By GARBA A. MustaphaRecent happenings in my dear country Nigeria has proven that the major reason why people in government get into office is not to better the lives of Nigerians but for reasons best known to them, as far as the ordinary Nigerian is concerned it is government of the leaders, for the leaders and by the leaders.
It is clear without any form of obfuscation that our leaders have other interests to protect rather than the sovereignty and integrity of our nation and the betterment of the lives of the citizenry as seen by recent happenings in the country since the beginning of the year 2012 starting with the removal of subsidy on petroleum products that has made the price of motor fuel in Nigeria high a move that was resisted by Nigerians as it was seen as an anti people policy of the government.
To analyze the reason postulated by the pseudo leaders in Nigeria for the fuel subsidy removal an economic theory the ordinary poorly educated Nigerian on the street only understands as fuel price hike was that unscrupulous Nigerians were fleecing Nigerians of billions of dollars in petrol subsidy funds of which a poorly advised government felt the best way to stop the crime was not to go after subsidy thieves and economic saboteurs but to make Nigerians suffer for the crimes of billionaire thieves most of whom are either members of the ruling party or active donors a reason many see as responsible for the inability of the authorities to prosecute the thieves.
Another issue that Nigerians see as anti people is the power reforms that has seen the price of electricity doubling, if my memory serves me right about seven five years or so ago when the prepaid electricity meter was installed for my house a unit of electricity cost about four naira but as at last week when I last paid my bills it was about twelve naira per unit which has been so since June this year, beside that I could swear that the meter was reprogrammed to read faster despite an increase in meter maintenance charge by two hundred naira there has been no significant rise in electricity supply despite the aforementioned increase in charges which has further made life complicated for the ordinary Nigerian. The power ministry deceived Nigerians by making them believe that electricity bill between the rich and the poor would be different a phenomenon we are yet to see as we wonder what meter would be used to measure the degree of buoyancy of individual Nigerians.
In Nigeria we are always made to know when there is a decrease in export of petroleum products so we can prepare for economic challenges despite the fact that the presidents one million naira plate of rice per meal is not tempered with and also we get to hear nothing about excess crude funds but for the fact that it was shared and that our foreign reserves have been depleted or that salaries can’t be paid because government is broke as a result of non remittance of funds by NNPC.
The recent announcement by CBN that five thousand naira notes would be introduced into the economy and 20, 10 and 5 naira notes would be converted to coins which would only throw them into oblivion a move that the CBN has not been able to explain in terms of benefits to ordinary Nigerians who have never been the focus of government policies.
Nigeria has fast become survival of the richest with security at its lowest and available to those who can pay turning ones bubbling cities such as Maiduguri and potiskum into theatres of violence with suicide bombings that has never affected any highly placed Nigerian a daily occurrence in the northern part of the country whose economy is at its lowest ebb making life in northern Nigeria a battle for survival while peace and development go on in other regions which has led some pundits to view it as a grand design to destroy the north.
With critical analysis of the budget of different states by mal Nasir Elrufai one can say that only a few states have the interest of the populace at heart, as leaders in Nigeria only get into office to serve themselves, their families and at times their tribes and ethnic group, a reason why everyone wants the president to come from their region. The institutionalization of corruption in the polity which has made it a forth tier of government has no plan of abating as new and creative means of stealing public funds are constantly being developed, it can be said that Nigeria does not only have a long way to go but has in fact not found a way to go.
Garba Abdullahi Mustapha