We are a fragile country. Our talent in this odd corner of the globe is not only unique but quite distinct. You dare not find it in any other sane clime. It is strictly Nigerian.
A sort of peculiar and perpetual mess. The only entity where citizens strive hard to improve on their failures. They detest any semblance of success. They consciously add to their heavy burdens and hardships.
Here, we are comfortable with our miseries and weaknesses. We intentionally keep unreasonable distance from our strengths as a nation. We concentrate wholeheartedly on our pitfalls. Deliberately, we turn our fortunes to misfortunes, and we do this with unusual dexterity.
We are weird, wild, odd, ferocious and awkward all at the same time. We relish our self-inflicted disasters. We wickedly turn them into goldmines for a very few, at the huge expense of the afflicted masses.
We care less whose ox is gored and/or bruised. For us, the end justifies the means. We have never been our brother’s keeper, not even once.
We are ultimately at our best for the very wrong reasons. We continuously walk our way into tragedies. That is when we are at our maximum performance.
Yes, the last Christmas had all these trappings. It was a Christmas like never before, marred by that recurring decimal, fuel crisis. We had never had it so bad.
It was a time we thrived and excelled on failures and calamities. We were in our best element when we threw ourselves into chaos and crisis. We brilliantly displayed the sordid hard stuff we were made of last Christmas.
We are strangers to orderliness and we hate it with passion. We display uncommon resilience in working against law and order. We are always resolute in our determination to pull it down.
This monster labelled fuel scarcity has been with us for ages. We ought to have found a lasting solution to this perennial scarcity. But each time, our cruel leaders would make “fantastic” but grossly empty promises. They have never walked their talk. So, it keeps rearing its ugly head as constantly as possible.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave vivid attestation to this some 40 years ago! Can you beat that? It can only happen in Nigeria. How did he do it? This is how:
Buhari was then a vibrant, young and strong Colonel. He was designated Federal Commissioner for Petroleum Resources under the Murtala/Obasanjo junta.
He was reported by the Daily Times, Tuesday, June 7, 1977, to have told us: “Fuel crisis may be over next year.” It was the paper’s banner headline. That was more than 40 years ago!
He expanded his scope seven years later when he became head of state after sacking the government of President Shehu Shagari. The Sunday Herald reported him in its cover story headline: “Buhari blames middlemen for poor economy.” That was in January 1984.
Now juxtapose it with this history of fuel price hike in Nigeria. This post was picked from a social media platform. It is unedited, very revealing:
A history of (PMS) petrol pricing in Nigeria (price per litre)
The depth of economic instability in Nigeria is very well told by a run through of the history of petrol pricing in Nigeria over the last 44 years. We have had a total of 26 petrol price reviews by 12 administrations in the last 44 years!
Gowon-1973: 6k to 8.45k
Murtala-1976: 8.45k to 9k
Obasanjo-Oct 1, 1978: 9k to 15.3k
Shagari-Apr 20, 1982: 15.3k to 20k
Babangida-Mar 31, 1986: 20k to 39.5k
Babangida-Apr 10, 1988: 39.5k to 42k
Babangida-Jan 1, 1989: 42k to 60k (private vehicles)
Babangida-Mar 6, 1991: 60k to70k
Shonekan (82 days in power)-Nov 8, 1993: 70k to N5
Abacha-Nov 22, 1993: N5 to N3.25k (price dropped)
Abacha-Oct 2, 1994: N3.25k to N15
Abacha-Oct 4, 1994: N15 to N11 (price dropped)
Abubakar-Dec 20, 1998: N11 toN25
Abubakar-Jan 6,1999: N25 to N20 (price dropped)
Obasanjo-June 1, 2000: N20 to N30
Obasanjo-June 8, 2000: N30 to N22 (price drops)
Obasanjo-Jan 1, 2002: N22 to N26
Obasanjo-June 2003: N26 to N42
Obasanjo-May 29, 2004: N42 to N50
Obasanjo-Aug 25, 2004: N50 to N65
Obasanjo-May 27, 2007: N65 to N75
Yar’Adua-June 2007: back to N65 (price drops)
Jonathan (New Year present) – Jan 1, 2012: N141 GEJ (Labour strike forced him) -Jan 17, 2012: N97
Jonathan (Feb, 2015 – two weeks to the 2015 elections): N87
Buhari from N87 to N145 on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Source: Eric Teniola
Stunned? From this graphical revelation, our leaders remain our greatest undoing. They are the enemies in-house. They tragically led us to where we are today. Systematically, over a long period, they eroded our confidence in their leadership.
They have taken us for an unending crude, tough and rough ride. They consistently deceive us. We have lost faith in them because they can no longer to be trusted. They not only rule us, they ruin us.
They are used to making never-to-be-fulfilled promises. Our leaders speak to us from both sides of their heavily stinking mouths. We can perfectly read their disjointed lips.
They thoughtlessly made void vows and swore to public oaths; but turned to eat their words and shamelessly swallow their vomits.
We have endured and tolerated them long enough. They have broken our back several times over. We are pained to the marrow. Yet, they pretend not to know our plight. And they keep on wobbling and fumbling all the way. Deceits of our time!
They frittered away good opportunities. They made a mess many times over of beautiful chances. They ruined our future carelessly. Unfortunately, over the years, we have inherited their weaknesses and wickedness. That is why we behaved the way we behaved during the Christmas fuel crisis.
Great pity, that ineptitude, lazy and clumsy leadership goes on unabated till today. We still have the same challenges we had more than 40 years ago. Worse still, we still prefer the same solutions that did not work then. And by the same characters in government!
That is why we are suspicious of those in government. Did they ever mean well for us? Great doubt. Our trust in leadership has been mercilessly abused again and again.
How can the same characters still be holding on tightly to leadership, doing the same thing for a period of 40 years? Methinks this absurdity can only happen in this fragile contraption called Nigeria!
What do you think?