Costly food, cheap deaths, which way Nigeria?


Costly food, cheap deaths, which way Nigeria?

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu


Nigeria map Food stuff and related items are no longer available in abundance in Nigerians’ homes as they used to be. People now design feeding formula to ensure their existence. Codes like 1-0-1, 0-1-0 means, breakfast, no lunch, anyhow dinner and no breakfast, anyhow lunch, no dinner. Erstwhile cheap consumables like roasted cassava starch, popularly known as garri is no longer affordable for the poor. Palm oil, pepper, meat, fish even salt are unaffordable.

Ironically, the more expensive the food and related edibles , the cheaper the people’s lives.

A particular husband killed his wife because of N100. Policemen pull the triggers and snuff life out of commercial bus drivers and conductors because of N50. The statistics of cheap deaths are endless.  Yet, some people somewhere are already campaigning for election in 2019. Which way Nigeria?

Once upon a time, the Nigerian child only heard about guns and violence in his or her literature books. Guns seemed faraway objects meant to be found only in war zones. That was the era when unarmed thieves tip-toed to people’s homes at night in order not to wake residents in the course of their stealing petty things forgotten in the premises.

Then, the country’s peace was not negotiable. The era of civil war did not witness cheap guns as we have today.

Everyone now plays the blame game. At what point did we bring this curse upon ourselves?

The problem has its roots in nobody and everybody.

Someone sought elective position in government and believed nothing must come between him/her and the juicy job. He sought for and got loans here and there, bought weapons of destruction to tackle his perceived enemies. The guns, given to the ‘boys’ were used as instructed, killed and maimed the innocent.

After the elections, the big man stole from the people’s collective purse, paid the boys and requested the return of the guns. They collected his money but refused to return the guns, having seen the opportunity of income earning through formation of groups and forceful collection of money from their targets.

Now, the big man joins the blame game.

Another one packed the entire money earmarked for health and education of the citizens, stashed it in foreign banks. Run government with peanuts and still expect appreciation from the people. They build one small market shopping block where they should have constructed an ultra modern market with every necessary facility and still spend money on advertisements to show that he is working.

Or the woman whose husband is ruling, who also insist on a giant slice of the national or state cake as the case may be.

They rendered many breadwinners jobless through needless retrenchments. Children from such homes mostly ended up uneducated. No matter how brilliant, the big man would never assist in their education, even if they happen to be his extended family members.

By and large, such children grow up to be criminals against their wish. The survival instinct rob them of compassion. The result is armed robbers, book haram, kidnappers etc.

Which way Nigeria? Our youths, in their bid to escape hardship at home, faces harder times abroad. Now that death is cheaper than food, who will prefer the former to the latter?


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