Reinforcing a national distrust | © Fola Daniel Adelesi
It’s amazing that the President of over 160 million people in a nation that’s already angered by the deceit of its leaders can wake up and say that it’s promises upon which negotiations were made for the removal of oil subsidy can no longer be fulfilled!
Towards the end of the year 2011 when the agitation for removal of subsidy by the federal government became a priority in the press, I wrote a piece called ‘Subsidy, Subsi-deal or Subsi-trick’ and did raise the issue of government’s inability to communicate effectively with its citizens and the vital issue of trust between the people and the government. The President of the nation obvious knows that he was dealing with the issue of trust with the government when the debate of over subsidy began and he tried to reassure the people that trust was not going to be an issue.
While the attempt to convince the citizens was going on, Pastor Tunde Bakare who has been a major opposition voice over the years asked questions with the expectations that Nigerians will think and not make the mistake of trusting the government again. He reminded Nigerians that subsidy was removed from diesel with the promise to build refineries but they never did. Pastor Bakare also reminded Nigerians that subsidy was removed from kerosene with the promise that refineries was going to be built but none was built and did say that the person who had been appoint to head the government’s committee on subsidy reinvestment was only being deceived. For some divide of the country, it appeared as if the President has sincere motives but was working with people that cannot be trust but for the other divide, the opinion was that Pastor Bakare was just looking for cheap popularity.
I did not start out this piece to justify either President Jonathan or Pastor Bakare but to point out some salient issues and it was really important to build a premise on the previous scenes we have had in the country especially at the beginning of this year. The issues I am surprised about and as well looking at are:
1. The President from the outset knows that the people do not trust the government
2. You (Mr. President) tried persuading the people to trust the government and that the funds withdrawn would be used judiciously.
3. Just few weeks after the promises you (Mr. President) are now saying it is no longer possible!
4. What happens to the part of the money that you (Mr. President) have now withdrawn?
5. Did the people who died die in vain?
6. What were you (Mr. President) thinking when you came on national television to make promises in front of the entire world?
7. Who are the people counseling you (Mr. President)?
8. What responsibilities are you taking if you expect Nigerians to believe that your decisions are products of circumstances?
9. What we expect from a president is one who thinks through before talking in front of the nation.
10. Our president must recognize that building trust with the people is an important process in national building because people with never cooperate with the leaders that they cannot trust.
I really don’t know how much longer Nigerians can tolerate the insincerity of the government but when the government refuses to speak and stand by its word, a revolution is imminent!
Fola Daniel Adelesi