hen a few months ago, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu - Nigeria's Minister for State Petroleum Resources - raised a memo for Mr. President to treat which bothered on the style of leadership that had gained ground in the NNPC; he was practically shouted down by Mr. President and his henchmen. He was specifically told that the NNPC leadership was not legally bound to go through the governing board for approvals in decision making. Mallam Maikanti Baru received a vote of confidence at the end of that feud.
Few months after, when the signs first emerged that there was going to be a severe fuel scarcity, the same federal government ordered Dr. Kachikwu to make products available for consumers within 48 hours. Suddenly, the labor unions within the petroleum industry - who before now sided with Mallam Maikanti Baru while the feud lasted - came up with grievances justifying why the fuel scarcity had to be. The big question becomes: Why did the grievances have to wait until this critical period?
If Mallam Maikanti Baru was checked out then, chances are that Nigerians would've been spared these hardship. Come to think of it, what could've engaged the NNPC to the point that it forgot its statutory responsibility to the Nigerian masses? If the NNPC was up and doing, could it not have made provisions for the consumers bearing in mind that the yuletide seasons where here? Is it not obvious today that the removal of the subsidy regime was not the end of the rot story in the sector?
The last time I checked to find out who was actually in charge between Dr. Kachikwu and Mallam Baru, Mr. President's gesture informed the public that Dr. Kachikwu was merely a figure-head and that meant that Mr. President himself and Mallam Baru had the running around to do now that there was scarcity but to my surprise - and I believe to the surprise of many Nigerians - Dr. Kachikwu was 'ordered' not even requested to make products available.
What does this signify? That we had a well coordinated Presidency? Or a highly fragmented government? I have said this before now that Nigeria's leadership to an average Northerner meant an opportunity to perfect a selfish and an unislamic religious agenda; a period to show favoritism and a duration to turn everything upside down. When you look at the current scarcity, you will hardly believe that two years ago - in 2015 - Nigerians celebrated the yuletide without fuel stress.
If such a feat was achieved then, what stopped the APC from doing the same since their ascent to power? Where are those union leaders who stood behind Mallam Baru while the feud lasted? Did they not say that Mallam Baru was a good team player and that Dr. Kachikwu was the villain who did not want the sector to move smoothly? Should we now accept fuel scarcity - a menace which two years back, President Jonathan crushed - as proof of the good sense of teamwork that Mallam Baru possessed?
Was this scarcity not full and clear enough proof that Nigeria elected to move many steps backward from where former president Goodluck Jonathan successfully brought the country before 2015 when they voted APC to power? Incidentally, our very good friend and orator Alhaji Lai Mohammed has refused to brainwash us as he normally did before now. What a shame? What pains me the most is that when I looked back to the Jonathan era, I see a man sent by God but rejected by Nigerians out of hate!
Those who blackmailed him out of office are in power today justifying the very same things that this gentle former president did while in office. His attempt to sell fuel for 141 Naira in 2012 met with stiff opposition but five years on, fuel sells for 145 naira and there are pockets of discontent that the price should be raised even higher. One wonders why fuel should even sell for a kobo higher than 50 naira, considering the fact that the price of a barrel of crude has remained for less than 100 Dollars.
For me, it is of no use if I made recommendations here because I assumed Nigerians now understood why we are where we are now. That it was those who felt threatened by the Goodluck's administration's reforms that brought us here. From 2013 right up to 2016, we knew nothing of fuel scarcity during the yuletide. Suddenly, we are right back to the era of scarcity with an insensitive government to crown it. Until Nigerians realized that it was a war of interest between them and those of the cabal; nothing will really change for good for Nigeria.
Comrade Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh writes from Jos.
2019 ELECTIONS: NIGERIANS MUST KNOW THIS BEFORE DUMPING MR. PRESIDENT.
07 January, 2018
For about a decade since the inception of the 4th Republic, the Nigeria federation has come under the thump of an invisible government known and referred to recently as THE CABAL. Presidents have come and gone but the lot of the generality of Nigerians have scarcely improved. The same campaign promises we heard from the PDP during the Obasanjo campaigns in 1999 are the same promises we hear almost two decades after.
There has been no improving of the refineries or the education sector or the worker's welfare or the electricity sector not to talk of the condition of the Naira to mention a few. To the disappointment of many Nigerians - most of whom believed the exit of the military was best for the country - surviving in Nigeria seems only to be all the more difficult. From the flamboyant lifestyles of the political class to the grossly indisciplined populace who are mostly divided and without an effective voice.
From the once peaceful political terrain before the inception of the 4th Republic to the highly polarized polity that dances only to the whimps and caprices of ethnicity, religious sentiments and hate speeches; many now wished these were not happening to Nigeria because if those were the dividends of democracy, they rather waited for another system of governance that could deliver the dividends they greatly desired. This is one. Secondly, there was the question of loss of confidence in the system.
For the records, trouble began for Nigeria when in the bid to get the military off the political scene, a constitution and a system of government was hurriedly smuggled onto the stage and flashed in the faces of Nigerians as the messiaic system that would satisfy the yearnings of the people. The activists fought their fights well enough to make the military contemplate exitting the stage. But they stopped short and gave space for the CABAL to come in and do the negotiation for power for them.
In 1998, when the negotiation that preceded the exit of the army from the political stage took place, the likes of Alh. Bola Tinubu, Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), Chief Femi Falana (SAN), Late Chief Alfred Rewane, Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and or any of the other comrades who fought the fight; were not there. It was the very establisment that engaged the activists in battle after the fall of the June 12th hero - Late Chief M.K.O. Abiola - that did the negotiations.
What did they negotiate and on whose behalf was the negotiation done? This question is critical in helping us understand why not much has come from the so-called Democratic system we have on ground today. The CABAL - comprising the military ex-generals and their cronies on the civilian side - negotiated an arrangement (like every association, group or trade union would do) that suited them but then they made it looked like it was based on how the activists presented their demands.
They gave us Obasanjo when we demanded for Ekwueme. Obasanjo gave us Yar'Adua when we demanded for Peter Odili. Yar'Adua's death created for us the opportunity to begin to put in power people who would listen to and serve us well. His death brought Jonathan on board. The CABAL fought a vicious fight to prevent this opportunity but lost. However, their loss was only temporary. It took a very stupid mistake on our part in 2012 to give the CABAL their lost voice again.
Did Jonathan remained true to the Nigerian masses? Oh Yes, he did. To break the bones of the CABAL in pieces, there was need to cut off the flow of cash to this invisible government and to achieve this, Jonathan needed to end the so-called Subsidy Regime on petrol and long fuel queues. Unfortunately, Jonathan failed to sensitize the people well enough to get them on his side and that failure gave the CABAL all it needed - misinform the people and turn them against the government.
Before now, recall that they first of all invented the Boko Haram and used it to make Jonathan's quest to make the masses happy impossible. Indeed, they made Nigeria ungovernable. So the masses blew their chances by pitching their tents against the Jonathan administration when they followed the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) and the Nollywood Actors Guild in 2012. The NLC has been a pawn in the war chest of this invisible government for use everytime policies stood in their way of progress.
The Boko Haram and lately the fulani herdsmen are all creations of the CABAL which are used to checkmate both the masses and their government and to ensure that the status quo remained! In 2015, using the APC Buhari was brought in. Why? Because they saw an aged man who had some integrity and was an avowed crusader against corruption but they understood the workings of government and therefore knew the areas they could checkmate him if need be. So they backed him using the people.
The journey of this presidency so far tells every political strategist who understood his calling that the CABAL governed and not the APC or Buhari the president. Terrorists, except they are financed by wealthy persons only run out of town the moment they ran out of finance. So, the only explanation that made sense was to say that both the Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen are financed by the CABAL. Mr. President cannot do much because he is a captive of the CABAL as well as you are.
As we countdown to the 2019 elections, I'd like Nigerians to know the following:
The 2019 elections was as critical to the CABAL as it seems to be for Nigeria and Nigerians.
Both the APC and the PDP are in the hands of this invisible government.
Nigerians MUST shun the temptation of using ethnicity and religion as barometer for chosing a candidate as that will be playing into the hands of the CABAL. Remember the Late Nzeogwu's speech: "They seek to keep the people divided along tribal and religious lines so that they could remain in office as VIPs..."
The Nigerian people MUST arise, form and register a political party that have credible personalities from the Civil Society Organizations in the leadership and aspirant positions.
It is time that the youths rose to wrestle Nigeria out of the hands of the CABAL. To do this, a network of credible youths who are not swayed by these ethno-religious sentiments which is currently tearing the nation in shreds MUST come together from all over Nigeria. LOVE must become the new tribe and, SERVICE to fatherland must become the new religion.
The masses must step in to complete the process of entrenching a government of the people for the people and by the people from where the pre-4th Republic activists stopped short in 1998.
If we fall for sentiments from ethnicity and religion again in 2019, we should as well forget good governance because we can't get it. Mr. President recently advised us on this in his New Year message. He doesn't need to tell us in black and white that himself was a captive of this invisible government called the CABAL.
Nigerians must know that the absence of long fuel queues, a steady electric supply, peace and harmony among the masses all are a threat to the CABAL. Therefore, picking and backing the right candidate come 2019 should go a step further to include lending moral support for whatever government needed to do. For that is the only means of strengthening the government to fight to recover those things that made for the dividends of democracy which is currently in the hands of the CABAL.