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A Christmas message of hope by Fela Durotoye

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My dear brothers and sister, at home and abroad.

I really wish I could extend to you my very best compliments of this season with my best wishes for a very Merry Christmas. But that wouldn’t be true and it will lack the integrity that I have held dear for most of my adult life.
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The truth is that whilst in all things we do give thanks to God, for life and health and much more, I still can not deny that I am not very merry this Christmas. In fact, on the contrary, I am actually quite sad.

I’m saddened by the fact that people … Nigerians … are stuck at fuel queues with empty petrol tanks when our tires are literally driving on pools of crude oil because we have been abundantly blessed by the God of Creation.

How can I, with a clear conscience, wish anyone a Merry Christmas? What is Merry about being in fuel queues or getting stuck for hours in traffic queues at every petrol station.

Many families can’t travel home to reunite & reconnect with their families, friends & loved ones this Christmas, as is their annual tradition, because many people simply do not have enough fuel to travel or are held bound in fuel queues at petrol stations.

Even the privileged few with enough fuel to travel or enough money to buy fuel from black market extortionists are still caught up in horrendous traffic queues around fuel stations nationwide.

Too many people are stuck at bus stops all over the country waiting for buses that overcharge them because they claim they bought fuel at black market price. So please excuse me if I don’t feel so merry this Christmas.

I wish I had enough petrol to give to everyone in need this season. In fact, I am certain that most people will consider a 50liter keg of petrol their best gift this Christmas even if I couldn’t gift-wrap the keg with ribbons.

Unfortunately, I also do not have enough petrol to spare. But, what I do have in abundance that can go around everyone and still have lots to spare is my most precious gift … HOPE … the hope for a New Nigeria.

So, rather than wish you a Merry Christmas, may I wish you HOPE for a New Nigeria without queues … a New Nigeria with enough refineries operating at optimum capacity, producing the best quality petrol and derivative products that exceed our domestic consumption. A New Nigeria where we export refined petroleum products and earn additional foreign exchange for our nation in addition to our crude oil earnings.

I wish you a New Nigeria where petroleum products are piped through the ground without ruptures and spills because New Nigerians protect OUR pipelines and don’t vandalize them.

I wish you a New Nigeria where 970 tankers aren’t plying our roads over long distances each day carrying 33,000 liters each simply because thousands of Nigerians are gainfully employed in the construction of world class pipelines and rail tracks across the country carrying our products from tank farms to depots in every state and major city across Nigeria.

I wish you a New Nigeria with fuel prices less than 50Naira per liter because we produce the crude oil here in Nigeria and refine it here in Nigeria. Because we don’t have to pay so much more to import what we can and should be exporting.

I wish you a New Nigeria where no one is looking to sell or buy adulterated fuel on the black market fuel at 500Naira per liter … .

So kindly receive that which I have to offer you right now … HOPE … who knows? perhaps Time & Chance will happen to empower me to give you more than HOPE sooner than later.

Just remember that HOPE is the down payment for the future you desire & deserve. HOPE pays for the sacrifice required to do what you need to do in order to get the future you want.

So go ahead and give some Hope to someone who needs it today. Indeed, take a step to spread some Hope this season especially if you have a little extra to share BUT just in case you don’t, please take some of my hope for a New Nigeria and share it with someone you care about this season

May God bless you this Christmas and May God continually bless our Federal Republic of Nigeria.

FelaDUROTOYE

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