- Category: Kayode Ajulo
- Published on Monday, 19 December 2011 10:15
- Written by Kayode Ajulo
- Hits: 1605
One can't resist the urge to at least to comment on some burning issues in our polity, below is my take:
1. Proposed Removal of Fuel Subsidy
First, there is nothing like fuel subsidy, what are they removing, the other day , Mrs. Okonjo-Iwela said it’s the cost of bringing the fuel to Nigeria and I say to Madam finance Minister that that’s is the cost of administrative incompetence and inefficiency. Let the President tell me he is indirectly taxing us, I will consider that and give it a thought.
Our Constitution is so clear on what a government must do for its citizen, Sec. 14 of the constitution proclaims and made it mandatory that our Country shall be a state based on principles of democracy and social justice, at subsection (2) (b) security and welfare of people of Nigeria is so emphasized but are we having that, every household has turned into mini-local government, everybody has to sink well or borehole for water, generator either big or small "I pass my neighbor" for light, even for security each community or ward has to contribute money to secure the service of OPC or vigilantes for protection, then tell me what are the citizenry getting from their government, you can't send your child to public school, armed robbers and bombers have taking over Nigerian street and and the only thing that seems to connect the citizenry to government is fuel and you think you ll be successful to add insult upon injury by saying you wanted to remove fuel subsidy. It is chasing of shadow, I won't subscribe to it.
I voted for President Goodluck Jonathan, I supported him and I am still supporting him and therefore want him to succeed, he need to get his fact right, I am in Labour party not by happenstance, we are for the people and the President needs to understand what is good for his people, his government is either not appreciating the issue of fuel or deliberately telling us lies.
The whole problem of subsidy came from importation of fuel, how then can we stop the importation particularly when we are oil producing country, we need more refineries, please check how much the government claimed to be spending on subsidy and find out how much we need to build refinery, the money spent this year alone is enough to build 5 refineries in Nigeria and I say to you that five refineries with about 3 we already have will make importation of fuel a history in Nigeria, we will not only stop the importation but we will be exporting refine products to other countries, at this stage of our national life as a nation what we should be agitating for is not the exportation of crude oil but finished products, but why cant we do that, its because of corruption.
This is the reason I wrote the President recently telling him that what he needs to remove is corruption not fuel subsidy.
My candid advice to our Assembly men is to use their constitutional power to do the desirable, if the President refuse to make provision for the subsidy in the budget nothing should stop the Legislators from inserting same.
2. Audit Report of the NNPC prepared by KPMG and SS Afemikhe & co, disclosing untidy accounting procedure.
Going by the audit report on NNPC, several crimes have been committed, it behooves on the agency of the government concerned to be proactive and do its statutory work of considering the report, investigate and prosecute where necessary, this is the only way to make Nigeria work, it's about being responsible for your action and application of the age long formulae of reward and punishment, but if we allow it to be business as usual, it's it will be too bad for the country and mind you others are watching us.
Until we do this we will continue to have this problem, I am a lawyer and one of my area of business is oil and gas, I have been severally embarrassed when our would be foreign investors raise issue of corruption in our system, this is bad for our image. It's bad for our economy and growth.
3. Revelations of the fuel mafia made public by the Senate.
That's is the Government's version, and you can see what I am driving at, a revelation has been made accusing some on the fuel subsidy issue, I refused to be deceived, they are part of the scheme as justification for the removal of fuel subsidy and if actually they are the problem, what stop them from being arrested, investigated and prosecuted, but this can't happened as it's just a justification of non issue. This only show that we are only using this democracy to deceive ourselves, democracy supposed to promote egalitarianism, freedom and protection of people's rights, but unfortunately, you find a situation where your elected representatives cannot come out to tell you a simple issue of what you what the populace should pay or are paying.
Mind you, this revelation is not new to some of us, some years ago, a similar allegation was made against one of those mentioned, he was arrested, quizzed and released by the police, today the personality is presently a celebrated and venerated monarch, his release to me as a lawyer interested in the case mean only two things; its either he was vindicated or that the investigation was compromised.
Whichever way, it’s necessary to point out that the whole issue of subsidy create room for undertable dealings and the best thing to do is to do the desirable, let’s have more refineries and stop the importation of finished products. I am not unmindful of arguments being canvassed that investors will only build refinery only after the removal of subsidy and I say this is another conspiracy to hoodwink the citizenry, how much is the price of fuel before the cost of importation or are you telling me that if youre refining fuel in Nigeria you must add the cost of importation before you sell it to us again!
4. INEC has conduct of the recent Kogi State governorship Election.
Recall please, that I recently partook in an election process in Nigeria, Where I contested for a Senate seat, this afforded me a lifetime opportunity to witnessed of electioneering process from a front row.
You can never plant maize and you’re expecting to reap cocoyam, outcome of election ought to be a collective aspiration of the people, with total consideration of variables, therefore if some people choose to rigged an election there’s little any umpire could do except the majority wish to do the right thing, remember what happened in some state in the west, happened in other part of Nigeria but here people fanatically fight for their right to ensure that their aspiration prevails.
Election in Kogi has come and gone while we await, decision of the court of the petition of any of the aggrieved candidates, I believe in doing justice and this can only come through our judicial system. I will therefore wish to tarry here till when the contending facts are presented for adjudication.
5. Boko Haram
Let me reiterate that its only truth that can set us free in Nigeria, truth in every facet of our lives, this is no exception in tackling the Boko Haram manace at this point of our national challenges, the citizenry is not after reassurance but to know the truth behind the insurgency, you see we like doing thing in secrecy here in Nigeria, we need to take a look how other nations with similar problem tackled theirs, during 9/11 American government came all out to fight terrorists to standstill, we saw sincerity and determination on the part of the government to fight the insecurity.
Who are those behind Boko Haram, what caused it, how sincere is the government to take her people into confidence, Nigerians do not need assurance, Nigerians need to know the sincere effort of the government, Nigerians need to know where the government need their help, not this irritant chest beating, it’s funny that we have a grave insecurity on our hand and all that the government is doing it to be rewarding and celebrating failure.
Our security agencies have fallen below expectation, and whats expected is to see a new leadership to solve the proplem, this is whats done in other climes, its part of strategy to make things work and will boast the morale of others, during the war General Benjamin Adekunle aka Black Scorpion is the undisputable hero of the war, he made over 70% contribution to the success of the civil war but when he lost Owerri, Gen. Gowon replaced him with Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and that brought about the end of the war. The leadership of our security agencies needs to be changed.
6. CJN’s charge on judges on trial of alleged economic crime.
My noble Lord, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, is perfectly in order, since his appointment, he has continue to send the right signal to put administration of justice in right perspective, I salute him, his antecedent as pupil lawyer, particularly till now shows that he meant well for this country, I recently reviewed some of his contribution on BBC West Africa Service in the 60’s and he as ever constant in ensuring justice, particular social justice.
I am sure his charge on judges on the trial of alleged economic crime suspects is not unconnected with the need to do justice to all cases, I however wish that this charges should not be limited to cases of financial crimes but all cases, as there is the need for quick and pragmatic dispensation of justice.
Justice delayed is justice denied, we need quick dispensation of justice to solve our corruption challenges, even security challenges.
Kayode AJULO, ESQ