It was a logical sequence of events given that he knew about the damage.
In fact, I regretted not writing about it too (what we should expect in our country in 2016), even though I had actually brooded (brooding is my way of thinking about stuff a long time before I actually put it down) on it for some time.
Guess it is one of those procrastination I have said I would cure myself of but have not gotten hold of the right drug to use yet.
At least by now, I could have also claimed to be a prophet like my friend and have people come to my temple to offer some offering to move the ministry forward.
What I did not realise at my time of brooding however, was, how patient, forgiving, trustworthy and understanding the Nigerian people could be with this President.
For me, I saw chaos and anarchy stemming from the expected lower earnings, coupled with labour mobilising the workforce on a strike action and the helplessness on the side of the government.
For me then, the advice was that, to stem the tide of the fall out, the government would need a lot of communication and transparency to enable Nigerians understand any position and subsequent course of actions they may take in navigating the stormy waters.
Even though my thoughts did not make it to the seat of power, I am glad there were some people that covered for me, after all, the government is not doing so badly in the area of communicating their policies, although they are yet to tell us how we got to N145 a litre for PMS, when the supposed template price is less than N100 a litre.
But all that is now water under the bridge as we have come to live with the increase because the castrated labour unions have capitulated to the government’s position.
I felt for the factionalised labour who could not put their house in order and also did not gauge the mood of the country properly.
True, the hardship in the land is becoming unbearable with the recent increase in electricity tariff, devaluation of the naira and now, an increase in the price of PMS.
It all warranted a strike, theoretically, and the NLC’s new leadership needed to “show force” to at least have their names register in the minds of Nigerians as the likes of Comrades Paschal Bafyau and Oshiomole whose loyalty (to common Nigerians or the establishment) these days is hard to define given that he alternates between Khaki and custom made Italian suits.
But they should have been smart enough to know when to pick their battle.
For one, President Muhammadu Buhari, more than anybody else in this country, did not want anything like increase and had indeed fought against it since he got into office, but the reality on ground negated the earlier belief.
This time, he saw, felt and owned the numbers, so it was not a question of falsehood being peddled around.
To get out of the loop, some unpopular decisions needed to be made and he did not shy away from it because this would eventually liberate the country in the long run and if true market forces are allowed to play out, Nigerians will see the price of this same PMS crash like a pack of cards as was the case of GSM. Or don’t you remember when MTN was doing “yeye” with us?
They won’t even let us talk, with their N50 per minute billing, and the “call me back” product offering.
Until our savoir GLO came to the rescue with per second billing.
I strongly believe that the strike became a flop not because of the media machinery of the All Progressives Congress, APC, but the sincerity of purpose shown by this government, especially Buhari’s body language, of whose expiry date is actually the subject of this essay.
Unlike previous governments (note that this time I refer to pre-Jonathan because a lot of people seem to have focused only on him as the source of this issue while it actually predates him. We failed to match projected growth rate with expected infrastructure) who had excess cash and yet Nigerians could not trust them to manage any accruals from such increases, Nigerians believed Buhari this time.
With the blank cheque he just received with this PMS increase, it will be worth noting down, some performance indicators that he will be judged with (if he wants to retain the mandate) in addition to his base load which is the fight against corruption.
The refineries must work or be sold and possibly, new ones built by either government or the private sector by 2019.
We must have a reasonable number of convictions and our national wealth recovered and made public from all the court cases.
The power plants built must be commissioned with adequate gas and a subsequent improvement in power made visible with at least 10,000 megawatts of power at an uptime of up to 90 percent, (not the usual noise about how we have achieved 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts of power every day since 1999), institutions must be seen to work in accordance with the rule of law.
The judiciary, for example, has to join the fight against corruption by being more efficient such that cases are not delayed by frivolous reasons which is why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seem to have opted to play to the corrupt politician style by getting multiple withholding authorisations from magistrate courts even when people have been charged and granted bail in high courts.
If things were normal, like in saner climes, no body actually needs to be picked up and held in custody as far as they will not interfere with or fail to honour court proceedings.
Just thinking of the multiplying effects having additional refining capacity will bring to this country excites me greatly, jobs, no pressure on Forex, the naira thereby will be stabilised.
Not to talk of the ripple effect the repairs of petroleum products transportation pipelines will cause.
Fuel trucks will no longer be necessary, hence funds would be saved and not voted for such things as road repairs.
Nigerians believe in Buhari whom God has chosen at this time to rebuild this nation and his job is fully cut out.
His body language has bought him some time and he needs to make good use of it because no excuses will be tolerated come 2019.
I have no doubt in my mind that he surely will deliver, God willing and if we all put him and his team in our prayers.
Obidike Peter, a public affairs analyst, wrote fromwww.peterobidike.com