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  1. ReplyNG Yohaig
    There is hardship in the land today, let us not mince words about it. And the suffering majority is angry; an anger borne out of hunger and frustration. Nigerians did not expect what they are getting from the present administration. They knew that things were bad, terribly bad before the last presidential election, but they were hopeful of a better tomorrow under a new government. So, they went for change, coincidentally, ‘’change’’ was the slogan of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which wrested power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The people did not expect things to be rosy under the APC government from day one, but they did not also expect that they would be called upon to make more sacrifices before things got better. To be sincere, Nigerians have made a lot of sacrifices in the past. While their leaders were stealing the nation blind, they were living and sleeping in hunger. Many families were virtually fasting daily because they could not get food to eat. Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari to wipe away their tears. After much suffering under successive PDP administrations for 16 years, they were looking forward to things being different under Buhari. Things may yet be different under this administration, but so far the suffering is something else. There is nothing cheery about what the people have been going through in the past 10 months. It is as if nothing has changed in terms of the government in power. Why are things so hard? When will they get better? Are we still under Jonathan? Some are wont to ask. We are not under Jonathan. But, if we are to believe the present government, we are still suffering from the mess it left behind. The suffering masses are bearing the brunt of this mess. They have been wondering whether they made a mistake by voting for ‘’change’’. They have been criticising the government for not improving their lot despite its election promises. They have become tired of hearing that the Jonathan administration left behind a mess. They already know that; they are only interested in what the Buhari administration is doing to clear the mess. The economy keeps going down, with the exchange rate of about N300 to the dollar, caused by the falling oil price. The industries are not running at full capacity because of unstable power supply and what some have termed harsh foreign exchange (forex) policy and to compound it all is the biting fuel scarcity. In the past three months, motorists have been going through hell trying to get fuel for their vehicles. In a society where electricity is unstable, you can imagine what many are going through to get fuel to power their generators at home and in their small shops. Many of these budding entrepreneurs, such as barbers, welders, fashion designers and printers have folded up because of light. Where will they get money for fuel when business is not booming? The fuel crisis was never this bad even under the worst of administrations. In the tense days of the late Abacha when Nigerians were going on strike almost everyday the fuel crisis was not this menacing. Even when we went on strike over the fuel price hike under Jonathan the situation was not this serious. Today, marketers are also blaming the ‘harsh’ forex policy for their inability to import fuel, leaving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to carry the whole weight of the problem on its head. When will respite come? May? No, not again, says Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who has now changed it to April7. So, in the circumstance, our suffering and the long queues at filling stations continue until then. For now, the government should put some palliatives in place to cushion the people’s suffering. At least if fuel scarcity is not going to end soon, the government should do something about power supply. It should let there be light so that we will no longer rely on generators, which require fuel to run, for domestic and business uses. It is sad seeing Nigerians on queue at filling stations with generator fuel tanks because the outlets are not ready to dispense petrol in jerry cans. They sell the product at an exorbitant rate of N150 per litre yet their pumps do not measure up. The pumps have been tampered with to shortchange customers. What people are buying is less than what is being sold to them. Almost all the filling stations are guilty of this practice and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is looking the other way or pretending not to know what is happening. DPR knows what is happening, but it cannot act because some of its top officials are part of this huge scam. All the filling stations have made a killing from this fuel scarcity and their prayer is that may it never end. The government must come to our rescue before these Shylock marketers and dealers finish us off. At the end of the day, it is the government, especially the president, that will carry the can for what is happening and not these people who believe that they are in business to profiteer. The earlier the government did something the better. Mercifully, President Buhari knows that the people have been criticising his administration for not meeting their expectations. He has promised that in the next three years they will see wonders. We believe him, but he should know that his first year has not been impressive. Will this be the face of his administration? I do not think this will be the Buhari identity. Having said that, the president must convince Nigerians that he is equal to the task at hand. If he must know, many have given up on his administration because, according to them, morning shows the day. So, the sooner he delivers on his election promises the better for him and his party. Otherwise, there is political danger ahead!

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