By Dele Sobowale

“Constructive criticism is I criticize you; destructive criticism is you criticize me”. American comedian, 1970s.

“Corruption is the opium of the ruling classes”. Dele Sobowale, October 22, 2011.

Everywhere you look, the ruling classes, represented by the ruling party – at all levels – have become the enemies of the people – meaning the nation itself. It has taken over two thousand years for the people of the world to understand that nobody, and I mean nobody, can be trusted with power for too long without breeding corruption anchored on a feeling that they represent a special class of human beings separate from the rest of us.

In Nigeria, they start the corruption right from day one. A top PDP party man received a call, a day before the dissolution of boards of parastatals was announced. He was asked to provide the name, any name, of a nominee for appointment.

The appointee, it was obvious, will represent the “god-father’s interest on that board. In other words, that will be the chieftain’s own cow to go and milk and no questions asked. In exchange, he will probably have to announce support for subsidy removal. Who needs subsidy, if you can drink fresh milk from NPA?

Occupation of parts of their fatherland by free citizens has become the latest trend; irrespective of whether the government is dictatorial or “democratic”. The people are simply tired of corruption which, according to us, at UniJankara, has become the cocaine of the ruling classes, at Federal, state and local government levels – almost without exception.

At Federal, state and local government levels – again irrespective of political party – all Nigerians observe people who enter office in rags and emerge stinking rich at the end of their tenure; invariably, they become more wealthy than their legitimate income would allow.

The very absence of party ideology has made it possible for persons to jump from one political machine to another without any sense of shame and they are readily accepted by their new parties. Today, Nigerians really have one choice – the choice of the political machine – a contraption to capture power – that will eventually ruin them.

One of my most faithful readers, Pa Chukwukere, had repeatedly made the point that Nigerians are easy to misrule because we are too docile. Until two weeks ago, there was no hopeful reply to the picture of total hopelessness and despair which Pa painted. The fall of Gadhafi, the “occupations” in Europe and America, as well as the fall of several governments in the Arab world changed the picture.

Globalisation of news, which made it possible for CNN and other universal networks to broadcast the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Abuja, minutes after it occurred, had altered the picture. Even docile Nigerians watched as a once powerful man was pulled out of the sewage tunnel before being dispatched to kingdom come. Greece and the US merely underline the fact that it no longer matters if the government is dictatorial or democratically elected; the people can occupy their territory any time they choose.

And neither CIA, NSA, FBI, SSS, NIA nor Gestapo police, or any security apparatus established by the state can stop “an idea whose time has come” —to quote Victor Hugo, 1802-1885. Because when a government creates “new shivers of horror” (Hugo again) at a time when the people have had a surfeit of it; then anything can happen.

Fuel subsidy removal is shaking yound and old Nigerians to the marrows at the moment. And they don’t like it. Suddenly, one now meets old pensioners; people who would not ordinarily hurt a fly talking about “time for revolution in Nigeria”.

Mr Segun Adeniyi, a returnee from the first realm to the fourth in Nigeria, in his column. THE VERDICT, of Thursday, October 20, 2011, in THISDAY, asked the question, “Where shall we occupy?”; implying that the people are defeated before they start. I don’t know where Segun stands on this matter, but he asked a damn good question.

Forgive me if I don’t provide the full answer right now. Instead, let me indirectly indicate the direction future events might take.

Once, when an oppressed people were on the verge of revolt, their leaders, out of total complacency asked the question, “Where will they obtain the weapons for their uprising?”; or words to that effect. History records that Virgil, 70-19 BC, Roman poet replied, “Anger supplies the arms”.

And, same history reveals that, indeed, anger supplied the arms. Pushed to the wall by their leaders, anger will also dictate where we shall occupy; for occupy we must – if things continue this way. It is in order for us not to occupy anywhere that the following suggestions are offered to President Jonathan and his advisers – whoever they may be.

One thing is certain; they have become too far removed from the people Jonathan governs. In fact, the boy who went to school at Otuoke, now has become a President who has allied himself that more kids go to school shoe-less for ages to come. I honestly pray we don’t have to occupy all the places which will become targets for occupation – if pushed to the limit.

First and foremost, the President and his advisers, as well as corporate mogul supporters, need to be told that the vast majority of Nigerians are not opposed to deregulation of the fuel sector. They are aware that the Ministry of Petroleum and the NNPC, at the moment, are run for the benefit of a few people called “cabal”; some of them are known to us at UniJankara; and all to government which continues to shield their identities. They feed fat on the “subsidy” which government wants to remove.

Meanwhile, the Federal government of Nigeria, under the PDP, ran through over N30 trillion in 12 years; without sufficient account for a lot of the money. Most of those responsible for making the funds to vanish are still alive. Even if only N2 trillion can be recovered from these people, then the nation can postpone the confrontation on subsidy till another time and unite behind transformation – whatever the hell that means now.

Since, the question will arise regarding specific example, let me hasten to provide at least two – both of them from probes conducted by the National Assembly, where it was unmistakably established that, for a poor country, unimaginable amounts of money have disappeared leaving only the trace that they once existed in one account from which they developed wings or funds which should have been statutorily paid to an agency of government but which from 1999 were diverted elsewhere – each year involving more than the claimed fuel subsidy.

Please look below; this is no fairy tale. It occurred right here in Nigeria; oil block valued at $2 billion was sold off at $5 million. At the prevailing exchange rate at the time, that meant that N270 billion oil block was sold for a mere N650 million.

Even Amina, Arinze, or Tunde, still in primary three, know we lost over N200 billion – more than the subsidy at the time. And that was not the only swindle that year. Like, Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just”….

$2BILLION OIL BLOCK SOLD FOR $5M. Forget Wikileaks; read DeleLeaks. We have been robbed. Read the book N5,000 a copy.

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