this time and i hope this step will not lead us were we have always avoided as nation. May God save us from this path disaster we are heading. God bless Nigeria and Nigerians!!!

  • mikistones

    Slowly but surely, over the last year or so, I’ve come to the realisation that there are retards in this nation. Unfortunately, some of them rule us while some others sit back with open teeth watching the injustices being meted upon us and say things like “armchair activists” & “fighting the government for our right & our future is a waste of time”. IT IS NOT!! Support the movement & give these people no heed, we are fighting for not just our survival anymore but for our children unborn & our nation.

  • Aniekan

    A well written post. arguable, but your present your argument well…you dont not demonstrate (at least through this post) that you have sufficient knowledge as to what the reasons for the subsidy are. My submission has always been to first understand your “enemy’s” strategy and then calculatedly oppose it. This reform has been in the works for a while and when sensitization was going on about it, i heard not one of you talk about it. Now that it has taken effect, running around in rage will not get anyone anywhere.

    Wisdom is profitable to direct; any war veteran knows that rage is as dangerous as incompetence in the efforts to win a war.

    we act as though this decision was thrown at us out of the blue but the series of ‘TownHall Debates’ facilitated by Thisday shows us that it had been in the works for a while and we were ALL privy to it…where were the enviable activists then? This is when the organized protests should have been done…but we mucked about, thinking it was all a joke…

    The only other point i’d submit will be synthesized in this: Getting your child vaccinated means you’re going to make him/her cry for a few minutes…but he’ll walk for life. theoretically, this move is the right move to make but we all know how wonderfully skewed Nigerian decisions can get, don’t we?

    If protests are to be held, we must overcome this ‘outrage’ because we definitely wont see clearly and will (sadly) just get people killed. The Arab Springs worked because of a cultural orientation that would support its success..we don’t have that, so lets not be in a waste to transpose that commendable idea.

    The actual need for the subsidy removal (as with every empirical or even ideological idea) is debatable and I doubt we’d find a clear winner…lets get that straight. Both sides have credible arguments.

    This is getting long, so i’ll stop here…but Capoeirapanda, i hope you read this (as well as your wonderful colleagues) and understand my viewpoint:

    1. As activists, we failed to prevent this, even though we saw it coming.
    2. Protests have to be without this evidently widespread rage.
    3. Consider the possibility that you just MIGHT be wrong or not applying a time perspective.
    4. Another viable option is to understand the supposed SURE mechanism that is being offered and judiciously monitor it as a people because the reprieve needed can spring up from there…and if this subsidy is to stay removed, we must safeguard all that money being diverted and make sure its used for what it is touted to be used for.

    That being said, i commend your position…i may not agree totally with it, but it still remains a valid argument. Good one. Cheers and God bless us all.

    • The Capoeira Panda

      Hmmm. You’ve made a couple of very valid points.
      We did screw up by not speaking out against the subsidy removal. Same way the occupants of Lekki did by not screaming out against the toll gates when they were being built. However, I do understand what the subsidy is and why it is necessary to remove it. The economic argument of it all is clear enough. My problem however, is that, unlike any sensible government would have done, it was thrust upon us without providing an alternative. The facts remain that the importation of fuel hasn’t been necessary for quite a while, hence the subsidy on the imports were unnecessary as well. But anyways.
      I also think that our protests should be planned. If you look through the comments, I put up a link to a post which gives a plan, along with good instructions and counsel for a way in which this protest can be carried out with minimum damage.
      The actual grouse that this post is based on, are people who have the temerity to belittle people who go out and risk their lives in protest.

      Anyways, I guess our hearts are in the same place, we’re just taking different routes to get there.
      Thanks for reading sir.

      • Annie

        Can I pls ask AGAIN that somebody tell me this economic argument?! I keep askin this when I hear something positive about this thing & no one seems 2 know the anaswer (or I’m jst surounded by either ignoramuses or people who think I’m 2 obtuse 2 get it. I dunno.) Pls can U help?

  • Lemchi

    I understand perfectly all u ve been saying. But what re we going 2 do or its jst doing d talking i so much believe in action. You don’t expect people 2 start protesti violetly it will only result 2 more tragedy and thats not what we need right now. Lets apply wisdom here and debate coldly of our grieviances. I think we should all pray and cry out 2 the almighty God he’s the only one that can solve this problem once and 4 all. Afterall peaceful protest or demonstration doesnt exist. NLC has a work of agitating for nigerians.

  • Farida

    What business have we to import petroleum in the first place? As oil producing as we are, wealthy enough to feed a certain once upon a time shoesless resident of the not very solid aso-oke rock with 5 billion naira…What business have we to import petroleum in the first place? As oil producing as we are, wealthy enough to feed a certain once upon a time shoesless resident of the not very solid aso-oke rock with 5 billion naira…in a nation where everything that works is powered by imported generating sets and fueled by subsidized PMS, if PHCN’S was miraculously healed of epilepsy we may have ignored the carefully ochestrated plan to have the citizens pay for the sins of our leaders…with no significant increase in our incomes we are to adjust like the ‘nothing do us’ people that we are to more than a hundred percent increase in the cost of daily living…i must applaud GEJs communication skills though…amidst the merry making in black clothes you had the guts to kick us in our minimum wage accounts with your fuel subsidy removal boots..what a poverty inflicting scheme by puppets we chose to lead us…they even allowed us choose them as they hid their autocratic alter ego’s behind democratic masks…how the subsidy removal took aströnomical steps from April to January still has me clapping. If only other economic development plans were that quick. If we can’t even trust our Government to carry us along and keep to their words…how then can we trust them when they say subsidy removal was in our best interest? When all this is over…would we then pay 40 naira for a littre of petrol? Hopefully sit at home activists or arm chair activists or whatever they choose to name us, we would have a revolution and we would see the Nigeria of our dreams! NIGERIA I PRAY FOR YOU…good writeup panda and co! May God refil your ink and grant your heart’s desires!

  • yinka

    I totally support all your views,even tho I’m not out there protesting with the rest of them, I refuse to support that good for nothing President,let’s carry on with the protests so he can know we mean business and until he decides to resolve everything we will keep fighting.
    We didn’t put him in power so he can make our lives miserable,hopefully all our protests won’t be in vain.

  • jimmy

    This present situation dat we re in now needs caution, we should not forget dat we need to thread softly and be articulate bcos the president is surrounded by bad and selfish advisers. We should know that for changes to happen there must be revolution. Are we ready.

  • oluwatoyin

    I simply wanna say that until the refineries produce at optimum capacity and we produce enough oil for export to other nations, have constant electricity and proper transport system, there should be nothing like “FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL”.

  • Omowunmi

    I really have to comment on this grave situation that i̶̲̥̅̊s̶̲̥̅̊ tearing the country apart…The masses are suffering for the sins of top officials and other affiliated people who deal with this.we are’nt stupid people.They shouldn’t take our silence for stupidity……Thanks for the blog,it shows that we all are in this together..both young and old…

  • Debest Okechi

    PROTEST IS THE ANSWER,we cant continue to enjoy hardship,no one has ever celebrated failure,our leaders ve failed,we cant celebrate them,if we all ve to die in order to stop this,then we shud ve no option.FOR TOMORROWS sake.

  • Yusuff Olusola Ibrahim Slowslug

    Theyre treating us like this cos they dont knw what it is to be broke. Theyre nt performing their duties as citizens and we should not do our part. We should boycott in a situation like this. I hope for a better Nigeria. It begins with unity amongst us

  • Rita

    I am very happy and thank God people who stil belive in the truth & enlightening others from their fears and shells exist.
    A leader is surpose to serve his people by doing what would be beneficial to the masses, most especially the lower class, because they are they majority and i think their opinion be count & should be more relevant.
    I now have the believe that some of these rulers just admire the backwardness of the country,they want the middle and lower classes to be so uncomfortable. Why?
    Because of their own self/selfish interest.
    Majority of us always say, colonialism in Nigeria was the the sources of our underdevelopment & lack of growth in infrastructure & generally, but other countries colonised along side with Nigeria are “Running while Ours is stil “Crawing.
    Ok. Was our mind also colonised? If this has affected our country so badly that it is so difficult to make a change,due to how large the country is,we should be able to change our mind set individually which would bring possitive change.
    “We should also start making use of our senses to vote in our leaders rather than our stomach now that the vote of the majority has begin to count.”

  • Oyedeji Ganiyu

    What type of govt do we have in dis country? We’re talking abt bomb blast up nd down in d country, instead of govt 2 find solution 2 d problem bomb, federal govt just create anoda problem 4 d nigerian peoples by remove d FUEL SUBSIDY on the new year day which is not surpose….

  • Augustine I. Chinweze

    I am glad that there are so many like minded and erudite youths in Nigeria and an outcry for justice has never sounded so motivating. There was a debate in Babcock University about the possibility of an uprising happening in Nigeria and one of the parties concluded that it wasn’t a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” and I think there is no better time than NOW! God Bless! @mynameisike

  • Ema Leecious

    “Are we meant to watch our leaders sit back and remain the fattest and highest paid leaders and officials in the world, while the average Nigerian struggles to make less than $1/day, and then cry helplessly because the little made isn’t even close to enough for them to get a simple meal to eat every day?”

    The fattest and highest paid leaders who are actually paid to “do nothing”.
    What a shame!!!

  • OBA

    I wonder what is really going on with this govrnmnt,I think govt shld comup &tell us d main thing we stnd to gain here…Now another news comeup from d presidency sayin is either Subsidy or electricity that means something is behind all this

  • urBoiDave_o

    Case closed! The freshness of the issue is now as of a withered fond:
    Allow the air of it to be replaced!
    Nice post , no doubt.
    Kudos Terdoh (cumical) !

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