Tinubu’s One Year in Office Leaves Nigerians with Fewer Choices and Diminished Hope, Written by Adeyemi Oluwatosin

In a recent statement, Nigeria Vice President Kashim Shettima disclosed that 90 billion naira was allocated to subsidize the 2024 hajj pilgrimage, drawing condemnation from many who argue that using public funds to support religious pilgrimages in a country suffering from widespread poverty is a gross misallocation of resources. This revelation comes at a time when the state’s budget is already stretched thin, leaving many questions why the government continues to prioritize religious pilgrimages over more pressing socioeconomic issues.

The Vice President’s statement comes on the heels of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s removal of fuel and electricity subsidies and the introduction of numerous taxes, leading to hyperinflation, hunger, and a marked increase in the cost of living. Many have condemned the government’s apparent insensitivity, pointing to its allocation of 90 billion naira to subsidize a select group of citizens for a pilgrimage that ultimately only benefits the host country’s tourism industry

To compound matters, in yet another example of misplaced priorities, the Tinubu administration earmarked a staggering 70 billion naira for the renovation of the National Assembly building, a structure that accommodates just 469 members of parliament, while only 1 billion naira was budgeted to build a meagre 12 hostels for tertiary institutions that are home to millions of students.

In the face of policies that burden the masses, the government routinely tells its citizens to brace themselves for more hardship, while simultaneously making a mockery of their struggles by using the funds generated from the removal of subsidies to maintain their lavish lifestyles. This ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach to governance has led to widespread disillusionment among Nigerians who feel that their leaders are more concerned with their own comforts than with the well-being of the people they swore to serve.

The country where 5 billion naira is approved for presidential yacht and N24 billion for presidential residence renovation, while the masses struggle with increased education costs and rising school dropout rates, is not a nation; it is a prison of poverty, a bastion of corruption and greed masquerading as a democracy. How long must we endure this charade, this travesty of justice, this insult to our intelligence? We must rise up and break the chains of oppression that have bound us for so long. It is time to reclaim our dignity and our destiny. We can not continue to allow the powerful few to hold our future hostage.

On the day of his inauguration, Tinubu, with a wave of his hand, declared, “Subsidy is gone!” With those three words, he dealt a devastating blow to the Nigerian economy, leading to a spiral of economic chaos and misery for the people. Like a tidal wave of pain, prices of goods and services surged, leaving citizens struggling to make ends meet. The devaluation of the naira and the increase in electricity tariffs added insult to injury, while the removal of education subsidies further widened the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Like a parched desert traveler in search of water, Tinubu’s thirst for money appears unquenchable. His insatiable appetite for taxation seems as boundless as his appetite for power. Even as Nigerians struggled to stay afloat amidst a sea of economic woe, he continued to increase VAT, excise duties, and attempted to levy an ill-conceived cybersecurity fee. Only the resounding protest of the people forced a temporary reprieve from this relentless pursuit of revenue. At this rate, it would not be surprising if Tinubu and his government attempted to tax the very air we breathe.

In the face of these sweeping austerity measures, the Nigerian government’s decision to pour 90 billion naira into subsidizing religious pilgrimages for a privileged few reeks of callousness, ineptitude, and sheer wickedness. Meanwhile, the members of the National Assembly, already fattened by self-serving legislation, enjoy a staggering 74.23% increase in their budget, a veritable feast at the expense of the people

As the cost of living climbs ever higher, this government seems to have forgotten that the primary function of its existence is to serve the people, not the wealthy few.

Tinubu, who promised to build on Buhari’s legacy during his campaign, has indeed kept his word. Within a single year of his presidency, the people of Nigeria have witnessed not just the continuation of the hardship suffered under Buhari’s regime, but also the escalation of it into a nightmare of even greater misery. If “Shege” was the name given to the suffering of the Buhari years, then “Shege Banza” must surely be the moniker for the unparalleled suffering experienced in just one year under Tinubu’s government.


Alas, in the face of such blatant disregard for the welfare of the Nigerian people, advising the government on ways to improve the situation seems to be a fruitless exercise. President Tinubu must be reminded that the weight of his policies is pressing down on the necks of the poor, constricting their ability to breathe and thrive. However, the only way this message will resonate with the president is if the people themselves rise up and make their voices heard. Until then, we can only hope that he will soften his grip on the vulnerable, allowing them a measure of relief from the crushing despair of poverty.

My plea to the people of Nigeria is this: Arise! Shake off the shackles of indifference and passivity that have kept you silent and suffering for so long. The government has become deaf to your pleas because you have allowed them to abuse their power unchecked. No more can we sit by idly as our rights, our dignity, and our hopes for a better tomorrow are trampled underfoot by those in power.

The hunger that gnaws at our bellies must fuel the fire of revolution in our hearts. The time for organized action is now.

Let’s start the REVOLUTION. This is the only way out of this quagmire.


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