By Abdullahi Musa
Muslims ( I pray I am not read as a bigot) are aware of the advice given to someone by Prophet of Islaam peace be upon him: do not be angry.
The interpretation that may be given is that we should not act in anger, for most often the result is regret.
I reminded myself of this Prophetic advice because I am angry. But I do not intend to be violent as a result of my anger, nor would I be abusive.
What I intend doing is to draw the attention of those who misrule us, since it is the utterance of one of them that causes my anger.
The Minister of Finance in President Buhari’s cabinet was reported as saying that they will borrow $2.2 billion in order to finance fuel subsidy.
Some people are mean by nature. (One American lady said Dick Cheney liked hurting people) I am not saying this Finance minister is mean. But what I won’t apologize for is saying that she seems to buy-in to the narrative that a Finance minister is a government’s Executioner: to extract blood from ordinary citizens in order to feed political vampires. So her demeanor has to show meanness.
Now a question: is there gravy associated with the office of Minister of Finance? If yes, from which source? The Treasury of course.
If nobody believes there is gravy in the office of Finance minister President Buhari believes there is.
When he was recounting the favors he did to Kaduna state people, he said he gave them the Finance ministry. To leave them in no doubt, he said in English-Hausa: finance fa! I can translate it poorly like: I mean finance!
Right from there we can infer that retired Saint Buhari was telling us point blank government operators are expected to profit from their offices, so much so that if the daughter of a certain people corners the finance ministry, the gravy associated with that office will flow to the stakeholders of that state.
When FG and hirelings gobble up more debt, they intend to finance projects from which they make more money. And do they love fuel subsidy! There you pay for fuel not imported. You cover your tracks by saying fuel has been smuggled outside the country. And since IMF insists poverty is the lot of citizens of Third world, a Finance minister gunning for a World Bank job would have to convince them she can be as merciless as they desire.
Nigerians love to talk. People can spend an hour jisting on the phone. This current Finance minister swooped upon them with her eagles talons and started extracting blood in the form of VAT. They charge VAT on electricity with which you recharge your phone, they charge VAT on electricity that goes into production, and yet they charge VAT when we buy the final product. Wallahi ( swearing by Allah) they would charge VAT on the air we breathe if they could. They are that wicked, and we are that docile.
The government shows that there is no difference to it’s finances after it increased the VAT rate, and after it started to tax our speeches and text messages. And we accept it: we will work harder, pay more taxes. Buhari, Shamsuna and National Assembly are always right. They deserve more of our blood.
Lipstick? If one is hungry, thirsty, the lips can show that state by drying. A lipstick ( in case of a woman) may be used to mask the signs of hunger.
But my intention with the metaphor of lipstick is with regards to Senate. No matter the parlous state of nation’s finances, the institutions that are safe havens for politicians will continue to be oiled by governments since they are sure citizens are slaves to be worked to death.
Many women dispense with make up. Would it not be an insult to such women were they to be hungry and you say you have money for lipstick and none for food? Federal government has money for Senators, for Afghanistan (did they borrow in order to make donation to Afghanistan?) but none for the enfant terrible called ASUU, who always cash in on strikes to work full time for so-called private universities.
A docile citizen is not a good citizen. I am as docile as they come. I would wish that others also accept their contribution to the sorry state we are in, so that we collectively, thunderously say: we will be cowed no more!
Abdullahi Musa writes from Kano.