STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT

Last night I had a funny dream. In that dream I was on Facebook and saw an app on the timeline whose question reads, Which politician will you give three dirty slap in one cheek? I clicked on the app and Lai Mohammed’s name popped up in technicolor. I clicked to share the result then woke up. I have been raised to always pray to cancel or to welcome the contents of any dream I was featured in. So when I woke up, still lying on my back, I prayed that the will of God be done. If it pleases the Lord that the number one propagandist in Africa get pummeled on the cheek then let the will happen sharply. But I won’t do the slapping, no, I have one of the softest pairs of hands in West Africa, so what is the use? I relinquish my right to slap to John Cena and Mark Henry and Undertaker. Good luck, Lai.

Today is nationwide strike declared by NLC ably supported by ASUU. Yes o. You remember in my last post/lamentation, I wept when I asked who would mobilise the masses in our quest to confront this government. In my mind I was looking at the NLC with one eye but refused to put all my eggs in one basket. And they answered me firmly. I am happy about the strike, I am happy that the people are showing that they are not stupid nor timid. I remember how Obasanjo increased fuel price from 65 naira to 75 naira one hour before he left power, and labour shut down Nigeria in Yar’adua’s first week. This because of ten naira! Less than ten years Buhari increased fuel price with nearly 70 naira and some are pretending it’s normal (don’t let the devil use you!). It is not normal for a people to sacrifice while the government continue to pocket billions on hardship allowances. This strike is a welcome development.

It is a strike that is not only about the oil increment, it’s a battle between the people’s will to resist and government arrogance. When someone continuously throws sand in your garri it’s sometimes wise to stand up to him, even if he be as strong as a horse and as dangerous as an adder, and demand he stops. If labour and civil society groups do not stand up to Buhari’s government of trial and error, Buhari’s hardshipocracy then we’ll be doubly screwed because there will be no stopping him and Lai Mohammed. They will go to bed and think up more nefarious policies and hurl them on us because we have no voice.

But the road to the strike wasn’t easy. First government sponsored a useless hashtag on #SayNoToStrike or something equally dumb on social media. And many youths were trending it and spanking up fake sentiments. But fortunately, our civil servants don’t take orders from twitter.com.

Then the government went to court and obtained an order restraining labour from embarking on strike pending bla bla bla. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. This is real funny. One, because this is a government that has little faith on judicial process. This is a government that will go into the Guinness book of record for their day to day disobedience of court orders. That this government now runs to the court is really funny; being the height of desperation and cluelessness. It’s funny, secondly, because it’s a cliché. Government usually runs to kangaroo courts to get black market orders that labour usually use as tissue paper in their collective toilet. Personally, I expected more from this government, this is the miracle change government for God’s sake.

Then government tried to divide labour (and is still at it). I remember when labour had leadership crises how the federal government recognised the leadership of Ayuba Wabba. But in their desperation, government went to the rejected labour exco led by an hungry fellow named Ajaero (please bookmark the name, thank you) and this dubious exco called off the strike. Kikikiki. The definition of comedy is calling off a strike you did not declare. It’s proportional to a quack closing up the stomach of a patient that a surgeon opened up. It can’t work. Although shamelessly, NTA were reporting the agreement as though it holds water (misinforming millions). It doesn’t. Ajaero is a confused man, look at his hungry mouth and red eyes and you will know. We have come too far to take orders from a broken record.

Then federal government triggered the colonial and neocolonial no work, no pay clause, and threatened to use soldiers at any protester who messed up. This communique was issued by the idle secretary of the federal government. I only heard his name for the first time last night and it’s an aggressive name that just couldn’t stick in my head. The name, I think rhymes with brouhaha, no, I’m sure. Mr Brouhaha. This is another wornout threat from a drowning government trying to catch straw, any straw. The strike will happen and government will happily pay the workers. That is, government that still pays because Rochas Okorocha hasn’t paid anyone one naira since after the civil war. So we know when a threat is useless in itself.

I know how difficult the strike will be to many most especially students seeing that ASUU has taken the conductor’s seat. But it should not deter us from holding this insensitive government to their duty, waking them from the slumber that kills, posing a strong reality check on their world of impregnable cockheaded stronghouse. Yes, we have to strike. We need it. The iron is hot and if we scamper off then we have lost a golden opportunity. Buhari and subsequent governments will cook us. Years later while analysts perform autopsy on the death of unionism they will look at today and say if only they stroke.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s strike. It’s our right and we owe no one no explanation. If your conscience is clear, who’s Lai Mohammed! Last year, during my grandmother’s wake-keep, a particular set of guys, three of them danced from 10pm to 4am nonstop. These are the guys I’m trying to mobilise, gimme 500 of them and we’ll block Onitsha-Owerri expressway and dance till Buhari cracks.

Let’s go there!

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

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GIMME A DROP OF FUEL BEFORE I DIIIE

Two things frustrate me about writing on the Nigerian situation.

1, Smarter, more famous and more educated Nigerians with large audience have wailed about Nigeria, Nigeria didn’t get better.

2, Smarter, more famous and more educated Nigerians with large audience are still wailing about Nigeria, no improvement.
So what is the guarantee that my wailing to a few hundred people at the most will scratch any surface? It is, no denying this, like the drop of pin in an oceanic haysack. So why bother? What is the use? Won’t it pay to save the time for something more rewarding like sitting under the mango tree and listen to my weed-smoking friend pontificate about Bismarck and German prison?

There are a thousand other things I could do with my time. I could choose to spread myself in bed like chicken barbecue and remain there until such a time that is situable for strong men to carry me, dig up enough earth and lower me in there. But somehow I find myself typing ramblings about the Nigerian situation. Nearly everyday on Facebook, weekly on this blog.

I wail about Nigeria because it is, firstly, an addiction for me to write. I am never happy until I’m putting words together, and I am never happier than when I use these words to vent my frustrations and annoyance on the Nigerian state (and blast Lai Mohammed, yeah mehn). I have a dozen or two people, too, who, from time to time, drop by on the comment section or on WhatsApp or Facebook to say I am not doing badly in my ramblings, and urge me on. It is for these that I rise with suppressed reluctance to wail about fuel subsidy removal among other things.

Since I heard the news of the increment of the price of fuel to 145 naira I have been playing Tuface Idibia’s “E Be Like Say” song on repeat. The sad, accusing, accountable and pessimistic tone of the song matched my mood of tired, angry and incomprehensibility of the harsh, insensitive and unredeemable Nigerian system. This song which became my ringing tune yesterday is on now as I write this; in this article, so many of its priceless, timeless wise words found there way in.

Gimme a drop of fuel before I die. Or just lend me your ears.

1, Buhari is an insensitive man with zero emotional intelligence. Where’s he now? In London, for the fourth time in less than one year. He’s the guest of the hypocritical British prime minister who called Nigerians fantastically corrupt. Buhari got no shame that his country has been brutally reduced to the most revolting corrupt nation on earth. As long as the west believes the lie that Buhari’s a saint and gives him free food and accommodation in imperial London he gives no qualms about our image.

So this London free food and free plenty publicity is more important than increasing the price of pms to the highest official rate since Lugard created Nigeria in 1914 out of two opposing poles. Buhari’s quarterly London honeymoon is obviously more important than the removal of the only direct social responsibility we get from the government who have made trillions selling oil. London is obviously more important than Buhari telling us personally or being in the country while his servants tell us that his promise of reducing oil pump price from 85 to 45 naira is actually a lie from Sodom; that what the APC oligarchy meant was a heartless increase to 145 naira.

“So many times you betrayed and played me for a fool.”

2, Where are the celebrities and politicians and civil rights activists and the Lagos Twitter Intellectuals who opposed subsidy removal in 2012? They have suddenly gone mute. Hypocrites!! Claiming they didn’t support subsidy removal under Jonathan because Jonathan was corrupt. Now that’s stupid. Stupid because

l) The main issue at that time was hardship on Nigerians not corruption. Of course many distrusted government but the key point was that Nigerians as an oil producing people deserve to buy oil cheap.

ll) We are yet to ascertain whether Buhari’s regime will be corrupt. For God’s sake this is his first year in power. Why trust a government that is
A) sponsored with stolen money? A government with corrupt people like Amaechi and Fashola and Lai Mohammed in its cabinet is not to be trusted.
B) denied all his campaign promises, every single one of them.
C) refused to declare his assets publicly.
D) disobey court orders upon court orders.
E) shoot protesters in 2016!
F) take joy in abusing Nigerians abroad. Etc
(Trusting this government says a lot about your brain functionality).

lll) What economic policy do you hitch your trust on? What projects have been successfully executed by this regime to win your trust? Assuming they are not corrupt is not enough. Not being corrupt alone won’t build a competitive economy or reduce poverty. So what did you see? Body language?

Now you see the stupidity of occupying Nigeria in 2012. Elrufai, Dino Melaye, Desmond Elliott, APC etc all rode on the #OccupyNigeria protest to political power. Some got appointments. Some got money, some got more twitter followers. You see, now it’s clear. It was never about Nigeria or the economy. #OccupyNigeria was a fat cow and many milked it.

“See, all I want to say is that they don’t really care about us.”

3, Or are we afraid of Buhari?

Why are “eminent” Nigerians like Shagari, IBB, Gowon silent?

Why are the clergy like Prophet Reverend Father Mbaka silent?

Why is Labour TUC, NUPENG etc silent?

Why is the main opposition, PDP confused and talking trash about being vindicated?

Why are civil society groups silent?

Why, why!!

But why should anybody be afraid of a 74 year old man?

“No be small tin oh.”

4, Buhari is no god. In fact, he’s a coward. He is doing exactly the things that earned Jonathan the weak, indecisive and clueless appellations. If Buhari were the no-nonsense anti-corruption crusader he claims he is which I doubt, he would be prosecuting the people who unduly enrich themselves from subsidy fund. You don’t cancel something that benefit 170 million people because of tens and units of people you are afraid of arresting.

As a parent, if you have a boy in boarding school whom you send money monthly then you discover that the people who take this money to him steal from his stipends, what do you do? You certainly won’t cancel your son’s allowance because of the thieving messengers, will you? Except your name is Buhari then you will throw the baby and the dirty water away.

Or there’s no subsidy fraudsters? Whatever the issue, we, the wretched of the earth cannot suffer for it.

“So many times, you asked me to put the whole of my trust in you.”

5, Ayo Fayose might sometimes behave like a man injected with chloroquine in the head, but he’s not stupid. He raised an important maths in the new price of 145 naira. Why 145 when federal government claims to pay 12 naira per litre in subsidy which means without subsidy it should be 86.50 naira plus 12.50 naira which equals 99 naira!!

So who gains from the additional 46 naira per litre?

“It seems like you’ve been playing me all along.”

6, “Exercise patience with this regime, no gain without hardship”. This advice is evil stupidity. Who should suffer hardship, what nonsense patience? The citizens  huh? I understand the citizens making allowances for suffering while the rulers continues to run the most expensive government on earth, entertain the highest number of paid political office holders on earth, pay the wives of councillors, pay senators higher than Obama, pay reps higher than David Cameron, buy hundreds of cars for these overpaid, spoilt, ill-educated senators twice a year, run the largest presidential jet fleet on earth, assign 162 police men to guard one governor etc. Yeah, I understand too well. But screw you and your call for understanding.

“E be like say they want to do another deceiving again oh.”

7, There’s a strong rumour that naira has been officially devalued. Watch, prices of commodities triple. Three tomatoes sell for 200. Talk about bad timing. You haven’t seen nada. Just exercise a little patience. Little hardship doesn’t kill. Things will get better in 2039.

“E be like say they want to act another movie again oh.”

8, Buhari increased Nepa bill by nearly 50 percent, electricity supply fell, falling to a Guinness record 0.00 megawatts in mid-March. We kept quiet.

Buhari introduced 50 naira stamp duty. We kept quiet.

Buhari’s government forced us to six months of fuel scarcity. We kept quiet.

Buhari has now increased the price of fuel.

We are QUIET.

There is not stopping Buhari. If we don’t resist this fuel terrorism, Buhari will continually inflict us with hardship upon hardship upon hardship until one day Nigeria will sink and that will be that.

This fuel price increment is the limit, we mustn’t let him push us further.

This protest isn’t just about the removal of subsidy. It’s more about making a statement as a people, letting Buhari and his co-fascists know that we the followers are not completely stupid, that we can fight when we are so pushed. It will make them think twice before they impose fresher suffering, and believe me they have more in their tank.

Who’ll mobilise the people?

I must stop here. That’s a lot of words already. Useless words most likely, but they have left my chest. By publishing this I have archived it in the World Wide Web where someday, in the distant future, a smart kid might read it and say They were not all sold, someone said no. Oh, someone said no.
“I dedicate this one to all of the shady politicians wey go promise and fail and make the people live in harsh conditions.”

Tweets to @Oke4chukwu

Update: Strike While the Iron is Hot

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