'NIGERIA SHOULDN'T BE TALKING OF SUBSIDY'
Dr Uma Ukpa, is the founding president of the Uma Ukpai Evangelistic Association, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He spoke recently to Daily Sun on fuel subsidy: 'The fuel crisis is about the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria recently. We do not seem to know that we grow by the opposite view.
'When a pendulum swings to the left, it requires an equal and opposite force to bring it to the right hand, and maintain equilibrium. Government needs to hear a strong voice of opposition from time to time. In attempt to respond to that voice of opposition, the government will grow, increase and learn and become better in their governance.' Excerpts:
Thank God government listened to the people
A government that hears only the voice of praise-singers cannot grow; cannot feel the pulse of the people; cannot hear the cry of the people; and may never understand the people. I was greatly excited when I heard the voice of the opposition. Not political opposition, but the voice of the people say NO to what government was trying to do.
I am sure, for the first time, the government has heard the voice of the people without any coloration. I also want to appreciate government for shifting ground. A government that responds to the cry of its people shall be a great government.
Jonathan still the man we voted for
The president by what he has just done has reassured us that the man we voted for, the man we elected, is one of us. Not a man from above, but the man from the wayside, is still the same man. Leadership is not for a perfect man that has made no mistake and who may never make mistakes. Leadership is for those who have once fallen and have also picked something before they rose up. I am convinced that this country will not be the same. Both labour and government have done marvelously well.
There is this great need for us to be ready to make sacrifices, both those who are leading us and us who are led. I know we have the tendency to say 'don't ask us for any sacrifice, find whatever you need from wherever you can find it, but not from us.'
Nigeria is the only country people get things for nothing
We are about the only nation where people do not pay taxes and expect good roads and good water. It does not make any sense to me. Life is not made in a way of you receiving something from nothing. They say 'there is no free lunch anywhere in the world.'We should be ready to make sacrifice that is what makes life exciting.
You have no right to possess what you have not pursued. You have no right to possess what you have not worked for. We should work for our progress; pay the price that goes with that pursuit. We say progress without pursuit is a dream that will not be realized. It is a pursuit that shows us the willingness to realize the purpose of your life. I want us to know that this last disagreement was not political and should not be political, and nobody should see with the political coloration.
It is we, being as natural as a man can possibly be. Let us take away the political colour some people have painted it with. It will destroy the aim and the purpose of that exercise. I will humbly ask the government to forgive all those who disagreed with Mr. President; and they should work with Mr. President.
Jonathan needs the voice of opposition
The president needs to hear that voice of disagreement. We are also excited that the government listened and shifted ground, and I like that the whole of Nigeria will accept the present position. God will help us to find the money to pay N97 per liter. The promise by government to change our infrastructure, they should know that we are excited, looking out for evidence of the execution of that promise. We expect them to execute it. A man that keeps his promise is a great man.
We have no business with subsidy
We want them to keep their promise that will bring changes very soon that refinery shall be built in Nigeria. The people that produce the quantity of oil that we produce should not be talking about oil subsidy. All we need to do is generate, refine this crude oil made in the country. A country that is said to be the sixth richest oil producing country in the world should not be as hopelessly poor as we are. Our roads are so terribly bad, particularly these inter-state roads. Our education is so terribly bad that our children now go to Ghana to study. Even our football has collapsed, we have no hope of winning any international match. Electricity has been a pain in our neck over the years. It seems it has defied our intelligence and creativity and imagination, which should not be.
We are blessed yet very poor
God has so stupendously blessed this nation that we should not be crawling. As things stand now, we are crawling through life. A man who is crawling through life cannot make a mark. If you are crawling from Uyo to Lagos, you need almost a decade to reach Lagos. But if you are flying, you need only an hour.
We should not be made to crawl, when God has already designed us to fly. We have intelligent people in our government, whoever is distracting them should leave them alone. I'm sure, if they are allowed to function without distraction, they will do much better.