I received an exceedingly high volume of responses to the above article by email and on my Facebook page. Although my readers differ on whether or not a pan-Nigerian protest is possible, they are united in condemning the planned hike in fuel prices and in desiring some kind of civil disobedience to save the government from itself. Enjoy their varied and insightful thoughts.
This must go down as your hottest article! I hope Nigerians will rise up and resist this fuel price increase. I'd wrongly focused on the camouflage: the "removal of subsidy". We now know the facts and figures.
Abdurrahman Muhammad, Maiduguri
Sir, I am a regular reader of your column. I found your current article interesting and thought-provoking. Personally I’ll love a revolution to start in Nigeria. People believe revolution won’t be possible here, but i tell you I just graduated from a university where the authority trembles at the uproar of her students. I wonder if such energy could be displayed on government.
Implication: young people here will support change, only if the instrumentality is put in place. Instrumentality? Supports from sincere well to do citizens home and abroad, arms proliferation geared towards government and not to slaughter her innocent inhabitants which are suffering from same obnoxious policy of government. I wish Boko Haram could turn their face on government alone.
Personally, I read political science and public administration. I know the capitalist states being led by USA (Uncle Som), will not support such movement because of black gold she derives from the Nigerian soil. But the fact is that, we need change. It can start now. I have friends i can talk to to follow suit. No country ever moves forward without civil disobedience. I read and understand this from history of some countries of the world. I support civil disobedience, I support Nigerian Revolution, and I support Occupy Nigeria.
Seyi Babatunde, Lagos.
Farooq has summed up the reality of the country's desperate and pitiful situation. If we do not act now, it will be too late. The tiny parasitic elite is banking on the legendary docility and ethno-religious divide which they can readily exploit. Organised labour and civil society are yet to be infested by this malady, and so they have some credibility to lead this "Occupation". Already the average Nigerian sees the political class in their open thieving at the same level as common criminals. It is only the spark that is required for this long awaited ignition. The whole system is for sure rotten, but lasting change will elude us if we do not collectively act now. Nigerians must rise up now. God bless Nigeria and its good people.
Prof. Jacob Kwaga, Zaria
I think a country whose citizens vote on religious and ethnic considerations who went on a killing spree after the elections, killing people that do not share the same faith or ethnicity with them cannot rise up against tyranny.
Once Nigerians start demonstrating against subsidy removal, the demonstrations will be turned into a Muslim-Christian conflict and innocent people will just lose their lives sparing the real enemies.
Dr. Abdullahi Dahiru, Kano
The most effective tool in the hands of ruling elite is existing ethnic and religious cleavages among Nigerians at all level. Having known the elixir of education as a panacea to this problem, they have raised its rung above the feet of certain Nigerians through exorbitant school's fees and destruction of education for those who are managing to pay that fees thereby make them an 'educated illiterate' after graduation
Omotosho N. Olalekan, Lagos
Just finished reading your piece. I must confess that this is a master piece. We must, however, rise above religious sentiment if we must "occupy". We must also go beyond writing on Twitter, Facebook and act in the real sense of it. We have prayed enough. God isn't going to come down and change our situation. God helps people who help themselves. We must act!
Yusuf Sambo, Bauchi
Brilliant! My fear is that if eventually Nigerians do decide to unite and fight back against this injustice and oppression, the very smart, manipulative and ruthless political elite will equally fight back using the age-old weapon of religion and ethnicity. They will hire hoodlums, vandals and thugs who will destabilize the peaceful, justified protests and turn it into an ethno-religious crisis, just as they did during the post-elections protests and crisis. It started out peacefully, then it was hijacked by hoodlums.
Zainab Usman, Birmingham, UK
You just hit the nail on the head. This is the enlightenment that is required to propel Nigerians into action. All that we need do is to step up the sensitization so the average Nigerian would be informed about our situation. I bet you, Nigerians would choose life ! That’s the one option that is left.
Zubair Abdulkarim, Lokoja
Like football, we shall fight a common cause this time around forgetting all our differences. Thanks. That was a masterpiece!
Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna
When i saw the heading, I knew I had to settle down to read it .I did, and it was comprehensive. I, however, fear for your safety. My prayer is that you will not have a Government delegation waiting for you at the airport next time you are home. The piece was bold. The whole scheme stinks. It is insensitive and a further proof of how far the Nigerian Government is from the people. As long as Government and their business partners (fronts) in the organised private sector or corporate Nigeria(however they call themselves) continue to engage in these brazen acts of "raping" the people and claiming it is consensual, someday soon the victim will become the villain.
As for “Occupy" Nigeria, that is another story. I do not see it happening due to the manner the country is polarized. People who cannot currently afford kerosene to cook or light their lanterns will be the ones saying “leave so and so alone, it is ‘our’ turn.”
This psyche (of the raped, another version of the Stockholm syndrome) is what the rapists are banking on.
Tina Hanis, Abuja
I think we can do it. If Egyptian could go past their religious and ethnic differences, why can't we? After all, it is a matter of survival now.
Tijjani Abdussalam, Maiduguri
Fuel Subsidy Removal: Time to "Occupy" Nigeria!
Fuel Subsidy Removal: Time to "Occupy" Nigeria!