Connect with us







The President releases humongous sums as palliatives for the succour of the poorest of the poor and weakest of the weak and very badly brought up persons simply pocket it vide all manner of the most shamefully underhanded sharp practices.

Why should they care, when they have no mandate, are just appointees, and its Mr President the people will end up focusing their anger on?

Nigerians are presently going through tough times in a country made up of local government areas which make up the states, which then make up the country.

Except that the states have effectively destroyed the local government system, so our starting point will have to be these rather cannibalistic federating units.

The states, as constituted as the main subnational jurisdictions, are configured to be revenue generating entities with clearcut responsibilities to their citizens.

Against the background of the present food prices challenge, they get money for palliatives from the federal government; some distribute to the people, others can’t seem to account for it, just as they’ve long done with ecological funds, basic education funds, local government allocations, etc, etc.

Several seem to have done with it as they damn well pleased.

Why need they bother when there is a President and federal government to deflect attention to and on whom to heap the blame for the challenges citizens face?

The states actually have the biggest role to play in food production, access to food and food security but who ever remembers that, if at all they even knew that, in the first place?

Why should they be bothered when there’s a President to hide behind?

Despite the crucial role the states have to play in access to and affordability of food, a holistic approach to the present problem has to be initiated, coordinated and sustained at federal level.

Well, that federal response to the matter at hand has to be as heavy metal as it gets and our President must be prepared to bulldoze any impediment standing in his way in bringing relief to the people of this nation.

Funny enough, the present, rather galloping increases do not even necessarily reflect either genuine inflationary pressure or the effects of unfavorable exchange rates.

Much of the increase in prices, from the cost of a meal at a five star hotel to the prices charged by Iya Kura who vends rice by milk cup size, is more a function of pure shameful greed on the part of ordinary citizens than of any measurable or justifiable economic matrix.

Of all the sciences, economics is probably the most imprecise and arguably the most subject to victimisation at the hands of the whims and caprices of human beings, especially the most greedy amongst us.

What is called for at this time are the toughest tenable measures to arrest the present commensurately tough conditions faced by our citizens.

The price control laws already provide a guide for such extraordinary intervention by government.

If the greedy producers, bulk sellers, distributors and retailers of everyday food items will not control their greed and sell at economically reasonable prices, then that greed must be controlled for them by force of state power.

Indeed, and in tandem with the intendment of the price control laws, this should be of only temporary, adhoc and short term tenure in order to allow for sanity to be restored to the system.

Prices are not just atrocious because they are high; they are atrocious because they are made insanely high by very atrocious people.

Within the same market, in the same city, you might find the same bag of rice, as per quality, size and even brand, selling for bewilderingly differentiated prices.

In one shop it might go for N55,000, in another for N65,000 and in yet another, for as much as N75,000!

If you asked these shylocks what the heck was going on, they would, in all likelihood, blame it on government and inflation.

Just as those who were not long ago caught diabolically adulterating all manner of consumables at Cemetery Road Market, Aba, would have told you the biggest problem with Nigeria is President Tinubu!

You really don’t know who those mass-murdering clowns trooped out to vote for in the last election?

Well, it was certainly not President Tinubu but, nevertheless, just still blame it all on him!

Someone drew my attention to a viral video of some clearly badly brought up youngster who advocated “mass burial” for Nigeria’s leaders.

An “Obidient” on a common WhatsApp platform thumbed him up and I asked the utter clown where he figured “Nigerian leaders” come from?

Is there even really a leadership problem in Nigeria?

And the leaders keep coming from where, exactly?

Do they fall from the sky or hail from our various communities across this country?

Where they brought up in Hellfire or in the towns and villages of this nation by their ordinary Nigerian families?

Do they belong to a particular ethnicity or religious persuasion, or, do they come from our various ethnic groups and identify with the exact same creeds as the rest of us?

Where they once innocent babies, then bubbling youths or their mothers gave birth to them as full-grown heartless men and women?

The frustrated youngster had not only advocated mass murder for his elders but that the youths take over thereafter!

As if he would remain a youth forever!

Which youths, anyway?

The same youths who, whenever they chance to come to power, do far worse than their elders?

Have we not had them as governors, senators and ministers?

Did they, howsoever, perform better than their elders?

The putridly self-righteous perspective of this young fellow set me thinking about the hypocrisy of the average Nigerian.

We can be relied upon to rail against a vice we are religiously committed to; lampoon a bad habit we are addicted to; condemn a crime we regularly commit; and, complain about transgressions we are most guilty of.

Who is our latest fall guy?

Well, who else but our President, Bola Tinubu, should suffice for our penchant for transfered aggression?

These greedy hunters increasing prices like possessed reprobates across this country, have they increased their workers salaries alongside their increased intake?

The hotel that offered a meal at N3000 a year ago that is now selling that same meal for N10,000 today, has it doubled the salaries of its overworked staff?

Just increase your price, blame it on something called “exchange rate”, tag it with some nonsense called “inflation “, make sure not to increase the emoluments of your staff, smile to the bank and don’t you dare forget to blame it all on a fall guy called Bola Tinubu.

I can’t even figure how the National Bureau of Statistics and other monitors keep coming up with their 20 to 30 percent inflation rates.

One would expect that in the most formal business establishments the increases in prices should hover around that percentage.

In most places I regularly patronize, the inflation rate is way more than 100 percent year on year!

Not a single staff has seen a salary increase in any of those outfits.

Worse than kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers and terrorists are Nigerian businessmen, bankers, wholesalers and retailers who mindlessly terrorise the poor people of this country on a daily, if not per second, basis.

Can the present inflationary rate be reliably economically accounted for?

Of course not, because it isn’t really so much about ascertanable inflationary pressures as about the irresistibility of sheer disgusting, despicable naked animalistic greed.

Just psychotically increase your prices so you can splash billions on senseless parties, while not just maintaining but actually surpassing the previous financial year’s profit (as per purchasing power parity, for that matter), feel like a bad guy (or girl), make sure not to pay your tax and ensure to leave your workers ever more miserable.

Meet up with the average Nigerian business owner and employee of labour at a bar: he has increased prices across board; his profits are not only numerically but purchasing power-wise even more than ever before; he can pay his childrens’ school fees, increase his wife’s “household allowance”, and the allowances of his multiple girlfriends, numerous side chicks and uncountable concubines!

Ask him if he’s increased his workers’ salaries and he turns to you in shock, asking you how he’s supposed to perform such a miracle?

At least he agrees with you they must be having a hard time of it except that it is definitely because we have a bad government!

Can you imagine?

And, all of that crap with a face straighter than a meter rule!

But, hypocrisy is an equal opportunities vice in a country that tirelessly showcases the unity of the rich and poor, indeed, the high and mighty, when it comes to sabotaging one another.

The app driver calls you ahead of his arrival to ask if you will pay more than is indicated on the app; ask him what is wrong with Nigeria and he tells you the President is not doing well.

Dare ask him if he is doing well, on his part, by behaving like an “agbero”, requesting extra payment and even soliciting you not to have to start the ride but to allow him go off line so he doesn’t have to pay the app company its commission, and he insults your grandfather and hangs up on you!

Only God knows the kind of people He put in this country.

People who ingeniously, committedly and compulsively torment one another on a daily basis then gather together to recreate their President into some bogeyman they can blame for their wickednesses inter se!

How in the world are the workers supposed to survive in an economy of steadily increasing prices, which, by the way, amounts to steadily increasing balances their sweat is bringing in, if that increase in turnover is not reflected in their take-home pay?

Why bother, when you can blame it all on your President?

Mr President, time for the carrot is past; it is time for the stick.

Actually, the big stick.

More actually, the sledgehammer, if you really want to get a handle on the longstanding madness in this country.

May God bless Nigeria!

Onokpasa, a lawyer, writes from Abuja.

Click to comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /var/www/first2023/wp-content/themes/firstweekly/comments.php on line 48

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply