Coco’s Chronicles: Occupying Nigeria

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Everyone is familiar with these two words now Fuel & subsidy.

Youths, teenagers, old men and women, educated people, half educated people and non educated people in Nigeria must all be used to the term Fuel subsidy by now. But I constantly ask myself, how many of these people have an idea what this term really means.

We are all ready to occupy Nigeria but have we really understood what Fuel subsidy means? If the government means well or not? I know we have corrupt leaders in government but then do we even know what we are fighting for?

Subsidy is an assistance paid to a particular sector by the government. This sector could be a business sector or economic sector. Usually this assistance/subsidy is to help the cost of living mostly in urban areas. Whether subsidy is removed or not, it affects the economic sector of a particular country. However, the removal of subsidy is sometimes really important to help the economic sector of that country. Our minister of finance has clearly stated this importance.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking sides with these people. At least I know the government has neglected it’s primary obligation of protecting lives and properties and opted for Fuel subsidy removal, something totally insensitive at the moment in our beloved country.

Lives and properties aren’t only being endangered by Boko Haram but also by the people who are supposed to enforce law and order/protect citizens; the police and the army!

On Friday, January 6, 2012, I was heading towards Ikotun after a meeting with Noble Igwe on the Island and just after coming off the third mainland bridge, an argument ensued between a passenger in my bus and a policeman who was in Mufti. Before we could all blink in the bus, the passenger had been hauled out of the bus and thrown into the police van, his bag was thrown at him and many RRS men harassed him all at once! It felt like a scene in a Nollywood movie as we were all asked to get down from the bus rudely.

I was stunned. The policeman in mufti whom the passenger had an argument with kept screaming at the top of his voice. “I will kill you and nothing go happen!” He kept yelling. He waved his ID and added “See, I’m a policeman“. He emphasised further in yoruba “ma pa e danu! Iwo oloriburuku yi!

At this point, my heart sank and I wept inside for my country. A policeman yelling in front of a lot of citizens he was supposed to be protecting and threatening to kill when nobody committed any offence!

The question that popped up in my mind immediately was Do I want to raise my kids in this dangerous environment? A society where policemen had all the power and threatened/murdered people they were supposed to be protecting? And instead of our government to face this among other pressing issues they decided to be preoccupied with Fuel subsidy?

While I’m not on the Government’s side, I’m also not on the side of the people who have no idea what they are fighting for! It’s ridiculous that some of them carry sticks, cardboards and protest without any understanding of the reason they are doing it. It’s also amazing that while some of our celebrities have supported and represented the youths/people in every way they can, some of them who were in the fore front during the campaign are visibly silent and shooting videos.

Maybe what we need is a revolution, Maybe not. But while occupying, let us do so with sense!

May God lead us in the right direction and teach us how to occupy with results.



I’m a totally simple, sweet, funny down to earth girl. Extremely fun and nothing of an introvert. I’m so much into writing, I don’t have enough space left in my heart to love something else. I’m addictive and you’re not likely to let go once you know me. Twitter handle, @tomilola_coco


  1. Dear coco. I’m shocked dat on an issue as sensitive as dis and dat by d time I read ur article, uve had 275 visits and not a single comments! Maybe because this isn’t a topic ud normally write about? I’m glad u wrote about it and may I say ur piece is beautiful(wouldn’t have expected this from u, anytime) I’m sure that by now, trust me, pple already know what they are protesting for. My question is, can we step this up a notch? I’ve always wondered why our so called celebs think they are invinsible to us as if without d audience they can make it. If this were in jand, D’banj and the Mo’hits publisist will be doing damage control by now but here in Nigeria? No way! While we are busy protesting, buroda Dapo(D’banj), who took money on our behalf as Nigerian youths to support a president who grew up with no shoes and a guns blazing wife and gbagaun mistress,is busy shooting the video to his ‘Oliver Twist’. A youth ambassador insentive to the plight of the youth? (I heard Don Jazzy apologised on twitter but does dat cut it? Really? I’d watch and see if we have the nerve to say no to D’banj and his ‘Oliver twist’ video he shot while we the youth he is the head over were stuggling for our fatherland. If we do, maybe these people would really understand that they need us to make it…btw,u support his video, u only want him to do more stupid things. Don’t forget; Oliver Twist will ask for more. Again, thanks Coco…sori if I wrote an article instead of a response. It pain me ni

  2. Gud piece there coco, cos i’ve been wondering on wheither people really understands the meaning of subsidy, but with this explation, i think they would now know the meaning…..

  3. Hello Coco, I understand your stand on people not knowing what they are fighting for but I want you to understand that the fuel subsidy removal fuelled the anger the people have kept inside all along.

    We are fighting corruption generally. We have had enough. Some people don’t even care what you mean by fuel subsidy. All we all want is to attempt to cut corruption to better our lives and that of coming generations.
    The protest against the removal of fuel subsidy is just a tool that the people are using to express their grievances generally.

    P.S. Its actually awkward for me reading an economic piece on Coco’s chronicles. **eyes rolling**.

  4. not everyone is ignorant as you think. You think you understand what the subsidy removal is all about but you don’t. You probably look at the things they promised to provide with the savings from the subsidy removal and u think it’s laudable but u forget that these people have missmanaged everything from the crude oil reserve account, accrued oil revenues. What makes u certain that these things would be done. Some of the roads highlighted on that campaign paper is already nearing completion. The same people talkin about Nigeria being broke still live opulent lifestyles look at our budget and see how much is being budgeted for the presidency and legislators. That’s where the real drain is.
    This is subsidy removal bears striking resemblance to a parable in the bible where a rich man with many sheep had a visitor instead of killing one of his, he took that of his neighbour, a poor man who had just one sheep Which he treated as one of his children, and killed for his friend to eat.

    If you wanna write an article try and get your facts straight look at both sides of the story and not just utter ignorant views just cause the strike and protest is affecting you.

    The common man maybe only concerned with the differences in petrol price but that doesn’t mean their isn’t a point to it.

  5. Nice piece Coco keep it up bt I think d pple do nt need a university degree to understand that d hike in fuel price affect d price of everything n dat affect their life

  6. Wait, do u evn think Nigeria has subsidy on its fuel? Gurl, its jus anoda way of increasing their dubious-earnd income. #simple.

  7. @soji: thanks for d comment
    @emkay: U can read about anything here out. Lol
    @freeman: thanks for d comment
    @martinkemi: honestly I doubt U understand what U read. At what point in time did I take sides with the govt? Pls let’s CAREFULLY read 🙂 btw, I got my facts right. I know what I’m talking about. Thanks.
    @feyi: hmm. U’re right. But U’l agree that some pple do not understand what they are fighting for.
    @mrsamuel: thanks for d seat. I totally appreciate it. But maybe U shld sit instead and read again. And realise that I didn’t say d govt is right/wrong. I objectively pointed out facts.

  8. Great write-up, but I’m on the sides of the people. The removal of fuel subsidy is a scam. First of all, the amount being said to be paid on subsidizing the consumption of fuel is inflated and also,the major goal of the government in removing fuel subsidy is to generate more revenue for the government. There are lot of other ways to do that. From my knowledge of the 2012 budget,about 1% of the budget is being spent on 2 people (GEJ and sambo), I hope you can imagine what that means when you derive the amount from the the whole budget… and that’s even before you start mentioning the amounts being earned by other political office holders. A large chunk of the budget is being spent on running the government. The problem of nigeria isn’t the fuel subsidy, its the structure. The people can not suffer for the failure of people in government. I can’t impoverish myself to enable ebele eat for 1 billiona naira worth of food in a year. These facts ought to occupy our hearts and we must occupy the streets. Nice write-up once again…

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