By Danlami Nmodu
The film ‘Fuelling Poverty’ is a must watch for every Nigerian youth.It is as riveting as it is an annoying review of the forces indeed fuelling poverty in Nigeria .The brazen lack of accountability in the oil sector and the callous decision by the Jonathan regime to attempt removing fuel subsidy comes out in bold relief.That attempt and the revolutionary pressures that ensued afterwards are captured by the film by Ishaya Bako.Professor Wole Soyinka’s introductory remarks in the film prepares the grounds for the trenchant portrayals of the odious state of corruption in the oil sector.Clearly, Bako captured the Nigerian reality in this 30-minute film in a way made some people at the event seemingly yearning to watch it again.
Dr Otive Igbuzor one of the discussants observed, quite rightly that the filmed has the capacity to fuel anger which is required to propel people into seeking change.He however noted that for change to happen , you need to move from awareness to consciousness and organizing.Organization for change has been a missing link in Nigeria, he said.
Ms Ifueko Okauro, former boss at FIRS believes the documentary reminds all of the events of January-the removal of subsidy and the protests.She noted that accountability is about people’s habits and responses to events around them.Failures of people to be objective about performance is a deplorable habit .Clement Nwankwo while commending Bako, observed that most Nigerians feel betrayed by the acts of the Goodluck Jonathan regime, especially given the circumstance of his emergence.People truly regret voting for him, Nwankwo said ,adding that we are sadly witnessing the breakdown of Nigeria .He observed that this government has no capacity to govern and he urges Nigerians to try and salvage the country.
Professor Ibeano noted that from the remarks at the forum ,it is clear that elections are not enough.A member of the audience decried the role of labour union which he described as a puppet of the regime.And the need for activists to create a new platform for organizing the next protest was emphasized.
Dr Oby Ezekwesili, former head of Nigeria’s due process office and ex minister who spoke earlier, urged Nigerians to know more about the nation’s budget and “follow the money”.
The event organized by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa ,OSIWA was held at Silverbird Entertainment Centre, Abuja on Thursday evening.