Etcetera is back with another long epistle. Read below.
Dear President Buhari, I will like to extend an invitation to you for a tour of down town, so that you can have a clear view of what the people who voted you into office feel about certain decision your government has taken so far, especially the decision to ban ‘I-pass-my-neighbour generator’.
Contrary to the picture your advisers have painted to you, the decision to ban ‘I-pass-my neighbour’ generators will only bring more hardship to the people down here who have never in any way, benefitted from the Nigerian government at any time. The little hope that your “change” mantra brought to the poor man is fast becoming another tale in the book of presidential lies.
So, for you to really understand the ramification of your decision, I urge you to come for a quick tour of down town. Don’t worry sir; it won’t cost you a thing. We will ensure that your visit is as comfortable as we can. Yes, we know you don’t
take ‘shepe’ or ‘mishango’ or ‘Ghana root’ mixed with ‘draw-draw’. But don’t worry, we will have enough pure water available for you to cool your feet, wash your face and quench your thirst.
It is true that the streets down here are littered with broken water pipes and heaps of smelly refuse dumps as a result of lack of government presence. But babu wahala, we will see to it that your danshiki doesn’t get so messed up.
It will be nice to have you address the youths and explain to them why you have taken the decision to throw our streets into darkness and expose us to more terror from armed robbers. Sir, have you considered the amount of small business operators that will be incapacitated by the ban you have imposed on ‘I-pass-my-neighbour generators’?
Come sir, and see for yourself how many families will lose their source of livelihood simply because they cannot afford to purchase the bigger generators.
Sir, what becomes of the barber, the hair dresser, the recharge card seller whose business is run with ‘I-pass-my-neighbour’ generator? Have you considered the difference between N10, 000 generator and a N50, 000 generator? Do you think the people are happy using ‘I-pass-my-neighbour generators? Someone who earns as low as N15, 000 monthly, how do you expect him to buy and maintain a N50, 000 generator?
You should also consider they have other needs. I think this is a wrong move and one that will drive most self-employed youths into armed robbery and other illegal activities.
And ‘I-pass-my-neighbour generator kills? Hmmmm Mr. President, I thought hunger and bad roads have killed more Nigerians than generators? How come you haven’t placed a ban on hunger and bad roads? Is this a part of the “change” we should expect from this regime? Is this one of the groundbreaking ideas given to you by the new minister for power? How do we achieve steady supply of electricity by banning smaller generators?
What I see here sir, is the government favouring the rich against the poor. The importers of bigger generator will no doubt see this as a welcome idea; that is if they didn’t lobby for it. This is one of the most insensitive decisions taken by any Nigerian government. Shouldn’t it be a general ban on generators?
Is it that punishing the poor has become a goal in itself for the government? Too many affluent Nigerians – and, in particular, members of the political elite – seem to have no sense of how much suffering is down here on the streets.
Little wonder the governors woke up one morning and decided that they can no longer pay the N18, 000 minimum wage of workers. For these governors, what is really striking is the total disconnect between conventional wisdom and the reality of life – and death – for much of the nation. It is like there’s a badge of wickedness on the forehead of our politicians.
Sir, what we want is for you politicians to stop talking blithely about the importance of alleviating the sufferings of the masses and truly start looking at the way their less-fortunate citizens live.