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Who Voted For Tinubu To Terminate Fuel Subsidy? -By Prince Pieray Awele Odor

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While Nigerians are over-burdened, suffering and dying, Tinubu terminated fuel subsidy through a fiat: “The fuel subsidy is gone!”. This reveals “I do not care about your sufferings, including your mental suffering, the sicknesses and deaths, including suicides”. It also reveals condemnable contempt for the people who voted for him, dictatorship, autocracy, totalitarianism, conceitedness, and obnoxious insensitivity.

To demonstrate the illegality of his action, I note that his legitimacy as the president of Nigeria is being determined in the Court of Appeal and that the legitimacy of a government is a function of its constitutionality and its fulfilment of “for the people”, which is part of the popular definition of democracy. The significance and necessities associated with We the People in the constitution makes having the consent of the people absolutely necessary. Tinubu’s failure and refusal to obtain the consent of Nigerians violates the constitution.

Mr. Obi and Chief Tinubu argued that fuel subsidy should be terminated because “it benefits the rich and not the poor”. We the People who have been suffering terrible effects due to the politics of fuel subsidy since it was begun, recommended by Chief Philip Asiodu as the Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources (1992-1993), disagree with their sophistry.

As I argued then, petroleum should be refined in Nigeria and fuel and kerosene should be provided at the costs that befit Nigerians for having petroleum in our land. This will provide Nigerians welfare as the constitution secured for Nigerians. The federal government will avoid odd expenditure, export some fuel, without prejudice to local needs, and earn incomes that would be used to develop the iron, steel and mineral production industries. This will strengthen the naira and achieve industrial and economic growths and developments.

We the People who bear the donkey burden of excessive deprivations, costs, and hardships, due to the politics of fuel subsidy and its extended effects, know that we are suffering and should not suffer! Certainly, Mr. Obi and Chief Tinubu can never suffer hardship or any form of deprivation because the subsidy on fuel is terminated, no matter how much fuel is sold and no matter the degree of effect the termination of fuel subsidy causes!

The other people who will never suffer any effect due to the termination of fuel subsidy are the past presidents, the past and present governors, the past and present legislators, including Dogara who expressed support for it recently; special staff of the president and governors, former and present ministers and commissioners, former and present local government chairmen, the people who got their wealth corruptly, top politicians, and the people whose cars or fleet of cars are fuelled by the federal and state governments, or their offices.

Others are the staff of IMF, World Bank, WTO, the other UN organisations in Nigeria and their consultants. Finally, manufacturers, distributors and big business people who transfer their costs to We the People as they use us to maximise their profits. These people defend the termination of fuel subsidy.

Refining petroleum in Nigeria IS the only logical, necessary and nationalistic action. It must be done before the subsidy on fuel is terminated. No other action can take its place because no other action deals with the cause of fuel subsidy; that is, refining petroleum abroad and selling its refined forms at international market costs. Providing palliatives and dealing with “subsidy cabal”, (Dogara), cannot provide better and permanent solution.

Note: palliatives are necessary even with subsidy intact and “subsidy cabal” should be dealt with while subsidy is intact. Note: fuel is essential and not substitutable. Subsidy termination generates chain effects which cover human life, health, medical costs, the costs of manufactured and retail goods, housing, education, banking, transportation, entertainment, and taxation.

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