Fellow compatriots, it is not enough to say you are opposed to the petrol tax regime introduced by the government, you have to argue articulately. The words below are not perfect but they offer an understanding of the kind of things to say to the press when you face the microphone or camera. I picked them off Bookerrising’s summary of my BBC cameo.
The Nigerian libertarian blogger opines: “This is more than a quest for economic rights, it a quest for justice. This is not about fuel subsidy, it is about the ruling class’ war on the Nigerian masses. They cannot claim our country is broke when president Goodluck Jonathan continues to feed fat on N3 million [US$18,700] worth of food everyday. They cannot claim to be broke when they increased the recurrent expenditure of the 2012 budget by another N92 billion [US$575 million]. They cannot claim to be broke when the First Lady just spent N5billion [US$31.2 million] furnishing an office. They cannot claim to be broke when in the whole budget and throughout this period nothing has been said about their salaries and allowances.”
He continues his commentary: “What is the justice of our Senate President earning as much as 8 times the salary of president Obama of the United States? What is the justice of paying underworked lawmakers over N100 billion [US$625 million] with less than 12 per cent of that taxed when the majority of our people are jobless and hungry? They claim the downstream sector of the petroleum industry is infested with corruption. They claim the oil subsidy process has been hijacked by corrupt people. They are yet to prosecute let alone get a conviction for just one of those corrupt people. They are yet to clean up the inefficiencies of the petrol importation process. They want to transfer the cost and burden of corruption and inefficiencies of the process directly to Nigerians.”
More commentary from Mr. Omojuwa: “Subsidies are bad. The worst subsidy in Nigeria today is Political Subsidy. This is the first subsidy that must go. An American said yesterday on BBC Have Your Say she currently pays less than Nigerians for fuel. This is an American whose country works! This is an American who sees the roads her taxes have helped to build, she knows her country would always be there for her against terrorists and in deed everything works. We are in a country when the only existence of the government is oppression. My people, we have been oppressed for too long! Defy them this time. Face their tanks, take a stand, fight for your dignity! Our president and his cohorts have their hands dirty! They feed on our common wealth. They want to expend our future for their fat salaries and administrative incompetence. This must not stand.”