Much confidence was added to the momentum by the Numero Uno leader of the people, NLC President AbdulWahid Omar. He swore by Allah the Almighty, to everyone’s hearing, that he has NOT been compromised, he has not been offered and has not accepted any ‘settlement’ from the Nigerian political leaders. (They would attempt to do it, we know.) Therefore, let us pray that may the Good Lord, Allah, protect Omar and his colleagues, and save them from the self-same temptations that have befallen one man from Edo who used to be leader of the workers, and another from Nasarawa who used to be leader of the students! Amin.
In this struggle, many issues have come to the fore. For the first time in the history of this country, many citizens are looking closely at the nation’s budget, which used to be a much-ignored fat document from one fat cat to another; today, we have realised that it is in that document that our monies are siphoned; that more than one hundred percent of the recurrent bits (which fund travels and Villa food, say) are always available, while the capital bits (which fund Abuja-Lokoja road, for example), are never found. Now we know where our monies go. Read more, Nigerians.
But then, does our Police Top Brass know anything called rubber bullets? Do they know blank bullets? Do they know water cannons? In fact, do they know anything? If they do, why do they give a bunch of drunk and deranged and trigger-happy murderous cops live ammunition to kill us, the people? Which kind of security system is it that has no training in ‘Miscreant Management’, but would just shoot 15-year old boys to death? Which training do these cops get, that they can’t shoot at legs and arms, but straight at chests and heads?
Thank you, Nigerian people! The airports are closed, so if any of our ‘ruiners’ (not rulers, let alone leaders) have planned an early-in-the-year trip overseas, they can’t go. (In fact, all our media should from now on have permanent reporters at the international airports solely to report what this column will term Public Officials Travel Watch, which should be a prominent feature on the front pages of newspapers and broadcast headlines. Let us know which governor or minister or National Assembly member travels abroad, with what coterie of hangers-on, and for how long. Let us start calculating how much of that recurrent end is being funded).
The ports, we hear, are also closed. The Nigerian seas, we hear, are brimming with ships waiting to berth. They cannot berth, when women who gave us birth are suffering; when somebody who, at birth and later in life had no shoes, is today trampling upon us with jackboots. No, the ships shall not berth! Let them return to China with their cargo of smuggled furniture for Public Officials. Let them return to Singapore with their cargo of smuggled contraband textile from the surplus of the Subsidy Cabal. No, they will not berth, until birth is given by the Villa to N65 fuel!
But perhaps the most beautiful outcome about Nigerians in this matter is that we can extract a laugh out of every difficult situation. No wonder some years back we were labelled some of the happiest folk on earth. For example, this Columnist screamed, ranted, raved, cursed and ‘Allah-Ya-Isad’ when he had to fork out twelve thousand Naira to fill a car he used to do with five thousand Naira. Then someone sent him this: “Car snatched at gunpoint. Owner was screaming, ‘O my fuel! My fuel! I just bought a full tank!’! Your columnist let go some of that steam!
Nigerians, while on the street or at home, are also all agreed on one other thing: that a reduction of a mere and meagre 25% from the basic salaries of a handful of public officials is too little too a-joke. No! The Nigerian people want a reduction of at least 50% of all allowances and perquisites of all public officials from the president to his vice, from the senate president and house speaker to their members, from ministers to governors. Security votes must now be accounted for; Nigerians will no longer accept any expenditure that is murky and a conduit of thievery, with no result to show. We demand that while we are the street; we demand that while we are at home!
And now that Cabal! What is our own with any Cabal? What makes one angrier is the fact that these people who are now been criminalised were created by the government and the government gave them contracts to import this fuel. The same government pays them when they bring their papers for payment; the same government should have ensured they brought in what was written on those papers. And who mans our borders? Look, Government, we don’t care about any Cabal. We don’t know them and we don’t want to know them! Deal with them! Fix our refineries and give us our fuel at N65 a litre. Simple.
By tonight, we shall know whether the meeting between Government and the people will give birth to something. If it is a stillbirth, PENGASSAN have promised to shut off crude oil production. That will be a massive financial suicide on the part of Government. The people will applaud, for they are already dead. And let us see what they will share at the next Revenue Sharing Roundtable!
On that Villa Meeting, we end with the prayer of the Association of Nigerian Housewives: “O God, Allah! We ask You not to allow any compromise between the Labour Team and the FG! As You know, O Lord, our husbands are now home. No more long meetings. No more business trips. They are home with us, O Lord! We thank You for such an opportunity! Let President Abdulwahid and President Jonathan not see eye to eye! Not even ear to ear! Thank You Lord! Amin! Alhamdu lillah!”