There is hunger in the country. Real hunger. Hungry for food. Hungry for truth. Security hunger. Hunger to be reassured that the Nigerian dream does not go away in no time. Hungry for heroes, real heroes. Hunger for true religion. Hunger for stability. Hunger for ethnic harmony. Hungry for the rise of true leaders. Hunger for a true democracy. Hunger for a true federation. Hunger for a country in which, although tribes and languages may differ, we are in fellowship. But the hunger of millions of Nigerians for food, for the ability to put food on the table and feed their families is overwhelming. Inflation flies like a supersonic jet. The wages stopped like the sun on Mount Ajalon. Amid this shortage of food and peace of mind, some Cubana laggards and their cohorts sprayed money at the funeral as if there was economic prosperity, wackily vying for a garish display of wealth. , badly acquired or other.
In all of this, the government is missing. No word. No remission. No new political orientations. Even the military in their day introduced stopgap measures. The CBN is doing acrobatics with monetary policy. The federal government is in debt, absent from the true psychology of presence. Indeed, in Nigeria it would seem that “Hell is empty because all the devils are here” if I can borrow Shakespeare. This created another kind of hunger in the form of a fundamental question: when will this odious and cavalier approach to governance end?
When there is hunger in the country, the government is forced to respond to cries. The government is obliged to take measures to curb inflation. Why do we have runaway inflation? Why has the power of the naira declined so low? It is worse in the “war ravaged” areas of the country. How do the children in the area terrorized by the bandits eat daily? What is their fate in life? What is their fate in the future Nigeria? A truncated childhood is a truncated future. How do women eat? Can farmers go to their farms? The government has to do something. The federal government. State governments. The 774 local communities. To alleviate suffering. To reduce despair. The Nigerian child should not go to bed hungry. Nigerian families should not go to bed hungry. Have we read any statements by a governor about intervening to end hunger, to fight inflation? Wasn’t the goal 2023 and how they are to stay in power in 2023 and beyond?
How is the average civil servant doing? And the small trader? The average family of four or five? How are they coping with the frightening and frightening rate of inflation? How much money do we have for food? These are not people who are crying over the restructuring of the country. They don’t worry about the big issues of the day. They just want to go on living on a daily basis. They don’t hate, at least not because of religion, ethnicity, or cultural difference. They just want to live and let others live. They are more in Nigeria than those making the headlines. They don’t dream big. They are found in Akwete. Found at Amawbia. Found at Kaura Namoda. Found in Mereje. At Ikere Ekiti. In Igbora. In Talata Mafara. At Bauchi. Nembé. Oloïbiri. In Gboko. In Ilajé. In Igbotako. All over the country. The struggle of great men, among great men, between great men, over great problems, makes poor and ordinary people desperate for food, for a living. This must not continue. It cannot continue.
The wives return from the market with a history of misfortune. Family relationships cry over inflation. The monthly pass cannot take anyone to the bus stop. Meat protein is getting leaner and leaner in the pot and the plates of millions. It’s real, this cry, this hunger. A garri basket that was N350, which went to N550, then N800, then N1100, N1700, now it sells for N2000 and up. A basket of rice is now. A basket of beans that was selling for N2200 in early 2021 is now N3400. Indomie, noodles, the must-have dish for little ones is now N4200. A cow that sold for N150-N250k in early January of this year is now selling for one million naira. For the poor Level 1 civil servant, this translates into something deep when he has to eat at home. Or in the buka. An average goat now sells for N50k, starting at N30k. Yet we have not heard a word of direct relief and intervention from governments across the country.
Hungry for food! Hunger for the necessities of life! These have led to revolutions in the past. Hunger for Bread and the French Revolution of 1789. We are told that “the French Revolution was obviously caused by a multitude of grievances more complicated than the price of bread, but bread shortages played a role in the anger against the monarchy ”. The Arab Spring began as a series of “protests against” oppressive regimes and a “low standard of living”. It is true that Nigerians have become accustomed to a low standard of living. It is true that the demonstrations were brutally repressed. It is also true that the Nigerian government has not been able to put a brutal end to the insurgency and banditry that have taken hold of the territory. What do these facts tell us?
Mister President. Mr. Governor. Minister. Mr. President of the Senate. Mister President. Mr. legislator. Mr. LG President. There is hunger in the country. Can you feel the pulse? Do you feel the fury? Do you feel the stomachs rumbling through the requests and pleas for help? There is hunger in the country. Furious hunger. This is not rhetoric. It is not politics. No one is sure what the garri would cost tomorrow. The buyer is hungry. The seller is hungry. And angry. No one can plan effectively. There is a national nightmare that dances before our eyes like halos. Vertiginous. Anguishing. Food is a national nightmare. Inflation is a national nightmare.
Nigerians abroad keep saying ‘when are things in this country going to change? It is no longer their country. This is the country! Heart touching. Disturbing. Not comforting.
If there is empathy left, now is the time to intervene, the time to fight hunger as a politician. Now is the time to fight inflation. It’s time to get back to the drawing board. A time to heal. A time to think about the poor of the country. For a country with so much food, we don’t have to keep people hungry and angry. The poor in the Northeast were recruited into anti-state war movements. And others are recruited. Hunger is the cause.
Religion is just a smokescreen. It’s the truth. The poor in the north and the poor in the south are feeling the bite. It is a common denominator. The fact that most of the people in a region are in the seat of power at the federal level does not, has not reduced hunger in any part of the country. Bob Marley once sang, “A hungry man is an angry man! My brothers and sisters, there is hunger in the country! Even the blind and deaf can see, hear and feel the great noise of annihilating hunger!