Picture credit: Elomba

When President Buhari was to choose his Ministers, I remember how a long he took, explaining that Nigeria was in a delicate state and he needed competent and committed people who’ll save Nigeria. Many of his supporters even reiterated this. You’d often hear them say, “Mr. President doesn’t want to appoint greenhorns”.

I remember CMB tweeted once, contributing to TVC’s ‘Your View’ program, that if our leaders truly desire to lead their people, not their belly, they should prepare for the office they desire to occupy. Such preparations should involve all Presidential aspirants for example, knowing who their Ministers are likely to be. Perhaps it could even be one of the criteria for being a Presidential candidate of any party.

Now, after so much time spent in nominating the Ministers, one would expect a cabinet of experienced, knowledgeable and exposed Ministers, especially since Mr. President didn’t want ‘greenhorns’. However, in Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s case, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. President got it wrong BIG TIME! If he did for such an important and delicate position as that, only God knows which others he got wrong too.

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Our dear Minister and indeed the Federal Government have since been on just promises, having little or no evidence of actualisation. We keep hearing things like, “The fuel scarcity would soon be over. Just be patient. Give us more time…” Yet, the petrol queues are increasing by the minute. How can you ask us to be patient, that the fuel scarcity would soon be over, when you don’t even believe it, Dr. Kachikwu. We’re a day away from the day you promised the fuel scarcity would go down. I just hope he keeps his promise. However, if his promise should be held on to, some signs should have been showing since last week Saturday at least. Still, no positive change. How about the dollar issue?

A.M yesterday, I had a very important meeting on the Island and I couldn’t get petrol at all since Monday. So, I had to get a taxi, but on getting to the main road, all avenues to get to 3rd Mainland Bridge were blocked, due to petrol queues everywhere. I looked at the time I was likely to get to the meeting, it would almost closing hours. Coming back at close of business will be a suicide mission, if going was already that blocked. So, I missed this meeting, due of something of no fault of mine. Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Mr. Kachukwu.

Picture credit: Yinkaolajide Blog

Yesterday (Tuesday), Daily Trust Newspaper reported that Dr. Kachikwu’s had reaffirmed his promise to end of the petrol scarcity on Thursday April 7. See their report:

Dr. Kachikwu on Tuesday reassured that the lingering fuel scarcity in the country will end on Thursday beginning from Abuja and Lagos while queues across the states will disappear by the weekend.

Kachikwu said this at a town hall meeting with the management and staff of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) in Abuja

He gave the assurance as a follow up to a recent promise he made when he met the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) saying that the acute scarcity of petrol will ease on or before 7th of April.

The minister who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) also hinted that by May prices of petroleum products will be readjusted to match current trends.

He said, “Hopefully by tomorrow (Wednesday)/Thursday the fuel queues in Abuja should be over, hopefully the same thing will happen to Lagos and thereafter by the weekend we should see Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Port Harcourt and Warri get off the queues.”

Did you notice the words ‘hopefully’ and ‘should’ in Dr. Kachikwu speech, as quoted by Daily Trust? ‘Should’ means ‘it ought to be’. ‘Hopefully’ means ‘all being well’. As a student of Literature, with some knowledge in psychology, someone who is confident hardly runs away from using ‘definitely’, instead of ‘hopeful’ or ‘will’, rather than ‘should’. Using the words Dr. Kachikwu used, just shows someone trying to protect himself with words, in order to smartly wriggle out of something. In this case, that something is a promise made. Honestly, I won’t be surprised if the Petroleum Minister is sacked soon. However, if it happens, only God can save Nigerians from the detrimental effect it will have on us.

Whilst I hold the Federal Government responsible, I also appeal to petrol companies, stations, attendants, Manager and Nigerians to be wise, organised and disciplined. Queues ought not to extend to the road, preventing other road users from going about their business. Petrol stations’ Management should ensure that barricades are put to prevent extremely long queues. In my search for fuel on yesterday, I got news that there had been a riot yesterday at Oando petrol station on Berjer express, which spilled over to this morning. This prevented them from selling into cars and kegs and eventually driving everyone out of the petrol station. This was the case (of people being driven out) at almost all the petrol stations on that express.

Also, on my way back home, unable to make my meeting, on entering Omole Phase 2 Estate, I saw that the petrol queue from Capital Oil had gotten to the middle of the hill that goes up to the Estate gate.

Nigerians, if the government isn’t treating us well, we shouldn’t do same to ourselves. Let’s respect each other and the rules set for us. We don’t need to be beaten by MOPOL personnel, before we maintain law and order.

I keep praying that Nigeria gets better. I know things would get better. When? I don’t know, but pray I must. At least, power came on at my place yesterday, after about a week of no power.



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