By John Danfulani, Ph.D
FGN announced another removal of oil subsidy, today 11th May 216. The pump price of PMS is now N145 Naira per litter. Some years back, the same APC kingpins( while in opposition) busied the streets protesting against a purported intention of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to remove oil subsidy . In areas like Lagos, the protests were so organized that Nollywood artists were commissioned to thrill the crowd. It was more or less a street carnival gingered by music, wine, and ribs-cracking comedies. President Jonathan simply folded his tail in between his two legs like a malnourished dog under assault by some charging Bulldogs .
While hunting for our mandates in 2015, the same APC stalwarts made promises of rehabilitating our refineries to return their production to full capacity. Other related promises were,immediate arresting of factors responsible for mild fuel shortages, and breaking of oil cartels frustrating the smooth operation of oil industry in the Nigeria. In the Punch of 14th April 2015, one of their loquacious surrogate Prof Tam David West even promised that PMB will reduce the price of petrol to less than N45 per litter.
A few moths after mounting the saddle, the country started witnessing protracted fuel scarcity that ran for over eighty days- non stop. Between the last week of December 2015 and first week of January 2016, queues disappeared. By the third week of January 2016 longer queues resurfaced in fuel stations across the country. The situation was so bad that people spent days on queue to buy fuel. No doubt, that affected productivity and dislocated services. It also led to upshot in prices of essential commodities in the country.
In between these periods, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC and Minister of State for Petroleum gave various reasons responsible for the short in supply. And gave a month they will overcome the situation. In one occasion, he was forced by APC juggernauts to retract the May 2016 dateline he gave that he will overcome the problem. Recently, a new GMD was appointed – meaning, pealing off some powers of the minister of state .All in attempt to solve a problem they intentionally created!
As the GMD and minister was spinning versions of when and what was responsible for these intractable palavers, the minister of information and some APC surrogates were manufacturing fairy tales and bandying them about. Theirs were blame games and shifting of responsibility to the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan. To them, it’s not the refineries, oil cartel, or smugglers but President Jonathan as a person. They concocted their stories and made them look like every snag in the petroleum industry started from 2010 to when they took over on 29th May 2015.
Today, history has vindicated pundits who opined that APC actors are a bunch of opportunists who wanted power at all cost. That their quest wasn’t for good but for political and economic aggrandizement of their key actors. Their constant invoking of populists rhetorics and undertaking to run a transparent government were a gimmicks and phantom trick. Their disagreements with President Jonathan were borne out of greed and inordinate intentions, period. It’s clear that they are corrosive acids that destroys beauty and nature.
Hoping that opposition parties (PDP and the rest) and organized labour will also busy the streets and force them to also turn their mischievous tails in between their two legs.