AUTHOR: Ademola Adeoye
It is very easy and stress-free for you to just scream and shout that the lockdown be extended by Mr. President, because you have so much money in your varied Bank accounts and a lot of foodstuff at home to feed your wife and children. This is how insensitive and blasé the elite have become in Nigeria. Four (4) days ago, I was in my study, listening to a radio show and 98% of those who called from their varied homes were lamenting about hunger and lack of money. Many men and women called that they can no longer feed their children! Where I was, my heart sank!
Just a day after, I began to hear that hungry people, masquerading as hoodlums have started attacking and robbing people of their valuables. They are doing this—both at night and during the day! The poor people of Nigeria can no longer sleep at night again. They now stay awake (protecting themselves, their children, wives and their treasures) when they are supposed to be sleeping. The poor people are on lockdown, they are hungry and they are vulnerable to armed-robbery attacks!
It is possible for politicians to rise, debunking what I am saying that it is not true and those who are both hungry and partisan would support them, but the truth is; your politicians really do not know what you are going through. As far as they are concerned, you are fine. And as far as they are concerned, you are well protected by the Police and Army. The reason is because they are living so far away from every challenge that is bedeviling the common man!
Until the ruling-class feels what the common man goes through every-day, Nigeria will remain (for a very long time) as she is. Buhari clearly does not know what you are going through. He only knows what he’s told by bootlickers and blind-supporters of his. A few days ago, Boss Mustapha said that he never knew that our healthcare system is this ugly. How is he going to know it? He cannot know it, because he does not use it. He cannot know it, because his family members do not use it.
How can Buhari know that our healthcare system is almost non-existing? He does not use it. And I am sure the report he has is that our healthcare system is second to none. A man can be in power for eight (8) years and he will not know what his people are truly going through. I doubt if Buhari is going to know what Nigerians are truly going through till he leaves the office, because he too loves to be caged like a bird.
A President who cannot consistently hold impromptu town-hall meetings—from one State to another—will never know what the man on the street is going through. The stock in trade of politicians is falsehood. Each time baba speaks to Nigerians, reeling out non-existent statistics, I know he has been cuckolded and two-timed to like all the Presidents before him. As long as Buhari chooses to turn Aso Rock to both “Mecca” and “Jerusalem” that people to travel to, to worship and he does not move out, siting where the poor sits, identifying with the poor, he is going to ignobly and shabbily end his time in office like everyone before him.
Baba and other politicians do not know you are hungry, because they are not hungry. They do not understand you when you say you are hungry. When you say you cannot feed your children, they do not understand you, because Nigeria both feeds them and all their family members! I remember one of our politicians who said he has never bought petrol for once with his money—since he started driving since 70s! How is that one going to know that you are suffering?
I challenge President Buhari to leave Aso Rock unscheduled for the remotest parts of Katsina, Borno, Kano, Lagos… to see how people are suffering. When he returns to Aso Rock, sleep will elude him for weeks! There is so much poverty in Nigeria. Nigerians were very poor before the lockdown and the ongoing lockdown has made them to poorer! I write as a concerned Nigerian, not as a politician.
I remember a preacher, who lampooned the common man for complaining bitterly about the state of things in Nigeria, liking them to the church in the wilderness that perished in there because of complains. One day, same preacher traveled by road to a part of Nigeria and to and fro, he complained throughout as an effect of the badness of the road. He lampooned Nigerians for complaining, because he did not know what they are going through. When you go through what poor folks are going through, you will keep quiet forever and not talk again sloppily!
When Buhari wanted to place Nigerians on lockdown, he addressed us as a people and I believe that if he is going to extend it, honor demands that he addresses us again, so I do not believe he has officially extended it yet. But if he ends up extending it, it is going to further make or mar his government, if nothing is tangibly done to lift the teeming poor Nigerians out of the pit of poverty and hunger. In a few days from now, on the condition that nothing is done to truly shrink and lessen the suffering of the common man, I foresee a massive civil disobedience!
We cannot copy what is being done in saner climes and not completely paste it. There is no sane nation on earth that is locking her people at home without truly giving them money and food. It is only in Nigeria that a baby will be beaten and he is expected not to cry. Baba begging people to stay at home (in hunger and poverty) cannot work, especially when they can see that he daily fares sumptuously. How many fathers will beg his children to stay hungry for days without disobeying them, especially when the children can see that their fathers are eating? This is the true situation of things in Nigeria right now.