The headline of this article is to express the bitterness that has characterised the life of the everyday Nigerian for the past two months. As much as we put the blame of this hardship on the doorstep of the government, we as citizens seem to do more harm to ourselves than the government. To the best of my knowledge, subsidy hasn’t been removed, so on what grounds exactly is Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) being sold above the recommended price by filling stations and its owners?
Yes, we might technically say that subsidy is on hold due to the fact that there has been no word from the new administration on it, so marketers have to make their money back on their current importation. But, how do we justify selling PMS at different rates when it’s supposedly the same landing cost for all marketers?
A visit to filling stations these days reveals the fact that its owners take advantage of the situation and shockingly hike the price of PMS at will, depending on the number of buyers present, inflicting more hardship than “budgeted” for the masses by government. PMS was sold has high as 500 naira per litre at some point, but lately and averagely, the price is at 130 naira per litre. This greedy nature of price hike of goods & services even when the prevailing conditions have absolutely no effect on such goods/services being sold/rendered has been the trend in Nigeria for years and it is sad & unfortunate.
Another case in point: when a truck breaks down on a major road, regardless of whether it constitutes a barrier on that road or not, you find transporters who ply that route inflating cost of transportation astronomically. The same anomaly is always the case when it rains, and then we turn around and blame the government for every wrong thing under the sun.
Now that we have successfully installed a new government with our votes, we eagerly expect the men in power to deliver on their campaign promises. It is not enough to be vigilant and watch government’s every move; we also must play our part with little or no supervision or monitoring. That way, it reduces the burden of the government of having to focus fully on the enforcement of law and order. We as citizens cannot expect to be led by saints while we remain sinners. If saints rule over sinners, nothing is likely to work because of the power of population of the ruled.
The key part that we have to play is the issue of discipline. The level of indiscipline in Nigeria is alarming and it has eaten too deep into us that it cuts across all classes, the rich, the poor, the educated and the uneducated.
To make this is issue of discipline as simple & vivid as possible; the dictionary definition of the word ‘discipline’ is required: ‘The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience’. If we as citizens, who have pledged to the nation to be faithful, loyal and honest, decide to instil the sense of PERSONAL DISCIPLINE into ourselves, rules will be obeyed, protocols will be observed, due processes will be followed. Add all of that to dedicated and committed leaders, then good governance is most likely to flourish with ease and almost effortlessly. Yes, there will be bad eggs, which is why the law enforcement agents are there in the first place. Even at that, bad eggs may never be fished out without the cooperation of the people.
The point here is this: we as citizens have to understand that we have the greatest power and the greatest influence on the success or otherwise of any government practising true democracy. It is important that we have a common goal instead of inflicting more hardship on ourselves at the slightest maladministration by the government.
As it stands today, one is tempted to conclude that we the citizens build the hell for ourselves, government lights the fire. The time for us to build heaven and let the government make it paradise is NOW. Don’t just say the Nigerian National Pledge, listen to yourself while you do and let your conscience be the judge. Permit me to borrow from the popular slogan: IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITY OF A FLOURISHING NIGERIA, IT BEGINS WITH YOU.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Anke Van Wyk