by Samuel Ajayi
“Politicians have THREE priorities: one is their election. Second is their reelection. The distant third is your welfare which becomes unnecessary after they have achieved the second.” – Anon
Senator Bola Tinubu, APC national leader, had this to say on November 12, 2011:
“My party has taken a position and that is my own position also: There must be condition precedent before any talk of subsidy removal should be entertained. Certain things must be in place, in terms of infrastructure and people-oriented￼ policies that could absolve the impact of such removal.”
On December 18, 2015, he had this to say:
“Let us begin a process of a thoughtful but decisive subsidy phase-out. While this is occurring, we should simultaneously phase in social programmes benefiting the poorest, most vulnerable among us.”
The key thing in these two statements might be lost to the undiscerning. But let me be of help. In 2011, Tinubu felt “infrastructure￼ and people-oriented￼ policies” must be put in place BEFORE subsidy removal. In 2015, those things can come AFTER subsidy removal.
In 2012, when then President Jonathan removed subsidy, I knew the protests were politically motivated. Those who should know and who knew that it was a good move to bury the monster called subsidy once and for all chose to play politics. They paid musicians and artistes to go and entertain at the then Ojota Carnival. Their TV stations were beaming it live. Free foods were available. Same people who said subsidy was good then say it is evil today.
Like I always say, politicians are there to play us. But when we know they are playing you and you still believe them is where the problem lies.
Welldone Tinubu. As I write this, some people will still defend you. They will say times have changed and the conditions are different. But ask them: was Nigeria of 2011 worse than our Nigeria of 2015? I rest my case.
Samuel Ajayi is a public affairs commentator. He is also on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.