Opinion

Hunger Virus: Nigeria on the precipice of revolution by Durojaiye Akeem Olalekan

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Hunger Virus: Nigeria on the precipice of revolution. – By Durojaiye, Akeem Olalekan

I watched with sad heart the video of Mr Emmanuel Ihmoudu, a taxi driver, the security operatives impounded his vehicle at the popular Area 1, Abuja and subsequently later imprisoned. I cannot but reflect on what may have prompted an obviously sane man deliberately put off his cloth and damn the consequence. He threw away his dignity and pride as a man.

I was more devastated with his agony filled voice when he responded to a question on fear of Coronavirus, he said “I get children… I get wife, na money I come find to chop….no money … nothing……….. I no fear Coronavirus, hunger virus pass coronavirus “. That struck me too hard. This is one of many agonising realities Nigerians are facing daily even before the pandemic. Ours is the poverty capital of the world.

COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order have exposed the general failure of Nigerian State. The state over the years has treated the citizens with disdain and with no sincere programmes to alleviate poverty. With the lockdown, the chicken has come home to roost.

A Yoruba adage says, “He who ties down a goat, must provide food close to the pole”. Recent happening around the country where robbers troop out in tens and hundreds to dispose people of their valuables and even rape is a testament of the fact that we are at precipice. This may sound too hasty but we have also seen that hunger can make people attack shops and vehicles with food items.
Jean-Jacque Rousseau says, “when the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich”. With the speed of light, Rousseau’s vision is coming to life in Nigeria.
More than ever, we are close to masses revolt which may be the springboard to socio-political revolution. We may all behave like the ostrich and pretend it will not happen but history says otherwise, Cuba revolution and the Arab spring are good examples.

Before I end this piece, here is the definition of revolution, “a revolution is a fundamental and relatively sudden change in political power and political organization which occurs when the population revolts against the government, typically due to perceived oppression or political incompetence” (www.yourDictionary.com).

Leaders at various levels should immediately rethink and jettison the foolishly accumulating wealth that would not save them when the bubble bursts. There is more to humanity than wealth. Furthermore, urgent steps must be made to get the needed palliatives(not 2 cups of rice as currently being done) to the right people in time. Employers should assist the employee while the employee must sympathize with employers too. Or else…..

….. averti est avant-bras (translation: forewarned is forearmed)

By: Durojaiye, Akeem Olalekan

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