Fuel Pump Price Increase and Other Stories

By Jude Atupulazi

Not long ago the Federal Government announced an increase in the pump price of petrol, basically reverting to the pre-COVID-19 price regime. But one thing stood out. It was the speed with which petrol dealers changed their meters to reflect the new price regime. Mind you, these were the same people, who, when the price was reduced, took a long time to adjust their meters to reflect the reduction. Their explanation was that they still had old stock which they must finish before commencing with the new price regime. Story, story…

Bearing in mind the antics of the petrol marketers, I had immediately gone to town the very next day to once again confirm my fears that they would behave true to type. THEY DID!

In fact, with the speed with which they changed their old prices, one had the impression that they must have done so at midnight. But what gave me more source for worry was the fact that our own filling station, CAPAD, was part of the ”game”. Yes, one had thought that given the background of this station as one owned by the Church, at least they would display what we call ”Obi Church”.

But they did not. I was told on enquiry that prior to the recent increase, there was a massive reduction in price which caused them and others to lose money because of the old stock that was not exhausted. Thus, they had to use the latest opportunity to recoup the past loss. I was also told they increased the price to fall in line with other retailers. But who would believe this? Why did not the same factors come into play when the price was reduced?

I recall being at CAPAD and other stations immediately after the previous announcement of the reduction and I discovered that everyone was still selling at the old price.

Am I being too hard on our own filling station? Maybe; maybe not, but I guess at times like this, someone has to lead by example and make sacrifices, especially if one has an image to protect. This was why my biggest pain came from what I observed from our own backyard.

Nevertheless, I praise them for having reliable meters and for selling quality petroleum petrol.

As for others, we know they are wont to act as everyone has come to expect. However, I believe that the day Nigerians learn to be principled and genuine in their dealings with others; that will be the day our salvation will begin. As for me, I’ll always talk as I see it.

Magu: Hunter becomes the Hunted

Early in this past week, the news media was awash with the fate that befell the chairman of the nation’s top police dog, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu. First was the news that he had been invited to the office of the Directorate of State Security, DSS. But the explanation given was that he was only paying a friendly visit to the office.

But later in the day, the news of that supposedly friendly visit changed to suspension. And that was how, Magu, the once beloved of President Muhammadu Buhari, the man who rode on the tiger’s back, ended up in the belly of the tiger.

For long, Nigerians had baulked at the choice of Magu as the boss of an agency saddled with fighting corruption. Nigerians’ disenchantment was based on the unsavoury record of Magu who was deemed ”unclean”. Even the senate had tried to dissuade Buhari from appointing him but Buhari paid deaf ears to them and other Nigerians calling for Magu not to be given such a sensitive appointment.

Understandably, Magu believed he was the beloved of Buhari and did as he fancied. But he forgot that Buhari is a ruthless master who wastes no time in disposing with the services of those he no longer finds favour with. He also forgot Buhari’s notoriety in using and dumping people and even going after their scalps.

Former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, was one whose fate made no meaning to Magu, only for Magu to suffer same fate. The case of Orji was particularly interesting. After Orji had virtually betrayed his people to be a lapdog of Buhari, Orji was still thrown to the dogs.

The once untouchable former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is also taking his turn to be rubbished and brought down to earth. Tinubu hitherto saw himself as one Nigerian who was above all others. He even started eyeing the presidency and because of his ambition he saw nothing wrong with Buhari and fought tooth and nail to have Buhari back for Buhari’s second term.

But alas, when Buhari came back, he wielded the big axe on Tinubu who had earlier distanced himself from his people. Today, as Tinubu grapples with the reality that he is mortal after all, Nigerians have left him to cry alone and deservedly so.

Magun should have seen the danger signals from the above two scenarios. But he believed he was safe on the tiger’s back, only to become the tiger’s dinner soon after.

Should I feel sorry for Magu? Not me.

Rising Cases of Child Abuse and Rape

These are bad times for girls of every age. The times are also bad for house helps. Those in these two categories have been on the receiving end of varying degrees of brutality.

For some time now, reports in the media have been on young girls being defiled by others, including their fathers, brothers, uncles, and outsiders. People have also been raped by herdsmen. These beasts in human form make no distinction in their victims as they have been reported to rape one year old babies and those older.

Several reasons are being proffered as possible causes but chiefly, the coronavirus lockdown has generally been blamed for that. Those toeing this path of reasoning say the boredom and frustration of staying at home often pushes some people to go over the line. But then, I ask; have we come to the level of beasts as to rape our own blood and minors?

For sure, rape has no justification, even if a woman walks naked on the streets. But those involved will always blame the devil. To me, that’s pure balderdash!

Methinks, like many other people and groups, that the stiffest penalty be prescribed against the perpetrators. No one has the right to violate another and anyone who does that certainly does not deserve being in the midst of civilized folks.

Another bad one is the brutalization of house helps by guardians. Almost every week we hear about such abuse. The latest was the case of a child in Enugu State who had an electric iron pressed on her body and a six inch nail driven on her head by her madam because he baby she carried fell down as the maid dozed off. Even though nothing happened to the baby, Madam was livid enough to brutalize that maid.

Luckily neighbours alerted the police, leading to the arrest and detention of the woman and her husband who was privy to the inhuman treatment.

In another case in the 33 area of Onitsha, a little boy was seen in the night fetching water outside with bruises on his face. On interrogation it was found that he was beaten by his master for not fetching water. Meanwhile, the master had an older child whom he spared because it was his biological child. The matter was reported to the police who arrested the said uncle.

I want to commend members of the public for always reporting such cases and I encourage them to continue doing so. Maids are human beings. That they were forced by circumstances to live with anyone does not warrant them being treated as if they are not human beings. In fact, what is good for anyone’s biological child is good or the maid or house boy. That’s the way it should be.

Sadly, those who do these things probably sleep in the church and deceive themselves as being Christians. This is just too bad.

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