By Louis Odion
It is a factual error to conflate the subsidy uprising of 2012 and the crisis of 2020. True, both speak to a national emergency, but the circumstances are starkly dissimilar. Nigerians that marched across the nation in the harmattan-scorched January of 2012 were actually protesting a touted rising economic tide that didn’t in any way raise their individual boats.
Rather, what they saw was an emergent tribe of free-loaders fattening on petrol subsidies. Then Senator Bukola Saraki had blown the whistle: billions of naira budgeted as petrol subsidy originally were ballooning into trillions. And the beneficiaries were mostly campaign donors to the ruling party in the 2011 polls in the most audacious sort of political incest.
Just a teaser of the profligacy and squander-mania that had seized the land then: the Excess Crude Account (ECA) with $22b bequeathed by Umar Yar’Adua in May 2012 had been decimated to $4b by the turn of 2010.
The people saw briefcase…