MasterwebNews 13/5/16 - Nigeria: Addressing The Zoo Combat Issues

[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - Positive criticism is symbiotic for all involved in every relationship setting, be it between the employer and his employee, the driver and his passengers or the leader and the led. When the employer becomes bossy, he gives room for an overthrow or, when that is not possible, an eventual masterminded unproductiveness. The same applies in a situation where a reckless driver would not entertain a caution from his passengers; he drags them into his mortal mistakes. When it gets to a political leader and his subjects, the former's myopia and conceitedness create a general nonchalance and indifference to State affairs. In all these, it is often the object of this symbiotic cohesion that suffers-its effect bringing down with it everyone involved. It was rightly said that "evil triumphs when good men do nothing." Through this piece, therefore, I intend to lend my voice to the believed collective cry and drive towards a better Nigeria.

In the history of Nigeria, especially in this 17 years of so-called "uninterrupted democracy," I am beginning to feel tempted to have faith in this Buhari-led administration. This is because the  issue of corruption is certainly a national shame and Nigeria needs an urgent cesarean delivery out of it. Having said that, notwithstanding, I want to openly reflect on some government policies which are both unhealthy, detrimental and result unoriented.


1. The touted grazing bill

I call it touted because the fact that the NASS is visionless enough to deliberate on it makes it a case, but infamous. The bill, from the news buzzes, is centered around the allocating of grazing routes and lands for herdsmen and their herds. In every sane society and where humans are valued, no law ever passes a first hearing that is destructive to State citizens. Better still, no government makes the business of certain individuals a State matter such that other citizens suffer for it. It is an insult to everyone yoked with Nigeria to be told that a certain business or businessman has a monopoly on government attention. In medieval times, humans were fewer in the world and they competed with animals to gain habitats. That's when nomadic rearing of animal stocks was not an issue. However, in this age, cattle are reared in their ranches. Every cow is domesticated enough to live beside goats and sheep. Herdsmen should, therefore, create ranches and take care of their cows, and wandering about with their herds should be an offense against the State just as it is an offense for those who rear goats, sheep and dogs to encroach into peoples’ property simply because they have to feed their stocks.


2. On PMS: The subtle insult of Nigerians by the government

Few hours ago, according to PPPRA second quarter price modulation, and as announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachukwu on Aso Rock Twitter handle, PMS (petrol) is no longer to sell at the initial official pump price of N86.50K but at another official pump price of N145. This is sad. Every true leader is expected to bear in his conscience the load of those he leads. I, and indeed every keen observer, could not have missed the blatant show of government's total disregard for its citizens. How can a government promising change, after having increased the burdens on its citizens through delayed budget passage, now multiply it by skyrocketing petrol pump price? What happened with the said N86.50k official pump price which was never followed? And now that the government has shot the price up with additional N60, what considerations has the government made for salary earners whose salary digits have not be shot up as well? The effect of this new increment is that transport fares will go high-affecting all goods and services. In all these, it seems the government, in using every means to enlarge the federal purse, is oblivious of the fact that those who own this federation are dying gradually from lack and government-induced frustration. It makes no sense for the leader to claim he feels the pains of the led, yet inflicting more pains on them. This decision from the federal government will, undoubtedly, encourage more crimes and wickedness as individuals and families must do anything and everything to make ends meet.

Although the National Assembly works in a representative capacity, when wicked laws and policies are successfully passed, our representatives become our enemies. The consequence of misrepresentation, as the news carried recently, has begun to play out in Kano, and it is a matter of time before it snowballs into a national chant. The spokesperson of PPPRA  just gave these empty excuses as to why the petroleum pump price was hiked:
1. Neighboring countries selling higher than Nigerians.
2. Because of this, petrol are often diverted to countries like Cameroon- causing fuel shortages.

I just have few questions for this government:
1. Do Nigerians not have a say in what concerns their lives?
2. Has waking up any day to multiply the hardship in the land become a
new definition of change?
3. Even as another official petrol pump price has been fixed at N145, how is the government going to ensure that marketers nationwide do not sell it above this given price as has often been the case?
4. When you are hiking fuel price just because other countries around Nigeria did so, have you also given the country basic infrastructures and basic amenities obtainable in those said neighboring countries?
5. If the government hikes the price of fuel just to stop people from diverting and smuggling it abroad, does it not mean that the government is trying to outdo those smugglers in worsening the plights of Nigerians, to make more gains; is it not a federal corruption?
6. If hiking the pump price is geared towards stopping fuel diversion, what then is the job of the customs and the immigration agencies? I don't think the reasons which necessitated this decision are pro-people. It's sad.

In deduction, it seems that what the government has succeeded in doing so far is increasing hardship. No matter what future you promise a hungry man, his immediate need is to eat and stay alive. This, this government has not taken note of. Sometimes it makes me wonder if, truly, we have been mistaken for dumb and defenseless animals in a zoo by the zoo keepers. Putting it mildly,  the relationship between Nigerians and their leaders is worse than that between the animals in the zoo and the zoo keepers because, in zoology, if you would keep a zoo, then you must be ready, able and willing to take care of all the needs of the animals you have thus caged. 1 Timothy 5:18 reminds us that it is wickedness to muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, however, this warning seems useless to the Nigerian political class: they charge vats even against a student’s bank accounts just for receiving his school fees and upkeep; they further frustrate minimum wage salary earners who must spend their monthly stipends on transportation to their work places just because the government has multiplied the price of petrol. My only concern is that the lions, tigers, crocodiles and snakes in Nigerian cages may not endure hunger enough to plan revenge like the tortoise amongst them; they may simply attack even if it would lead to their untimely deaths. And it no longer suffices for the army to issue their rant of a warning every now and then when people react to excruciating pains of injustice. The previous administration saw many protests and oppositions from the masses, this administration should do well not to take the uneasy calmness as a unanimous agreement to slavery and certain deaths in one's own country.  Every policy which further hurts the citizens and which has no cushioning balance must be discarded; implementing them is the height of callousness.


3. Prison inmates allegedly fed daily with N14000

According to the publication made by Vanguard newspaper on July 15, 2014, Ms Sonia Jorge, the Executive Director of Africa For Affordable Internet (A4AI), declared that over 120 million Nigerians live on less than two dollars per day. This is 2016 and, emphatically, Nigeria has gone worse - leaving average Nigerians on much less than 2 dollars a day. Assuming, to thresh out excuses, we peg today's dollar rate at N300, it would mean that an average Nigerian lives on approximately less than N600 daily.

The above estimate is, I must add, an exclusive reserve of the average 'free' Nigerian and not the one who has been incarcerated for any reason. But in recent dubious revelation credited to the Minister of Interior, AbduraRaham Dambazau, the Nigerian government spends about N14,000 to feed each prisoner on daily basis - as against a revelation on this same issue just last year by the national coordinator of Legal Defense & Assistance Project, Mr. Chino Obiagwu that, the Nigerian government spends a paltry N3.50k da
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