GOVS' ADVICE ON SUBSIDY IS TREASONABLE
The association formed by the Nigerian Governors (otherwise known as Governors' Forum) was in the news last week. They sought to intimidate or blackmail or use President Goodluck Jonathan as a cannon fodder for their indifference and complicity against the payment of 18,000 Naira minimum wage the Bill of which Mr. President has signed into law.
They advised Mr. President to withdraw fuel subsidy as the only condition for them to pick the bill as part of their recurrent expenditure. The Governors were also reported to have threatened to reduce the work force in their states as the only alternative open to them.
For all intent and purposes, this pieces of advice coming from a group of people who are supposedly exercising people's mandate, leaves a sour taste in the mouth as it smacks of their insensitivity to the plight of the average Nigerian and the electorates who toiled and laboured during the last general elections to get the Governors elected.
It is my settled opinion that with a friend like the Governors Forum, Mr. President needs no more enemies because they ought to know better that removal of fuel subsidy is a security matter in this country because it would never go without public resistance because of its economic implications on the impoverished Nigerians. Therefore, it would be suicidal for the corporate existence of this nation for anybody to touch this issue with such levity by the Governors Forum, which amounts to compounding the security problems when the federal government is trying to cub the malfeasance of the Boko Haram, Niger Delta militants and kidnappers across the country.
For God's sake! Why has the Governors' Forum failed to counsel its members on the issues: The need to surrender billions of Naira they collect monthly as security vote, which invariably is larcenous on the public treasury. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has set a good example in this respect. Scrapping the offices of their first ladies that is not known to the constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended). Surrender the billions of Naira, which most of them edited from the monthly allocation to the Local Government Areas in their state. Reduce their monthly overseas tours.
Reduce the retinue of personal staff. Cut down on the fleet of cars in their convoy. Most of them need to be transparent and follow due diligence in the award of contract in their state. Finally, members of the Governors' Forum should be warned not to push Nigerians beyond the absorption point because of our peaceful disposition to public issues. They should learn from the wave of revolution that has crashed many dictators across the Arab nation, which started like a child's play from Tunisia.
• Abdul-Rahoof Adebayo Bello is a member of academic staff in political science, National Open University of Nigeria.