By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu


NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: Let the whole wide world join me in the universal celebration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has just repeated the immortal feat of discovering ice.

The first time ice was ever discovered in human history was in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

According to the opening sentence of One Hundred Years of Solitude, “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

Now that many ill-assorted young Nigerians are making noises about cooking food endlessly in the mad bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, I think what really needs to be celebrated is President Tinubu who has not only now discovered the ice of fuel subsidy but has gone ahead to break it!

To break the ice after just discovering it is not a mean feat at all. A bolus of ice cream for President Tinubu!

When one clueless fellow then known as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan dared to break the ice of fuel subsidy on January 1, 2012, by putting the subsidy-less fuel price at 141 Naira, all hell broke loose, to use an old cliché.

Jonathan’s very unpopular New Year “gift” sparked off spontaneous anti-government demonstrations the very next day, that is, on January 2, 2012.

The heart of the matter today is that all the erstwhile activists, fire-eating journalists and unrepentant progressives who rioted back then are now hailing this latter-day discovery and breaking of the ice of fuel subsidy by Tinubu.

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Yes, Tinubu has done what Jonathan attempted to do, but there are no protests in the streets which makes me believe that we are no longer in Nigeria but in Macondo!

The hapless Jonathan was gifted with the “Occupy Nigeria” riots as many protesters marched on the streets with placards and bonfires.

A melting pot of the struggle against Jonathan was the Gani Fawehinmi Square in Ojota, Lagos, when for a week, from sunup to sundown, Nigeria’s self-advertised revolutionaries converged there in the solidarity of telling truth to power.

In the new dispensation of President Tinubu, the progressive revolutionaries have tattooed their tribal marks in the shape and size of that of Macondo where the discovery of ice always meets with tumultuous applause.

Jonathan was slated because the cost of everything such as transport, housing, school fees, food, etc. stood to increase unlike in Macondo where things change and remain the same.

The common man would not have been able to survive Jonathan’s onslaught but in our new Macondo, the people can always understand and survive by being fed on the high cost of the ice of Washington Consensus Democracy.

The first objective of the “Occupy Nigeria” protests against the Jonathan regime was to force the government to return to the status quo and cause petrol to be sold at the previous rate of 65 Naira per litre.

Since we are no longer dealing with Nigeria but Macondo, the fuel price can go as high as 700 Naira per litre and people can trek from Ndiorumbe to Katakata land without anybody complaining.

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What happened to Nigerians as per the organised fight against fuel subsidy removal in 2012 to its arranged acceptance in 2023 is the magical realism of transition from Nigeria to Macondo.

Nigerians are like the eponymous Rip Van Winkle character of Washington Irving’s short story who drank a strong brew and slept for all of 20 years only to awaken to a totally changed world in which 700 Naira fuel is preferable to 141 Naira fuel.

Nobody now wants to remember that after poor Jonathan was forced to reduce the fuel price to 97 Naira he in the course of time eventually reduced the price to 87 Naira.

Having successfully transited from Nigeria to Macondo like Colonel Aureliano Buedia who followed his father to discover ice, Nigerians of the new Macondo era earnestly ask for higher hikes in fuel price and electricity tariff!

As distinguished members of the idle rich class, these transfigured Nigerians operating out of Macondo cannot have enough of anti-masses policies!

In keeping with the brave new world of the discovery of ice by the great leader of the country now renamed Macondo, let’s give the last word to the conclusion of the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude “because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”

Uzor Maxim Uzoatu is a renowned poet, journalist and author

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