By Fela Durotoye
Since I got back into Nigeria yesterday, I have heard some preposterous arguments that the removal of the fuel subsidy will be justified by wise investments that will benefit all.
My response has been…How will a wasteful government suddenly realize the genius of prudence and making the right investment decisions simply because there is more money available from oil subsidy removal?
Will there be less graft and bribes involved in process of issuing the road contracts or power contracts?
Have we sought to honestly find every way we can plug wastage in our leaking economy before we ask a feeble populace to carry the burden of corruption and gross ineptitude of a gluttonous few?
Have the Presidency, the State & Local Governments and the Legislature discovered how to travel without a convoy of 20 cars to the airport?
Can the occupiers of these lofty positions act in honour as Barack Obama did in 2010 when he got every member of his cabinet to take a pay cut, starting with himself?
Within his first few days as British Prime Minister, David Cameron led the austerity cuts (upon his assumption) by cutting down his convoy to 2 cars and one outrider. The Members of Parliament in Britain are now only allowed 3rd class train tickets on official travel (as opposed to their traditional first class train ticket allowances). The Mayor of London now rides a bicycle to work.
Leadership by example!!!
How come our ‘leaders’ in government earn so much and still spend so much furnishing the same houses and offices they furnished with our money last year?
Do you furnish your office every year? Why should the President, Governor or Senate President?
Wasteful leadership cannot make prudent investments!!!!! Q.E.D
The change we need is not just policy. It’s in the quality of mind and persons at policy making positions.
That said, how will we effectively deliver sustainable desired-change?
History has taught us that governments increase fuel prices, the people fight, students riot, labour unions strike, and then after a couple of weeks, the government reduces the price but never to its original price…and everyone feels like a winner, but the poor know and experience the reality of the loss. Then we start the cycle all over again with another administration.
God bless everyone who has stood up against this unjust policy. I salute everyone who has risked their lives to Occupy Nigeria with the message that Enough is Enough.
This is only the beginning of a long and arduous journey. The real Nigerian spring is going to be in April 2015.
WE NEED A CRITICAL MASS OF NEW NIGERIANS TO TAKE HOLD OF EVERY LEVEL OF POLICY MAKING POSITIONS BY 2015. Not a few good men and women whose voices will get drowned in the cacophony of mediocrity.
Let our brightest and best brains begin serious preparations NOW. Don’t wait till 2014 to decide you want to make a change by running for office in 2015. It will be too late if you don’t start NOW!!!!
As we keep up the pressure of PEACEFUL, NON-VIOLENT PROTESTS through all channels, let another set of emerging leaders (with a heart for the nation and a love for the people) arise and begin to prepare for 2015. We must encourage, train, mentor and empower the right people to go where few dare.
I have committed my life to raise and prepare as many exemplary leaders of excellence to take over the various policy making positions at all levels of governance (federal, state and local) – executive and legislative.
Even when ‘they’ back down on the fuel subsidy removal, (only because they need the banks to reopen so they can cash some of their billions or so that the airports can reopen so their children can travel back abroad to continue their education), don’t let us be deceived again into submission and celebrate the illusion of victory.
Until we change the quality of people in policy-making positions, we won’t yet have real and lasting victory.
Don’t get it twisted… The 2015 elections is going to be the opportunity for the real Nigerian Spring.
The real question is …Will we be ready to bring the real change we’ve always desired with the same zeal and fervour as we show now?
Please don’t let today’s passion die tomorrow.
The struggle continues today, tomorrow and forever. We WILL deliver the future!
God bless you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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