By Yomi Gidado
I was shocked to hear on the NTA 9pm news that the pump price of gasoline has gone up with more than eighty percent – N86 to N145. There is simply no good reason for the arbitrary increase in the pump price of fuel at a period in which Nigerians have taken some pains for four months of fuel scarcity to understand the plight of the government. The government cannot justify this decision.
The decision amounts to compensating good with evil! However, it is left for Nigerians to decide if this decision will be acceptable. The political implication of this policy is that the government will be increasingly disconnected from the people. It is also another huge challenge for labour as well as the civil society to justify its relevance.
Perhaps, labour and the civil society would exploit this period to reinvent their traction! This is certainly not a step in the right direction for the government that came to power on popular support. Perhaps, Nigerians might come to a conclusion that the change mantra is a ruse.
I listened to the speech of the eloquent Minister of State for Petroleum, and I could not provide a frame for justification for the harsh decision. It is the same old story! It is obvious the government shot itself at the back for poor judgment. Instructively, the previous government committed the same mistake that provided the context for its decomposition.
The decision of the present government on this issue is akin to political suicide. How else would one explain a situation in which a government that came to power on popular support would take a decision that reduces its legitimacy? If indeed some stolen public fund is being recovered from the thieving political elite who controlled the levers of authority in the previous government, the present government is not doing enough to tell Nigerians how much has been recovered.
Governance is beyond those in authority. The government needs to engage people outside its traditional domain, if indeed it has lost the capacity to think through the myriad of problems confronting most Nigerians without compounding the magnitude of the existing problems. There is no way to state it better than to conclude that this harsh decision amounts to waging a war against the Nigerian people! I hope the government would reverse such a patently insensitive decision that would certainly not burnish its image. We seem not to learn from history!
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