As traitors prepare for his fall, Ceasar is warned by a soothsayer, to beware of the ides of March. He refuses to listen to the warning and submits himself to his murderers. I am not a soothsayer, but I want to send these words to our dear President, to also beware of that ides which is gaining momentum.
There is a plan for a protest to oppose the economic policies of the regime. It is going to be led by a popular musician, 2face. It seems the social media in the country is divided into two blocks; pro-protest and anti-protest. The first is scouting for support of the people to join the call and compel the government to do something on the disturbing poverty biting citizens with ravaging its claws. The second block is drawing people’s attention to dissuade from such acts. Thus, before I issue that ‘warning’, I would like to state clearly my position regarding the protest. I was not influenced by any of the two blocks, this was a stand I took way back in 2012 when we protested against Fuel Subsidy Removal. I will not join ANY protest at this moment. I will come back to this reason later.
President Muhammadu Buhari ought to face the naked truth. He is still popular but some of his policies are of detrimental effects to the ordinary man who supported him with votes and finance to get to Aso Rock Villa. These policies, like the land border closure for example, is just meant to fast-track revenue collection. Others are meant to save cost. We are yet to have a policy that directly affects the living standard of the ordinary. Despite your call for going back to farm, fertiliser is still unaffordable. Despite your VP’s effort to forced down food prices, last year’s farming was not subsidised by the government. Despite the sweet talks of removal of fuel subsidy, fuel is not only expensive but is still scarce. Despite the much talked Naira/Yuan deal, the dollar still decides the prices of everything, including the basic needs. Despite your war on corruption, many of us see you defending the Babachirs and Abba kyaris of your regime, not to mention the Dambazau and Buratai scandals. Plus I don’t have to tell you that kerosene is no longer available/affordable. The continued cutting of trees is a living evidence. Soon, your attention would be diverted to desert encroachment because people are busy destroying the trees. Baba, most of us, your diehard supporters, are daily becoming your “wailers” even though some are still there for tribal and religious affinities. It is high time you get up from the other room, get a dose of that army injection, go to the kitchen and have a strong coffee; dark and bitter, and take your suitcase in the living room. Go to the office and don’t come back till you address that mad inflation in the land. Suspend everything. Examine your economic team closely. Ask yourself what your Emefiele and Adeosun are doing all this while. Until you do that, the Brutus(es) and Cassius (es) are going to celebrate and portray you as a failure.
To the pro-protest group, while acknowledging your rights of holding such protest, I want to tell you that it won’t yield any positive result. I have this conviction that protest alone cannot change things in Nigeria. We don’t have any Arab Spring spirit here. Even if we have, look at where protest took the Libyans, Egyptians and Syrians. Bloodshed, hunger and migration respectively! This is why I cannot join you even if you are staging it at my doorstep. In 2012, I narrowly escaped being shot by the police and the Army in Kano during fuel subsidy protest. That day, I went on my own Mfecane/Great Trek to save my life. So dear 2face, instead of taking to the streets and exposing lives to that danger, study the situation first. If the problem is from the Economic Team, compel your lawmakers to compel the President to reshuffle it for prices to stabilise. Those anti-poor policies too could be reverted with a pressure from the legislative chambers. Devaluation and removal of subsidies have failed woefully. We need another ‘welfarist’ policy to answer our urgent needs.
As for the PMB diehards who call the 2faces names, I urge you to recognise their constitutional rights. Call the President to order because things have fallen apart. The presidency cannot hold and a mere anarchic poverty have loosed upon the land.
This is not about APC, this is not about PDP, this is not about Buhari. This is about ALL OF US. This is about everyone of US.