‘If you want to change people’s minds, you need more than evidence. You need persistence. And empathy. And mostly, you need the resources to keep showing up…’ Read the rest here. Do – it’s excellent.
Many years ago I wrote “THE MASTER’S BILL”; I concluded my mutterings about the lonesomeness of human existence with wondering on how patient and tolerant the good lord is & reasoned that it is a price He must pay.
How alone can one be?
Looking around, one can only see.
Life is one big school,
Lectures are missed by the fool.
Indeed the friend is in need,
Wisdom in the foe only bid.
The whole world could be wrong
And not hear a word in your song.
For fear hasn’t a say
Where bare hands cut hay.
The master’s wishes are His will
And only He writes down the Bill.
Religious conflict has a perception of sincere truth and righteousness that doesn’t circumvent its warring parties’ hypocritical egocentric desire to be perceived as simply being neighbourly. It instead forcibly and bluntly thrust the reality of the parties’ lustful differences on their pretentious faces, enforcing it on their neighbours in a manner that shows off what each faith wants as against what they claim to profess. It should be obvious that a religion that advocates peace needs to suffer for its submissive principle. It must pay a humiliating price it can’t even humbly mention. When a religion’s ideals and principles aren’t as principally evident as it advocates, it is actually only openly good natured for the sake of achieving its quest to be dominant.
Then it would have to result to violence to stress its misgivings or show off its disliked for other opposing religions that seek to be themselves and exist alongside it. Religions must co-exist because no religion ever exists alone, on its own. A religion that hides under the guise of peaceful co-existence to impose itself is thus quite superficial and only yearning for communal peace ahead of lasting personal inner peace that would ordinarily precede first.
Such a religion has not yet made a wraith of human trans-religious harmony feasible. It has instead rendered the most sacred personality of its loud attitudinal faiths nebulous. It turns each and every one of them to be more of wholesome fact-less histories, that can never be elucidated than the proven faiths that they each aspire to be accepted as. The fact that there is only one shared common principle the two main contesting religions of Islam and Christianity sensibly have in common, makes them ever more incompatible than compatible, and pushes rather than pulls them apart. Their common principle is expressed as a common faith in the existence of a single supreme deity.
Supremacy makes it a contestable divide and not an undeniable bond. The people argue and fight over their diverse beliefs in the archaic fate of a quite varied interpretation of the same original scriptural text and thereby murder the very essence of their religions’ being in doing so. They both miss the very point of having the single attribute they each ironically lay the most loudly admitted claim to.
It is so ludicrous and incongruous that the same dog barking aggressively is actually only chasing after its own tail in circles and not really going anywhere but racing against it own self.
In all of Africa, corruption is that quiet old pre-independence illegal small structure, built with dry wooden walls of sticks with a thatched grass roof. The earliest native semblance of civilized governments had met the frail hut and turned it into the big personal brick mansions in the outskirts of their villages. The post independence created democracies copied badly because they didn’t naturally evolve and the military dictatorships bullied their way in and institutionalized corruption. They renovated it completely into a massive block of high skyscrapers, with reinforced concrete walls with solid steel fittings and aluminum and glass trimmings, and site it in the middle of the big new cities.
Corruption has taken on a permanent imagery in Africa, much like natural mountains that had been there all along, like immortal living emperors of old reigning over frightened domains, showing love for their land by keeping their subjects alive only to work for them.
Africa, African, Books, Children, Conflict, culture, eBook, ENGLISH, Everyone Hates the English, FOOTBALL, footballer, Life, literature, Man, Nature, People, poem, Poems, Poetry, soccer, Sports, The poet in the poem, Yas Niger
(Excerpts from ‘Sporting Chance’ in ‘Everyone hates the English’)
All sports are really silly juvenile play in a sense. Partakers and spectators alike, love competitive sports because of its semblance of a life of manageable fun and the larger human drama it samples. It is a sequence of testing controlled effort against visible resistance in established circumstances. The thrilling mysteries in the unending sequence of match ups and the unpredictability of the results of all games, adds to the fun. The fun in sports is not suppose to make sense, all kinds of play shouldn’t. Play is fun because it is illogical and only saddists empathize with the naïve old Indian village Chief who thought he had solved a perennial football problem by comically recommending that the twenty two players on the pitch are given a soccer ball each to end their pointless running around like a herd of mad cows.
The purposeful running around is what Vijay loves the most in football. Vijay is crazy about football, considering it the king of sports with the best all round athletes in every regard. He agrees football is indeed a gentleman’s sport, played by hooligans because it teaches manners and tests character. Rugby truly likens the hooligan’s sport, played by gentlemen because it alters character and in its very physical fashion, it emphasizes brute force ahead of skills and intelligence. Golf is a long walk on the grass, cattle do that. Polo is the kings’ sport and only the horses are really skillful. Horse racing is for servants of kings, with the royals ever present to observe their subjects and domain. It is unfair to call horse racing a sport, unfair to plowing bulls and the slaving peasants whipping their beasts into line, without their fellow impoverished brethren betting and cheering in the trees.
Then there is the similarity of the common footballer to everyone else in the world that wishes to excel in life. Footballers are typical average athletes, they are amongst the world’s most selfish people and their work is just doing yet another of the world’s selfish hypocritical jobs. They are talented and a bio-engineered reality that manifests as a combination of highly skillful performers and acting stunt men. Footballers have to make out they care about the billions of passionate fans who actually do care about them, their physical, emotional and healthy state. At the pinnacle of their careers, footballers are incredibly well paid to do what they would ordinarily do for virtually nothing in return. If they don’t get a penny for doing their jobs, they will still get the same jobs as unpaid players, until they can’t do so.
Like millions of their less fortunate colleagues who don’t get opportunities and fall on the wayside, all footballers still don’t aspire for anything other than a paid job. Vijay always knew he wouldn’t do anything else but play football and when he discovers he finds little fun in playing football then he will get out of it. But the truth is, he wouldn’t truly enjoy doing it if he is not being paid to do it. The thrill of the game is sublime yet as addictive as the gospel to a Jesuit. The referees can go to hell with their calls and the spectators can chew their nails to the quick with tension, but the world of the footballer is his alone, nothing else exists. Families must wait, friends must worship for notice and religion is best handle like underpants, you might have one on or not, it doesn’t matter. Life is the game first.
SPORTS FOR PLAYERS
The Coach isn’t selfless but human too,
He is the person with a plan for everyone.
With abilities as experience all learnt anew;
He is an optimist, patient as sure as the sun.
The Player obeys the norms and urge,
Enjoying the dreamt up living, yet real.
Dancing to all songs with a new surge,
Blinding days are lit with a light to feel.
The Sport is heartless and demanding,
All companies it keeps are envious of it.
Consuming lust filled, never satisfying;
On its sure ride it will keep every bit.
The Game is simple and easy to chase,
Embraced in choices to choose and make.
Stages of gains at every level of the race
Made the whole thing Sports for players’.
EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH
The Poet in the Poem
To some young single girl, married men are ever comfortably understandable, matured and polite in their fair and unforced disposition. However the wanton desires of these young girls never warns them that the intentions of these much older men does not always look as fair as they are always pretentiously justified to be, in their deceptively natured maturity. The woman’s all-embracing monstrous natural need to be overwhelmed by a man, who aim to get the better of her, justifies her consanguineous attachment to her eternal older brother, the man.
The honourable older married man always has the most desire to be secretive in such relationships. While the younger single girl would likely show some pride in her bigger achievement, the setting would hurt him with an odd sort of feeling afresh with old emotions of being an unworthy person. His older and more honourable world would notice his failures, even if it identifies with his expression of it. When he is certainly found out and has to confront his critics, the older married man could simply hold his head high and be proud of his shameful freedom while the world he has conditioned will fall silent snugly, presumable out of interfering in his business, as the public end up secretly more embarrassed than he ought to be.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
These intimate songs we sing
Blend aged dreams into a ring
That weds our gendered stew
In matrimonial oneness not new.
The simple people are always confronted by the complex ones, who always seeks to tint their simplicity and make it more complicated. It is a tough struggle to remain simple, surrounded by a world of complexities. Personal lives have gone beyond live and breed.
And in all life, the most shaded lot are the people
THE COLOURED SHEEP
Bah, bah black sheep, they always point you;
Wolf in your clothing or something ever new.
Rainbow and gold pot in your closet is true,
If you’re concerned, skies aren’t ever blue.
The skeletons you cupboard are there for show,
Honeycombed for Bees, your Bearness will shoo!
(Excerpts from the Fever Series Books V)
A nation where the extensive roads are barely wide enough for the huge over loaded and over used trucks of all sizes, where highroads are as narrow as foot paths at the height of the raining season, when tall grasses narrow down highways with every curvy slope. A nation where paved roads are as old as the hills they cut through, where highways cratered like the best hostile fighter pilots deliberately make enemy runways after carpet bombing. In a nation where drinkable water is bought only in flimsy transparent packs, sold because it is a huge favour to retailers and drinkers alike, for there are no safer alternative under these circumstances.A nation where the next fellow lives off the sweat of others.
Time flows like ocean waves. No two waves are alike but they all are of the same nature. Time reaches the shores of the Niger-area like floating dead fish caught on the high tides, crashing on rocky coasts, with the many compromises of the perpetual sick west African republic. The waves hold little promise, yet plenty of scented hope ever fills the air with a smell that never seems to materialize to something the people can see. The people wait for their hopes to become meals but they are not assured dead fish can serve as seedlings. The coastal hard rocks are not the complicated destinations they are made out to be but personalized obstacles the people must surmount to reach their objective of a harmonious federation. The visibly stressed state of the people of the Niger-area renders their hope impotent. Their faith in the daunting prospect is inadequate to lift and aid them towards reaching their most desired place of complete national comfort.
Dead fish is soon bad and will serve no good purpose on the meal table after a short period of neglect. The nationhood suffers neglect and the people hadn’t set out on a good bright day, long in the gone past, to catch the fish but wait ever again for a wet rainy stormy night to pick up the dead fish at their rocky coast lines of difficult politics, laced with nepotism and tribalism, with bias politicized ethnicity, pack full with pessimistic cultists, passed off as traditionalists, academics and religious voices, as they all wait for the predestined future until it fails to arrive.
Separate persons complicate the polity with cynicism that covers up the rough outer wrapping of nationhood with little sincerity that doesn’t give a clue to what negative repulsive selfish intent is packaged within their nature. Their love for their diverse principles consumes them and profusely stinks up their country. This is revealed to the detriment of the same nation they don’t claim to sabotage like they know they are doing. They live a lie they know but will never admit it.
The whole concept of a single national identity was conceived on this disjointed selfishness and that is why the country’s coast is full of bad smelly inedible repugnant fish. That ever burning and ever consuming fire of time has been deployed to destroy all the past good deeds of fellow countrymen by those that come after them. The old memories of the currents successors own moments of cruelty, meted out in reprisals to those of other countrymen, easily forgotten in the midst face serving praise. The people’s general ability to beckon at reciprocal acts of kindness with that interested indifference that hints their want for it, does not expose their pressed, penned up yearning for it. Pretence has shamelessly made the people appear all spent and dried up like the well seasoned dried harden foreign fish the people favour so much. The treated European dead fish they crave.
They are all alike in this regard, in their deficiencies not in their uncommon preference for the well stocked fish but more so for their compared similarity to it. They are well stocked up old common fish, seasoned and rendered lifeless by their dogged preposterous desire to be relevant for ever so long, even if they are aware that they will end up dead, dried and dined by they very own fellow countrymen. The people of the Niger-area are as yet politically useful to all but themselves, with nothing to show for it. The sight of an offensive nature that was lurking within them for so long in their nation-ship isn’t good to see. Since it is the secret of providence that it doesn’t respect destiny, theirs appears more of a tragic shallow experience, as against that of other nations with very similar origins.
The leaders of the Niger-area simply replay the same old music they learned long ago from their colonial masters. The indigenous rulers divide and rule still, like their colonial leaders did. The little bit of success they register or merely claim to have achieved, doesn’t really show that they deserve recognition for those small gains either. The leaders and the led alike, lack the courage to speak up for the good in the face of the bad. The seas were simply filling up with dead fish and it has more to do with the action or inaction of the led than the selfish management of the leadership, because they had built dams to hold back their overflowing rivers of prosperity. The led masses wallow away in the cruel patience of wait, as they pant their tasked calmness, as if they had actually ran a race physically. They wait still and wait and wait still. They are panting their tiredness with the rage of the wait and not the struggle of it that they know nothing about in their lazy comfort.
The people are still holding on to a vibrant confidence that still assures them that they will be richly rewarded and that their perceived cowardice doesn’t flush their struggling resilience, still resisting their final ultimate defeat. They have endured the deception of many of the same kind for long. They have heard and seen each time as yes is maneuvered to mean no with shameless ease, and have come to accept that most times maturity is the diplomatic ability to disguise a lie as the truth. Still they related well when there is no way they could heed the need for caution without requiring to justify their obvious refusal to be sheepishly led and appear unethically rebellious. They have inevitably reached a point where and when every single simple harmless grudge will grow and become a deep set angry ancestral feud. They had witnessed their striped linen of nature so reduced, simply because it had always been taken for granted and it shows in its inadequacy.
Man ever shies away from the good things he needs to do and he knows this well. Vaguely though, it is because people are of the misguided conception that it makes them appear endlessly physically weak and mentally soft by doing so. Yet clearly they acknowledge it isn’t.
People are thus destined to a gloomy life of decayed doom, as proof of the perpetual state of atonement which couples the meanness that reigns supreme in the world of endless restitution they created. But then it is man’s subsequent death, and only his death that has the final erratic say. It is a prevenient reality that reveals itself in a lethargic manner, which ever lacks where it shouldn’t.
Like the story of the little duckling hatched by a hen and grew amongst little chickens
THE HEN’S ODD CHICK
The grass blades shake off droplets
As she led on her mild yellow train.
Her own adorable dozen little pets
Squealing within their own tiny rain,
Before the morning dew finally melts
And all the worms go deep down again.
She beaks a large borrowing worm
And they crowd round her as quick,
Wrestle the struggling stringy form
From her higher and bigger beak.
They pieces it all amongst their sum,
Except again that weird odd chick.
Scratching off the sandy soil top
To pick and feed on the grains sort,
The serious Hen and her low troop;
All except that chick which does not.
Strangely though in a marshy mud top
It walks easily as fed with its beak blunt.
Then it happens like it does always,
Her dozen subtracts after and after.
At the stream where a worm ever plays
Danger is more and always there to alter.
The odd chick water takes in its ways;
Strangely it floats on, to the Hen’s whimper.
Don’t mind the title; I had to grab your busy attention from the onset. But really, are we sure we are not all Corrupt in the true sense of the word? Corruption, corruption! All this talk of not trusting our leaders, even when they make policies that are sensible is rubbish. Okay we are corrupt in Nigeria. But do you think we are more corrupt than the Italians, the Chinese, the Indians or the South Africans? We are just a whole lot more lazy, it would appear. We prefer easy Government jobs that guarantee steady salaries and afford some privileged Nigerians the opportunity to sit around doing nothing for weeks without end, giving them time off to do their own personal stuffs at the expense of public funds, allowing them to go on pointless labour strikes for any reason at the slightest prompting.
They incredibly get to buy very expensive modern cars they can not ordinarily afford with five whole years of untouched regular wages. Nigerians spend huge fortunes on festivities and live well beyond their formal means. Most ordinary Nigerians are indeed as corrupt as the worst politicians and actually even more dubious in their own micro sphere of operations than is popularly admitted. A whooping eighty percent of working Nigerians, in every sector are just like their leaders that rob them. The only difference is that they can only nick the odd naira off fellow Nigerians as a mere bribe or as the unwarranted overpricing of essential items. Some of Nigerians are even worse because they as easily kill their own neighbors in their worship places and burn up their fellow citizens’ homes while they are in bed, for the flimsiest reasons. Their leaders do not do that to their neighbours but they easily give them pittance to murder their fellow masses.
At this juncture let me define corruption from the Nigerian’s general perspective, which incidentally doesn’t differ from the conventional one but emphasizes one Nigerian’s misgiving and particular distrust for another Nigerian having the means to exercise their advantage over him. Corruption to the Nigerian means ‘having undue advantage’ and the definition of the phrase ‘undue advantage’ is relative to the individual, his orientation or bias. Already some Nigerians have started exercising their advantage by making fellow citizens pay over hundred percent more than they ought to after just a few days of no fuel subsidy, making them pay more for stuffs that don’t even have anything to do with fuel.
We blame everything on Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan because he is the president and rightly so, but then we find ourselves completely blameless for the pains we inflict on our fellow citizens and our own lazy carefree-ness, for craving so much more than we earn. We need a pinch in the arm so that we would wake up and grow up to the reality of things. When we grow up to our own simple honest responsibilities then maybe we can have the moral right to “Occupy Nigeria” as progressive citizens and not the disoriented, cheapened & perpetual government welfare population we have made of ourselves.
It is such a pity that so many intelligent people can not understand the simple economic advantage of removing oil subsidy. It is such a pity that they actually chose not to because it quite conveniently fits into their larger plan of discrediting this president for either fraudulently ‘winning’ an election, or ‘hijacking’ the PDP apportioned Northern Nigerian presidential slot! It is a huge insult to our teachers who had painstakingly taught us the viability of market forces. We either conveniently dumped their lessons on demand and supply, with their elastic curves or actually failed our O’levels school certificate.
If we would just study the GSM progression in Nigeria and the glorious demise of NITEL as a direct result of this, we would draw parallels on why the over pampered civil service is in the forefront of the Pro-subsidy campaign. The old NITEL staff had tried to compete with the flock of new telecommunication companies then. NITEL floated a GSM venture (M-TEL) and it was always destined to be a stillbirth. With this deregulation drive, the old NNPC and old NEPA entities seem destined to go in that direction. It will be a pleasure to see this because it would mean an efficient market driven economy with less idle civil servants to pay with public funds for inefficiency.
I have woken up to the fact that a lot of Nigerians are hell bent on having an economy that is predominantly dependant on government policies and not on market forces. The former (Government Policies) is prone to corrupt practices while the latter (Market Forces) is mainly in the hands of the people. The developed world has since come to terms with the fact that there is no substitute for a market economy. This debate has since left the realm of academic theories and transmitted into proven practical facts. The demise of USSR and other nations of the Soviet bloc is an eternal endearing case study.
Presently the Chinese are cheating their way to world dominance through the rewards of demand and supply; cheating because they steer the factors to ensure that it is more of the western world’s demand and their supply. The simply practicality of market forces makes it virtually impossible for prices to go beyond adjustments of Productivity, Availability, Profitability and Acquisition (PAPA). We must discipline our minds and perspectives.
Nigerians prefer the former because they love to demand and wouldn’t bend over and supply. Most Nigerians lack the personal discipline to be progressive and task themselves to persevere under a strenuous regime of creativity and its prolonged lingering changing effects. This is plainly because of the popularity of the age old quest of hanging to the past way of doing things and lying to ourselves that we live in a market driven society.
We grew up hearing tales of new university graduates driving into waiting jobs in brand new company cars. We learnt of; and sparingly got, education scholarships from the Government and glutted on how easy life should be if it isn’t. The persons who had shouted to the roof tops about our corrupt officials are now old in Government and they are worse than those they complained about, when things were a whole lot better that they are now. As such it seems better for most Nigerians to just sit back and watch, while amassing more fraudulent wealth for themselves and their kith & kin. Thus the corruption hydra would only thrive if the status quo remains as we endlessly pursue a vicious cycle.
We are still under the impression that Nigeria is rich and we can some how get all our stolen money back and have incorruptible diligent leaders in waiting to take over and take us to the promise land. We are dreaming still. For these reasons I am therefore so sure the Occupy Nigerian movement will lose in the very end, if it indeed succeeds in getting the status quo back. We will go the way of Greece, Ireland & Iceland when our corrupt cronies are done with us and we haven’t taught ourselves to market our resources and trade amongst ourselves but to rely on the flow of our abundant oil that is dwindling fast.
We also forget that we have a lingering sentimentality problem which is ceaselessly harnessed by a small portion of our parochial ethnic, religious and political elite in pursuit of their own selfish quests for relevance and dominance. So it is very difficult for the typical Nigerian to rummage through all these factionalized mess and determine the reality of thing as they truly are. It is important that we are not fooled about the true state of things about our national economics as they are now. These facts are in summary;
– The Nigerian nation is broke; how or why it is broke doesn’t change this fact.
– Nigerian can not gamble that things will change if they remain as they are.
– Nigerians must pay their way through this period ultimately, now or later.
– The Government is unreliable and can not be depended upon, now or later.
– The people can not guarantee fuel subsidy but can determine every price.
– Market forces will empower Nigerians economically and thus politically.
– Only empowered Nigerians can change the nation with their votes and activities.
Nigeria needs the price of fuel to be determined by market forces more than it needs anything else now. A lot of things rest on this, from the price of a cup of Gari to the exchange rate of the US dollar. The capability to determine the unit prices of every single item in the country should be in the hands of the final consumers of these items, to a very large extend! With proper handling the Nigerian economy will explode and we will stop stocking dollars indoors and waiting for its dilly dallying exchange rates to guide us. As it is now the dollar continues to have a dual rating; an unrealistic pegged government one and another unrealistic Black market maneuvered one, both playing games with us.
We will weep for Nigeria if all is lost when we refuse the present truth because of the old lingering lies. The world economy is not healthy, why do we think that somehow we will be immune to that effect. In the last five years Fuel prices in Nigeria has been fixed and unchanged. Within the same period every other price elsewhere soared and it is amazing that a lot of intelligent people can not understand the need to put an end to this uncertainty. Just as the decision to favour either creation or evolution theory is beyond the academic minds of a lot of very educated persons, they likewise find it difficult to see how increasing a price today will make the same price to fall and stay down tomorrow.
Already the fuel pumps that were selling fuel at crazy astronomical prices after the first few days of subsidy removal have dipped their prices by as much as 5% after a single day, without Government interference. That is unheard of before now. Also a majority of the urban commuters that paid rates increased with 100% overnight were confronted with newer rates reduced with as much of 40% after just one day! That is market forces at work, reflecting the simple fact that commuters reduced and transporters bought less fuel. There were even early signs of the naira gaining on the US dollar because confidence in the world economy toward Nigeria soar suddenly, making the Nigerian economy a potential home for more foreign investors orphaned by the financial crisis in the west.
Now the almighty Nigerian Labour Congress decides to sit back at home again for so long, because their predominantly civil servant members’ salaries are fully guaranteed to be paid while all those daily earning masses suffer the strike they call for. Everybody that is Pro-subsidy forgets the fact that any other president that wishes to have an easy time in office will gladly keep the subsidy in place with a brave face and leave office a small hero. The nation suffers eventually with a lean purse, huge debts and angry citizenry still.
President Jonathan is considerably unpopular up and down the country because he is sitting in a northern Muslim‘s presidency and he is not a Yoruba or Igbo southerner. These are the three major factions in the country that form popular opinion. It is now common knowledge that this president inherited a mine field for an economy and those who know better agree that the end to all subsidies is inevitable. There is hope still, if we could put measures in place to fix the real trust and corruption issues we all have against our leaders. Once empowering the masses is prioritized, subsidies will not me craved for.
Most feelings generally accept that removing the subsidy is not in itself wrong, but many people had emphasized that plans to subsidize mainly the transport sector and agriculture while enforcing existing laws that are presently ignored, will curtail excesses amongst those saddled with managing public resources. There must also be a drastic reduction of the crazy fraudulent overhead costs of government. As it stands now, it just amounts to ostentatious waste that gives the impression of blatant thievery. Still this endless Government intervention in prices only empowers the black market, it only enthrones a dual economy in parallel contradiction, discourages investment because of the lack of confidence in the profitability of returns and that ultimately transmits into less viable paying jobs for the teeming unemployed. With the right handling, this subsidy removal would make Nigeria‘s economy more viable and definitely more realistic; at last.
In Nigeria, all prices go up around the end of every calendar year anyway. Business would then slow down around mid to late January and the prices start to fall. Hence this hike in prices fitted into this period snugly, making a good unexpected cushion for the increase in fuel prices. The timing isn’t the best but what timing will really be, honestly? The people in Government and the rogues in the Black market are persons that only seek to please themselves firstly, so the masses can really only rely on their demand and supply to force the hands of everyone else, even the organized private sector. Also a free market will ensure competition and not a monopoly that is impossible to regulate.
As long as the old practice of the federal Government, the informal Black marketer and a monopolistic sector continue to controls prices in Nigeria and not the real market forces, the masses will never have a real say in these matters or any for that matter, no matter what impression is created by some aspiring future government leaders who are still making unrealistic and utopian economic promises to the naïve and gullible masses.
A partial removal of subsidy is as good as useless. Actually it will possibly be the most detrimental outcome if the present pro-subsidy campaign results in such a compromise. History should teach us this lesson best of all. Every single time the military regimes of old and their civilian successor removed a tiny piece of the subsidy, prices still soar by as much as fifty percent at least; much more in some regards, irrespective of the percentage of subsidy withdrawn. This has over time been the sole driver of high inflation in the Nigerian economy. As such a partial removal will virtually have the same effect on prices as would a full withdrawal, without the many gains of the finality of a full withdrawal.
The people can only control market forces and the complete removal of fuel subsidy is the only certain way we can end the annual year ending fuel panic buying, hoarding and price increases. It is the first essential step in ending the habitual inflation gallops based on the arbitrary surging of prices in general because of our huge reliance on fuel. Market forces also guarantee diversification of the economy, investments and jobs. These are all devoid of whatever any government would promise now. This is the only true substitute for the removal of fuel subsidy, which will actually empower Nigerians more, rather than further enslave them. Keeping the subsidy is mere postponing the inevitable anarchy.
“Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.”
The recent loudly revisited agitation for a Biafran state from Nigeria calls for another look at my poem “Fever” and excerpts from my Fever Series (Books I-V), where I told a somewhat fictional historical tale of the Nigerian state. I am currently rewriting the series and almost done.
Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.
The mighty broom swept so long a mile,
Still dirt abounds as its proud fruitfulness.
Mourning tears leave this feeling of numbness.
Eras of evolution has not changed the egg,
The needs of man same and ever will be so.
Maybe a broom will kill lizards on a clay keg
And not break it too like the stick did before.
In this concoction only soluble particles’ temperatures soar.
Promise of the lands are all pointing,
Yet the future is hot food in the mouth.
Bodies buried and alive, had and are, waited and waiting,
For the joy in swallowing and satisfaction they sought.
Over hard filled years waiters without appetite rot.
The dogs in this story are the traitorous pigs,
Their patriotism is fake like sweeping grains with a rake.
Locusts that plunder the field leaving tiny dry twigs,
Their determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake;
These dishonourable gentle heads that ache.
The locusts ate the grains, the rake wasted the rest.
The broom was left so little in its fold.
In this farm, pigs serve dogs for it’s their best.
The egg will likely shatter in hands that shouldn’t hold.
They chest indifferently the agony of the rest in the cold
Excerpts from Fever Series Books I
“Through eventful years the sticks of time ever pile, just like the people, what they represent and what represents them. The people have become a loose fitting collection that isn’t a strapped up and bonded broom, just like their land that is rich and rife with such inspirational promise.
“Nigerians are willing to be bonded up as one unit but they couldn’t possibly give an ear to the assumed wisdom in the words and experiences of their past. The people have since learnt the hard way that the sweets they have are actually sour and the sour taste is soon made bitter by their refusal to swallow their constant rejection of dependence on any sort of bonding.
“Though Nigerians are reflectively one and their historical past the same, the people can only remonstrate together over trivial issues, reminiscent of their ancestors and their quaint past that they endlessly repeat in their infantile present.”