By Kareem Itunu Azeez
Recently, it was widely reported, that armed robbers had taken over some areas of Lagos, Ogun, where the lockdown had actually been tough, however this are expected analysis without connecting the dots, definitely this will still continue compared to the crawling security measures we have. However the tragedies of Nigeria is way more than that. The pandemic caused lockdown came with it many other children terrorising Nigerians as at current time.
When the president read out his prepared speech, with an additional 14 days, which continue a 28 days non stop stay at home, there were less murmurings, because there was a lockdown, but not total lockdown, and I can’t say if it actually achieve its primary aim of curbing the spread of this Virus, but I know one thing for sure, it’s the trouble of palliatives that never has been put into place, the necessary changes that haven’t been created to make life even much more easier. I once took a walk through the rough edges of Okoko, before the lockdown actually started some three weeks ago, the hoodlums were all in troubled mode, one said, “Things go lost oo” transcribing that simply means, many properties would go missing. And in reality, things have actually begin to miss, only that it comes with more deadly uproars. If you read the guardian newspaper of Tuesday, April 14th, of 2020, It headline read: “Danger looms as Buhari extends lockdown”, such mischievous act only shows you how destructive even media houses are beginning to be, although this was however criticised also by the veteran journalist Jimi Disu. Now back to the children I emphasized on at the beginning of this article, the first is,
Hunger and it’s icy hands.
During the first period of the corona virus total lockdown, in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja respectively, the things media won’t report is the many people hunger had killed, and who are unnoticed, due to this, the hunger virus seems to be battling the poor and the real vulnerable people, “Survival was trouble for many of us, who only survive on daily income”, one Lagosian had explained to me, “I have five children and a wife, and I have being at home, with nothing to eat since morning” that was a call coming through to the Naija info, radio station I listen to on the morning crossfire. That’s however not all, so many unknown people roaming around with hungry sacks who will provide for them and their kids, but the government warn citizens not to constitute nuisance, without any provision, but with the sole and moody message of “Stay safe”.
Many times palliatives inform of food have been said to be distributed, to the poorest of people across Nigeria, but the truth remain so glaring that even those of us at home are among this poor vulnerable masses, and while trying to fact check those who are referred to be poor, I realise such data do not exist in tracking this so call imaginary people.
Nothing in form of palliatives have being seen, at least media will pose that, likewise the politicians currently in power, but for the average Nigerian, who pays tax against their will, nothing yet has been seen, it’s better they give us a different lie. And since management is the only hope we rely on, In Deji Omosholas’ recent article titled ” how to survive during COVID-19, he had said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change” here is a new change, should we continue to sit the struggle or bend now to let it pass?
In view of this, the market women and sales men of perishable goods, such as food, and one-time use equipment hike their prices, for no reason, so I pose the question to the masses too, “The sudden increase in goods, is it caused by the government or by our innate attitude to be greedy, and opportunity to also exploit ourselves? Even though at the end of this we still blame the government. In reality the people are the problem of the people.
Donations and it’s utilization
Recently, THE European Union donated €50million to Nigeria to Battle COVID-19, this comes amidst the too many billions of naira, as well as dollars from different philanthropist, as well as organizations, of which analysis and breakdown hasn’t been met on how this money has been spent, or where they have been spent also.
Various fake news are usually circulated during periods like this, but if not for some media platforms who took it upon themselves to verify and fact check, maybe Nigerians still won’t know the truth. Some days ago, it has being reported that we do not have enough (Personal Protective Equipment), over the hundreds of thousands of masks that were reportedly and confirmed to have arrived in Nigeria, from China, so I begin to wonder who are those using it.
Trying to give a breakdown of the numerous and awesome donations is only trying to grieve ourselves the more, the real issue is, in a country said to be practicing democracy, and separation of powers, and a developing standard of government workers, I find this unacceptable and barbaric that we are yet to see analysis on how all this donations have being spent, or where they are going, little wonder Nigerians are requesting that this monies should be shared using their Various bank details. Even though government doesn’t work that way, would one blame them for such thought, as the government keep dwelling strongly in corrupt practices, it’s only a matter of time before the people will start asking the right questions, without fear or tribal considerations. But would such time come, the masses will keep waiting.
A dead local government structure
It won’t be too much to say, if I assume there are no local government, in fact, we don’t need them, a central and state government is actually okay for the system we exhibit and not theoretically practice. Walking through Various local government areas in Lagos, particularly, Itire-ikate where I sojourn for the main time, my disappointment was gigantically met, and as expected, it was just a dead place. We assume this are the closest leaders to the people, the Chancellors, Chairman, but after election they become a control tool to whoever has fix them in the position they occupy.
Nigerians at this time should have known we do not have visionary leaders, or the ones with vision are actually been trampled upon by the bad ones who grow everyday, and who use the greedy aspect of our fellow citizens to exploit our weakness.
My advice therefore is the scraping or deletion of the local government system of government, I raise this motion not just of my opinion, but as a political science student, who have been vigorously trained, as well aa considering so many options of which the current disposition is my primary case study, the local government system is a waste of resources, as it no longer live it’s purpose. It is disheartening that till this moment, nothing reasonable been recorded or any motion being said to have being raised and pioneered by this people who live by our taxes.
But as usual, the blame are to be blame, I sincerely do hope they start asking the right questions as of with time.
This is actually a normal norm, in a country I come from, where are the Amotekuns, a period where some hoodlums come together to infest on the fears of the masses who are defenceless, the Amotekun are still hiding under the cloak of “Nothing has been finalised” the situation currently is not for the weak at heart. Everyone wants to survive, the sooner the pandemic ends, the better for those who have seen violation as the only source of survival to return to their other ways rather than stealing, till then everyone is advised to equip themselves personally, with the tag, “Self defense”. Nowadays, it’s between youths between the ages of 14-18, terrosisng their clans, this kids have being raised by wrong parents and at such they imitate what they are thought, let us hope justice will catch up with them.
Conclusion; we are punished for the selection of wrong leaders.
Developed countries across the world are not developed because the system of government is paramount, but this is due to the decision of the people to understand power belong to them, it is the positive orientation of the people to know the leaders work for them, not the other way round where the people work for the leaders, as majority of the African states are known for.
In Nigeria, and in recent years, the masses are used to one thing during election, either they are paid to vote or they sit at home and grumble that their votes won’t count, the recent election is a typical case study, where about just over 15 million Nigerians voted for the current president of the country as compared to the 11 million plus for Atiku, out of over 80 million registered voters. This narratives has being in existence since the 1980s upward. So I tell Nigerians since you believe your votes don’t count, why complain about a system you didn’t vote for.
Nigerians need to know the current pandemic is a general issue, and for the time coming the end isn’t so close, which means, the lockdown is to some degrees going to be extended. It’s numerous children are what we are battling with, and this are just during the situation, a newer challenge is bound to erupt post corona virus, and that is the shift in supply curve, the time is ever near to understand the people need proper orientation that the government work for them.
Kareem Itunu Azeez writes from Lagos, current President of Association of Campus Journalist Lagos State University and also a local coordinator, for the students for liberty West Africa.