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By Dr Dons Eze

In 2014, when the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan increased pump price of petrol, opposition politicians in the country led by General Muhammadu Buhari poured out to the streets to challenge, or demonstrate against it.

They mobilized members of various labour unions, church leaders, civil society organizations, political activists, etc., who laid siege on the country, and held everything to a standstill, until the government was forced to reverse the measure.

Conversely, it now looks like there is no more opposition politicians in Nigeria, or that the present crop of opposition members are mere paper tigers, empty vessels. They will make a lot of noise, but will not do anything. They will bark, but will not bite. They are lame ducks.

In 2015, when the present administration came on board, the pump price of petrol was N87 per litre. The government arbitrarily increased it, first to N143 per litre, and now to N160 per litre. The opposition members only made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, our Naira was exchanging for N186 per $1. The government raised it first to N365 per $1, and now to N156 per $1. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, electricity tariff was N18.46 per kilowatt. The government increased the tariff, first to N22.00 per kilowatt, and now to N66 per kilowatt. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, one bag of rice was selling for N8,000. The government increased it to N26,000 a bag. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, one bag of cement was selling for N1,100. The government increased it to N2,750 a bag. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, the Value Added Tax (VAT) was 5%. The government increased it to 7.5%. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, you can write anything you like, even lambasting the President and nothing will happen to you. Now, if you dare write anything that will embarrass any member of the administration, they will term it "hate speech" or "fake news" and will force you to pay N5 million fine, or you go to jail. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government still stuck to its gun.

In 2015, we only had Boko Haram as our enemies. Now our enemies have increased to AK-47 wielding Fulani herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers, killing and maiming people in their numbers. The opposition members made some noises and sat down. The government shut their eyes or closed their ears.

Perhaps, the government may be planning more stringent measures so as to tighten the noose on us, even to ask us to pay for the air we breathe, if they have the power, and the opposition members will not do anything. They will only make some noises and sit down. We can go on and on.

The present crop of opposition politicians are therefore not prepared to make any sacrifices. They are self-serving. They are not prepared to stick their necks on any issue, or to fight for the welfare of the people. They can criticize, but will not do anything.

The government has studied the present crop of opposition politicians and has thoroughly mastered their psychology. That is why they will always impose stringent measures on the people, knowing that there will be nobody to challenge them.

Thus, anybody who thinks that the opposition politicians will do anything with regard to the current increases in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariffs, or that the government is going to reverse the measures, is only living in a fool's paradise.

As always, the Lord is our Shepherd. NNL.

...Dr Dons Eze is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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