By Comrade Victor Ojei (popularly called Wong Box -WhatsApp: 08038785262)
Dear Colleagues in the Civil Societies Community Representatives,
I write to you today, as Comrade Victor Ojei, popularly known as Wong Box, to share important insights and concerns regarding the recent removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria. While the decision was implemented by the new President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it is crucial for us to assess the situation carefully and avoid engaging in protests at this time. Let us reflect on the events surrounding the previous protests and the potential risks associated with a hasty response.
First and foremost, we must acknowledge the unfortunate consequences that emerged from the 2020 October #EndSARS protests. What started as a noble cause to address police brutality and promote accountability led to a wave of violence and destruction. Hoodlums exploited the situation, resulting in the loss of innocent lives, the destruction of public and private property, and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals through acts such as rape, kidnapping, human trafficking, and organ harvesting. The aftermath of the protests has left the South-East region of Nigeria in a state of unrest, providing a platform for criminals to thrive. It is essential that we learn from these experiences and exercise caution to prevent a repetition of such tragic events.
Additionally, I must bring to your attention the concerns surrounding the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC). Recent developments suggest that the NLC has been infiltrated by followers of Peter Obi, who may seek to exploit any protest for their personal gain and to incite chaos within our country. We must be mindful of this influence and consider the potential consequences of aligning ourselves with actions that could be manipulated for ulterior motives._
It is also important to note that the recent “no work, no pay” policy enforced by the federal government against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) serves as an example of the efficacy of alternative approaches. While we may have differing views on the policy, its success in bringing the parties to the negotiating table is undeniable. As representatives of the civil societies, we should advocate for the redirection of the substantial monthly funds previously allocated to fuel marketers, amounting to 1.4 billion dollars, towards meaningful infrastructure projects. These investments would have a multiplier effect on the lives of the average Nigerian, promoting socioeconomic development and uplifting the masses.
Rather than resorting to protests as our default response, we should explore alternative means to engage the federal and state governments on issues related to socioeconomic development, sociopolitics, and environmental concerns. One viable option is pursuing legal action by suing the government, making a statement and raising awareness about our grievances. Such an approach demonstrates our commitment to the rule of law and allows us to channel our efforts towards constructive dialogue and progress.
In conclusion, my esteemed colleagues, let us exercise caution and wisdom in these challenging times. We must learn from past experiences and the consequences of unchecked protests. Our goal is to pursue meaningful change that uplifts the poor and the average citizens of Nigeria. By adopting alternative means, such as legal action, we can make a powerful statement while avoiding the potential chaos and exploitation that protests can inadvertently bring. Together, we can shape a brighter future for our great nation.
Comrade Victor Ojei (Wong Box)