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My Cogitations on the Nigerian Fuel Subsidy Removal Saga

Muhsin Ibrahim

I persevere but I don’t pretend; I deride double standard and declare the truth as I see it. I wholeheartedly believe that nobody is infallible, thus humans, including myself, can be right or wrong. I also believe that nobody can do anything to satisfy everyone. An old saw on politics however states that “majority carry the vote”. A politician wins or loses election by the sole decision of the majority, the masses. I practically believe that whatever a government does should be pro-masses, for they duly deserve the reward. It is not a privilege; it is their right.

For nearly a year now, Nigerian masses have been seeing things contrary to their expectations. They are simply suffering, though their lives are, largely, more secured now than before the President Muhammdu Buhari’s government. The Buhari they knew is no longer the Buhari that rules this country. That one was an agile and sturdy soldier who was pro and for them. Today’s Buhari is a politician, seemingly confused and succumbs to the IMF’s, World Bank’s, western, governors’ and senators’ pressure, while the masses come second. The suffering, if not tackled soon, is about to reach a crescendo and could be as disastrous as the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency. While the latter cuts life shorter, the former shatters optimism, troubles minds and leads people to total despair and self-loath.

And yes, nothing good comes easy, the cliché says. But the timing of this deregulation, fuel subsidy removal, whatever it’s called, is pretty bad. Nigerians have already been going through a lot, and for the Muslims, the month of Ramadan is around the corner. We all know what usually happens to the prices of food, vegetables and fruits during that period. This year’s might be lame and dry, for it’s survival the faithful are more after than any luxury.

A few days back, a local government chairman in Kano swore by Allah to us that he had not received a kobo as a grant for the past six months! Wallahi many people live by begging. Students cannot pay for their school fees. Prices have multiplied. People are dying in the hospitals – and resident doctors have just begun an indefinite strike! Oh my God.

Defending the Indefensible

I have overheard and heard, read and reread so much funny, incredible, if not ridiculous, narratives regarding this fuel subsidy removal. How so many people take the President doesn’t deserve any mentioning. But PMB is human like us, though we have so much hope and confidence that he will deliver, and so he will by the grace of Allah.

Since the announcement of the subsidy removal, so much effort has been made to downplay its effects and to rationalize the government’s action by the untiring, never apologetic Buharists. I am sorry to say, but the more I read/hear about those desperate ‘explanations’ the more wrong I see it. The ‘rationalization’ is often a bunch of gobbledygook. Only a few make sense, and none has yet convinced me fully.

There was, initially, a viral message on Facebook and other social media that the federal government did not actually increase the pump price, thus only the independent marketers could and would be selling it at N145 per litre. That false story was soon discredited when it appeared clearly that even the NNPC mega stations sell it at that price or a little lower (N143).

The following day, another folktale emerged that in Kano, a major independent marketer, AA Rano sells it at N107 per litre. I quickly went to his new filling station at my workplace, Bayero University, Kano (New Campus) to verify the claim. I was disappointed for the price was and still is N140. Some zealots still doggedly denied it. AA Rano was later on interviewed by the Radio France Hausa, and he disavowed the rumour. So, what’s left? We are waiting, for they may still doctor yet another or other narrative(s) to defend their (our) ever-right president.

With due respect, the unrepentant Buharists should not be too apathetic, please. We all feel the heat, and the hardship is excruciating. So, be careful and don’t exacerbate our condition by gagging us, or insulting us for expressing our opinions. We are not anti-PMB. Most of us also love him, but we know and believe that he could be wrong as he is now. And please, as I often say it, self-respect matters a lot. Don’t, thus, spread false news. It’s not healthy and it quickly demeans ones seriousness and credibility.

Where I Stand

I agree that the subsidy may have to go to save the country’s economy from crumbling, but don’t forget that governments, especially Nigerian, have other ways to source money other than from its citizens. Nigeria can cut expenses, borrow or even use its foreign reserve, etc. at least for a year or more until the completion of the refineries under refurbishment/construction. Poor Nigerians are literally living “hand to mouth”, without any surplus. Even the palliative the government is willing and preparing to start paying will not help any matter. We need a lasting solution, not temporal.

If we #OccupyNigeria in 2012 for the same reason, why should we be silent now? I know for sure that this government is better than its predecessor, but the living condition and the financial status of both the country and its people was not as acute as now, and yet we protested. If we cannot do the same now, I believe that the least we can do is to criticise the government as it deserves that. Let us express our disappointment and disapproval in a diplomatic way, and without abusing or calling anyone names, to purge our annoyance. PMB too has mentioned it that his government welcomes constructive criticism.

Finally, I don’t support the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) planned strike and protest. Let us not give room for some jobless, hopeless hoodlums, who are now numerous because of the economic situation in the country, to attack non-indigenes homes and business places, public property, politician houses, etc. What peace gives, hostility takes away. These pressure groups and others should find better ways to dialogue with the government. May the government sympathise and empathise with us, amin.

Allah ya kyauta, amin.

Guestbook & Feedback / Re: ITS GOOD TO BE BACK.
« on: April 23, 2016, 12:22:46 AM »

@Muhsin: "interesting" because we don't along, ko? Hehe, I've been following your career from the very

beginning, thanks to Gogannaka. I also read your blog by the way and I enjoy your articles on kannywood.

Nice to see you like them now  ;)


Let me first of all welcome you back to the forum. We missed your glowing, Violet fonts a lot. I hope you have been doing great.

It's "interesting" because of so many reasons. I can recall at least two instances when I and you 'fought' aboard here. You were of course the bully, being the elder. One is in Literature sub forum on reading Sidney Sheldon. The second was when I made a post on the "Death of KanoOnline Forum". You scolded me to your satisfaction. Lol! The Muhsin of today is older, stronger and is ready to fight back.

You read my blog? Wonderful. Thanks.

On Kannywood; it's all about experience, I believe. This world is bigger than we think. My life for two years in India has availed me with lots of experience, about the existence of "the others", etc. I still often face so much challenges on my view of Hausa films. While some praise it, others criticise it. But I don't care in both cases.

To say more someday, in sha Allah. Cheers.

chit-chat / We are all jealous II
« on: April 21, 2016, 12:27:10 PM »
As newcomers in India, my wife purchased an Indian traditional, unstitched attire. We went looking for a tailor and found one unisex male tailor in our neighbourhoods in Jalandhar. The tailor's shop is attached to his house; one can see the inner part of the house from the shop.

The tailor wanted to take the measurements of my wife, but I said no. That could either be taken by me or his wife who we saw peeping to see the "foreigners" her husband was speaking English with.

Surprised, socked and saddened, he called the wife. She came holding a baby, while he's still on the sewing machine. I thus attempted to collect the baby while he, in a husky voice, asked me to stop. Astonished, I halted. He stood up, came out, collected the baby and handed it to me. In a rather friendly manner, he said that he wouldn't allow me have a slightest body (i.e hands) contact with his wife either.

There are thousands and one more similar stories to tell. I think all humans have tendency to feel jealous, especially of their spouses.

Jealousy in other places, or better, endeavours in life is strongly discouraged in Islam. It mounts to "hassada", unbound/undue envy. This consumes one's good deeds as does fire to thatch.

We should therefore refrain from the latter, and do the former. Should you die in the protection of the virtues of your wife, Allah, the Exalted, promises you Heaven.

Let's be empathetic humans. Do unto others what you would want others do unto you.

chit-chat / We are all jealous
« on: April 20, 2016, 06:05:57 PM »
Jealousy is, to an extent, encouraged in marriage in Islam, and so it is in many religions and cultures around the world. While some are born jealous, others are made so. Yet, some defy the religious, cultural, even commonsensical precept and choose to be unenvious. They care not for their wives, daughters, wards, sisters, etc.

I was told a story of a man, an ardent fan of Indian films. He everyday tells his wife, while watching the films, that the most beautiful women are in India. The wife doesn't like that, yet she keeps mum. It disturbs her a lot for obvious reasons.

One day, the wife told the husband that even the handsomest men are in India. He was quickly aghast. He though repressed his infuriation but decided to never watch any Indian film henceforth. That's to avoid what he could have done to the wife should she repeat what she's just said.

A professor at BUK once told us a similar, however far more upsetting story of one of his friends and his wife. She praised an Indian actor in his presence. That became the genesis of their eventual breakup. How unfortunate!

My word of caution here is: husbands should equally understand that their wives are also humans with feelings and all that. Don't only think that you are allowed to add another wife (for Muslims), and that's a licence to extol other women in front of your wife. You can do that but in discretion and, preferably, in her absence. Doing otherwise is sincerely speaking insensitive and inconsiderate.

It's said that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. So, let's be human, careful and considerate.

General Board / Re: Saying Hello to Old Pals
« on: April 18, 2016, 10:40:44 PM »

Hello everybody, da fatan kowa na lafiya.
Kai, its been ages i'v been here due to life commitments.
Gaisuwa ga admin. InshaAllah i'll be a regular visitor...


Wslm. Welcome back to the forum, Dante. And, please keep your words and be regular. Lol!  ;D


General Board / Baba Ganduje, "Aika-Aika" and "Aiki"
« on: April 17, 2016, 07:11:16 AM »
Following the Governor's unjustified action ("aika-aika") to buy exquisite, expensive cars worth over N600m for the State House of Assembly representatives, the ace and fearless investigative journalist of Freedom Radio, Kano, Nasiru Salisu Zango exposed how priority was misplaced, for the government had stopped the rebuilding work of the kidney dialysis room of Abdullahi Wase General Hospital called Asibitin Nassarawa. The room was gutted by fire some 2 years ago.

Zango aired the report a couple of days ago, though he has already had over 30 other reports on the same issue but the government was as silent as a rock. The hospital has always been inundated with patients. They have only been improvising, using a smaller room with fewer machines to treat the patients. Some patients might have died while waiting for their turn.

That was "aika-aika". No doubt about that. But the "aiki", a real project, has also (re) commenced yesterday, apparently following the exposition and comparison made by Zango.

I am impressed by both Zango and the government. I like a leader who listens. It's unfortunate that often the people around him, some of whom are employed to advise him, would rather kowtow to the boss, as it's said in the Nigerian parlance, in order to put food on their table to the detriment of the masses.

Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is unquestionably very well educated, a vastly experienced civil servant and elderly. It's a huge contradiction, even incongruous that he's sometimes found wanting, or executing some weird projects in Kano. I just can't fathom it, wallahi.

I hope the Governor listens again and again and attentively to the masses who voted him in. He ought to listen to us for both earthly and heavenly gains. May Allah guide him and all our other leaders deliver, amin.

« on: April 16, 2016, 03:42:45 PM »
Marriage and Divorce in Kano and by extension the entire area.

Kwankwaso broke the jinx and married off hundreds of divorcees but has Government at various northern States adopted a lasting solution to these growing number of divorce?
I wonder how many of those married off by KWankwaso are still together? That would be the litmus test of the success of that marriage project. Maybe Ill get my sister to look into this. She works at social welfare kano. Or if anyone is cahoots with Daurawa,  can he get us feedback?

I don't have any data, but I am sure many are still together with their husbands. There are set down rules before the marriage is nullified. I think they are hard to violate for the penalty of so doing.

General Board / Re: Saying Hello to Old Pals
« on: April 08, 2016, 12:19:40 AM »

I am very glad to see you back. I hope you have been doing just fine.

Best wishes.

General Board / Re: From Heart to Heart: Hearken
« on: April 06, 2016, 12:02:29 AM »
Thanks for sharing, Sulaiman Badamasi.

I believe the front page needs to have a list of the most active or latest posts. There needs to be active moderators that will edit content or be responsible for displaying hot topics for discussion. This would save the user the trouble to go through different sub-boards searching for topics to discuss.

More suggestions coming

Seconded. Many forums do the same.

General Board / Re: PMB and the Parable of a Homeboy
« on: April 05, 2016, 10:54:25 PM »
Gogannaka, wow! I couldn't have said it better. I am so very much impressed, wallahi.

Buhari of course needs to do more!

General Board / Re: PMB and the Parable of a Homeboy
« on: April 04, 2016, 07:56:27 PM »
Even DB does not agree with your analyses despite his diplomatic or ( is it?) sitting on the fence response.

I think you misunderstood him, or me. I have also always acknowledged the fact security has significantly improved. But look at this logic: if the government takes credit for the improvement of the security, why won't it take the responsibility for the deterioration of the economy, perennial fuel scarcity, shortage of power, among other things. Are we really being fair in our ascription of success to the government and absolving it from any failing? Haba! With due respect, Auntie Husnaa...


And yes, I have, on several instances,  criticised GEJ a lot. You may visit my blog to confirm this. I have never, personally, liked GEJ. I also wholeheartedly believe that PMB is a far better leader than GEJ, and shall never be like him, in sha Allah.

General Board / PMB and the Parable of a Homeboy
« on: April 03, 2016, 04:37:25 PM »
The cliché says that if you want to find out how hard a guy really is, go see his shelter/residence/room. This is so said for many a time, you will see a city (and now even a village) boy walking majestically, dressed in the vogue attire, sometimes spending the little money he has conspicuously, etc while his room is in a mess.

For those who don't know about the city boy very well, they wrongly think that he lives in El Dorado and has no problem whatsoever. But that's not true. That's in fact a stark contrast of the reality on the ground.

Oftentimes the homeboy acknowledges this fact when confronted and is willing, seldom trying, to fix things up, to live up to what's believed of him to be true. But he doesn't give a damn in other instances about what everyone says. He's just trending, the subject matter for the ladies' chitchat and that's all. He feels on top of the world.

And now:

Our dear President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) is globetrotting. He dresses in elegance and splendour. He is passionately and fashionably mingling among the world leaders who, in a similar homeboy scenario, praise him.

Back at home, some people, out of sheer admiration or (is it?) hero worshipping, think what's said of PMB by those leaders can bring food to their table, is enough to fuel their motorcycles and cars, can reduce the prices of basic commodities, etc. are incredibly jubilating. How interesting! I sense inferiority complex. No apology.

All that is said about PMB by Obama, Cameron, Putin, Holland, Erdogan, everyone else cuts no ice whatsoever with me. I am sure you equally feel the wrath of the current situation in the country, perhaps more than I do. So, stop pretending.

I personally, firmly believe that PMB is the right man to patch things up in Nigeria, but not by going in the direction he's heading at the moment. Things need to be given a far more pragmatic approach. We may not survive this excruciating hardship, wallahi. People are languishing in pain, anger and despair.

Please and please, bring back our able PMB. We are fed up with this homeboy-esque leadership. End fuel scarcity, assist in stopping this inflation, improve power production, sign the 2016 budget, empower the judiciary, provide more jobs, improve the security as kidnapping is becoming a trade even in the North, etc, etc, etc. Oh Allah, forgive and deliver us, amin. 😢😢😢


chit-chat / Re: How are you feeling today?
« on: April 02, 2016, 02:23:16 PM »
Hmm all sorts. I dreamt this morning that my sister gave me a brand new LV bag. I dont know why I had that dream. So weird really.


Of dream, it's very weird that I almost every night dream about my house under construction. I don't know of anything I think of these days more than that. Allāh ya iya mana, amin.

There's no better answer. You can also be the filmmaker. I think you have the means; I can offer the paperwork.

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