#YourTurn: Why I am not against Fuel Subsidy Removal


Photo: African Spotlight

by ‘Seun Salami 

“Why has ‘Goodluck’, who so many voted for and sang about, suddenly become ‘Badluck’?”

I am not against the removal of fuel subsidy. I do not favour it either. I am simply confused. 

It’s like this: I belong to the set of people that like to be extremely sure about and understand fully, any issue, before I as much as post a single tweet. 

Well, that hasn’t exactly worked in this case. Just like certain things don’t seem to work in the Nigerian situation. Unfortunately, I still have not come to the place of complete understanding I usually crave, in order to form (and post) extremely informed opinions about this fuel subsidy cum Occupy Nigeria movement.  

Meanwhile, it is important to note that a significant and sizeable number of fuel subsidy activists really do not also understand the situation adequately. Or how else do you explain some of their very naive rants on twitter and their so called facts. Sometimes I read tweets, shake my head and say, “I actually even know better than this fellow on this matter.” Apart from a few well informed commentators – like my friend @omojuwa and co – a lot of ‘twitter activists’, with due respect, and sadly so, just see this as an opportunity to be heard, score points and gain additional followers.  

However, again, we are different. All some folks need to “join the movement” is to see the bandwagon-like tweets and comments on Facebook, the barrage of BlackBerry Messenger broadcasts or a word from a mentor and gbam! They’re in. 

Well, I usually need more than that. Is that a bad thing? Really?

Let’s not kid ourselves; not all of us can take to the streets. Even our labour leaders know that, that’s why there’s something called ‘Division of Labour’. So, whatever part you can play, please do. Even if it is the infamous siddon-look; trust me, we also need ‘observers’. 

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not against the removal of fuel subsidy. I am not in support of it either. I am simply confused. Why will a government be so adamant in the face of all the protests and insist there is no going back? Do they know something we don’t know and are refusing to tell us exactly what it is? Or is it the communication process that has been ineffective? Why has ‘Goodluck’, who so many voted for and sang about, suddenly become ‘Badluck’?

So, the same reason why I didn’t vote during the Presidential election – inadequate understanding of the plans and promises of the aspirants – is the same reason why I have been silent on this issue. I know like @Chude tweeted, silence is not golden at this time, but I sincerely think it’s better to be silent than to join the bandwagon and say things you don’t really understand, simply because you’re either trying to feel among, don’t want to be seen as complacent or unpatriotic, or like me, confused.

By the way I can’t regret not voting for the president now, can I?

‘Seun Salami is the author of The Son of your Father’s Concubine (a collection of short stories). Follow him on twitter @SeunWrites

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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail