Buhari’s medical trip, poverty and Nigeria’s doom
By Shadrach Okon
For a long time I have been silent watching the drama that is unfolding in this country, looking at a nation that is daily disintegrating with a motley of her citizens fighting each other while the national flag keeps fanning the sky, feigning ignorant of our disunity and the impending doom.
The language of the air we breathe these days is made up of catastrophy. When the ‘Change’ mantra came in 2015, many had thought that bad leadership in the country would only serve as a stubborn monument of the past, little did they know that the inception of a new government is just a new crack to tell the story of a nation perpetually in labour of bad leadership—-a country that her citizens continue to sit tight in subdued suspense waiting for better days even when it continues its snaky dance down towards the threshold of disaster.
Many Nigerians due to frustration now have nihilistic vision of the future of the country. Struggle for daily survival has become the granite basis of their daily living. You see the flotsam and jetsam drifting in and out of the major cities in Nigeria, all in search of livelihood.The phrase ‘One nation’ is only an invention of the capitalist class in the country while ‘Our Fatherland’ has been held as an instrument in the hands of the bourgeoisie for the exploitation of the masses. The authority of the law is a means of holding down the proletariat; while religion has become a means of doping the people to exploit them afterwards. Is there left anything that is not dragged in the mud in our nation?
This week we are told that our soidisant democratic President has abandoned a nation on wheels for a medical check up in London. What a height of insensitivity? The President of a country leaving his fellow compatriots to seek medical attention in a foreign land when the National Association of Resident Doctors are embarking on strike for poor condition of service is more than a national disgrace! To read the deeds of our leaders in Nigeria is to enter the world of the insane, a world peopled by hideous and distorted shadows. In the whole world, Nigeria is not a partial, but a total explanation!
The germane question is: what happened to the President during the Covid -19 lock down that foreign trip became a suicide mission? How did the President survive during this period? Is it not laughable that a President who claims to be the messiah of the country has failed to rejig the healthcare sector of his country and keeps sauntering abroad for medical check up in a foreign hospital built by another President? Nigeria is a nation where majority of her citizens are sedated by sadness of losing their loved ones to death due to the poor health system that continues to linger in the nation like a tick in an untidy woman’s hair while our President seems to act like nocturnal species trying to relate to reality and doing it clumsily.
Before his advent in 2015, the President had promised to end medical tourism in the country but after half a decade of holding the power lever, the President is still going abroad for a routine medical check up. What a shame! This is enough reason for President Buhari to resign.
Charles Udoh’s illusion of ‘a beautiful Uyo’
Recently, the Commissioner for Environment in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Charles Udoh in a bid to make name in his new duty post has been battling to clear street traders and beggars off the major streets in Uyo. As good as this development may appear, the state government in her bid to have a beautiful capital city has failed to tackle the root of street trading and begging in the state.
The presence of street traders and beggars in the streets of Uyo are the tell-tale signs of our poverty bedevilled society. Akwa Ibom State is a society with few rich men ‘stranded’ among the poor masses. Street traders are the dregs of our dislocated society, who serve as constant reminders of our exploitative society. These set of Akwa Ibomites are daily rattled by the gust of poverty and hardship that characterize the oil rich state why their leaders sit in AC offices and feel that they constitute nuisance to the state. Everyday day street traders ignore the deep moan of the harmattan wind that blows them and the fierce sun than burns them to bring their wares to the street just to put food on their table why their leaders remain in air- conditioned cars and keep their gaze averted from their plight.
The awkward question that presents its self before us is who are the people that constitute the street traders and beggars? Are they enlightened minds or the skilled youths? Definitely no! Forget the facade of a free and compulsory education in the state, no enlightened mind remains in the streets. The young men and women that adorn the streets of our capital city are the same political crowd that our politicians sew uniforms for during electioneering campaigns to sing their praises and abandon them to kismet after elections. These are the same people who after chanting ‘Udom is Right’ and the ‘Only God’ Mantra line out on political campaign grounds fighting for a thousand naira as transport fare and struggle to be fed by a system of food card from ‘politicians public kitchens’ afterwards, they still return home to continue with the vicissitudes of life.
The increase on the number of street traders in our state only amplify the eloquence of poverty, lack of skills and good education in the state. It unmasks the hoax of sordid hypocrisy of the ‘Only God’ Mantra which the present administration uses to divert our attention form the real issues. In the words of Alan Bullock, ‘ …: possession of the streets is the key to power in the state’ a government which has failed to possess the mind’s of the people in the street cannot force them to leave the street. Lashes and more lashes will not take the people off the street, it will only make them stubborn and more addicted to the street. If we fail to engineer their minds off the street, they will continue to remain there because that is where we have placed them.