Petroleum Deregulation; Now that it is the Hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.

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Sometimes last week when Nigerians led by the vibrant and purposeful Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the last hope of the common man was demonstrating against the draconian policy of the Yar'adua regime to enslave Nigerians the more, he had a curious guest in his Aso Rock Villa. That was Baroness Kinnock, the British Minister for African Affairs. Whatever that means. Predictably it was at his meeting with Baroness Kinnock that Mallam Umaru Yar'adua affirmed to Baroness Kinnock, she shouldn't worry and that she can go to sleep well. As far as their policy of the deregulation of the Nigerian petroleum industry is concerned, it is a fait accomplished. There is no going back on that! He even banged his hand on the table.This was the same week that the British Home Office released its figures for those seeking visa to the UK, as usual Nigeria topped the list as well as list of visa reject. It is equally the same week that the United Nations released the names of countries with highest asylum seekers. Predictably Nigeria topped the African list and came third after Afghanistan and Iraq in world record.

To, they said Nigeria is a not failed state, while we can understand the mass exodus by Iraqis and Afghanistan from their countries because of their on going wars, what then is the reason for Nigerians if I may ask cheek in tongue as if I don't know. In a civilised society where the government has respect for the citizens they truly govern such a policy decision like deregulation of the petroleum industry supposed to subjected to a referendum. While Yar'adua and his boys are just there for their pockets and godfathers. Like manner I had in the news that the House of Representatives are blindly supporting the deregulation. Have they gone to their constituencies to consult with their constituents to seek their views and opinions on this important national matter?In a true democracy when have legislators who are suppose to represent their communities become an appendage of the Executive arm of government?

Me thinking was that the visit of the British minister was an opportunity for Yar'adua to seek the help of the British government to repatriate the Nigerian wealth stashed in British banks by judicially known looters like James Ibori and others. But alas he was so happy to tell his guest that he was ever ready to mortgaged our future, the future of our children and the future of our children's children. What a country, what a leader.Sometimes I would wonder whether Nigeria is a cursed land but no I concluded, because it appears to be the most blessed land on earth in virtually everything. But where is the missing link then? While purposeful and patriotic leadership and that is it. That singular act flew away from Nigeria long long ago and has decided to perch in the Republic of Ghana. Now as the cartoonist in the Leadership newspaper will say 'It is Nigeria most go'In any good organization, once a problem is discovered solutions are proffered but not in Nigeria. Just recently in the UK, when the brouhaha about the expenses of MP generated so much animosity in the land, the government swung into action and new rules have been put in place to check the expense claim abuse.

Now that the UN and the British statistics have shown that Nigerians are amongst the highest asylum seekers on earth behind war ravaged Afghanistan and Iraq. Countries with famine on their hands like Ethiopia,Sudan, Somalia without an effective government are even far ahead of Nigeria now.

If there is really a government in Nigeria supposedly a democratic government, can't it set up a committee of experts to study why Nigerians are the highest asylum seekers?Shouldn't government that cares about the welfare of its citizens find out why there is surge in kidnapping and armed robbery nationwide lately.

Even lately too there is a loud discontented in the ruling PDP. While a house decided against itself can never stand. Come on Mega Party, now is your time. As for the deregulation of the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry now we know it, “The Hand of Esau but the Voice of Jacob”. Better still putting it the Nigeria way, “A witch cried in the night and a baby died in the morning” who killed the baby? Your guess is as good as mind. But soldier on Nigeria Labour Congress victory is on the horizon. Evil can only triumph temporarily. Otherwise ask those who killed Dele Giwa 23 years.

I rest my case.

Ndiameeh Babrik. [email protected]

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