There is a need to revisit the 2012 Occupy Nigeria Struggle. The ongoing economic hardship and total disregard for the plight of Nigerians by the Federal Government has made it necessary for Nigerians to rise and speak in one voice against the worsening economic situation.
As we have been saying, any economic reform that will stifle the life out of Nigerians is satanic and should be rejected. We have for the past eight months exercised patience, hoping that the FG would take practical steps to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians. We had thought the gains of the removal of fuel subsidy would rub off the pains. Alas! We are wrong. What we have discovered is that the government has taken away money from the poor and gave it to government officials.
There is no economic sense in removing the subsidy on petroleum products, devaluating the Naira, and raising tax and electricity tariffs at the same time. The supposed economic reform has brought pain, agony, and uncertainty to Nigerian homes. One does not need to be an economist to know that increment in fuel and tax will cripple local businesses and reduce productivity. It is an open fact that the devaluation of the Naira and the rising double-digit inflation rate have reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians; leading to paying more to buy little.
Nigerians are suffocating without hope of relief in sight. The comfortable have become poor while the poor have become poorer and living in abject poverty. The cost of living has astronomically increased; staple foods are no longer available for the poor. Ailment and disease persist because the cost of drugs has increased far above the reach of the common people.
The economic crisis is causing a decline in living standards, which is hurting our physical and mental health; and worsening existing conditions.
The Federal Government has sufficiently displayed total disregard for the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerians, and it appears incompetent to address the worsening economic situation.
We cannot continue to lament and grumble, the time to hit the street and occupy Nigeria is now. The poor should get ready to liberate themselves. We were on the streets against fuel subsidy removal in 2012 for a week; it is time to occupy Nigeria again to reject satanic economic reforms that have brought nothing but pain, agony, and death.
Waheed Lawal Emmanuel Olowu
Chairman, OCSC. Secretary, OCSC