February 11, (THEWILL) – The old and common parlance, suffering and smiling, is no longer applicable to Nigerians. In as much as they try to cope with the burden of daily life, the unending hardships are not helping matters in any way. With a worsening economy that has been battered over the years, mass looting of the common wealth and mis-governance by successive administrations coupled with the general insecurity, life has simply become brutish and nasty for most Nigerians.
Over 10 months into the new administration, which promised to renew their hope, the people’s pain and agony is now being renewed in the most disappointing and nauseating manner, with no assurance of an end to their suffering. Promises made in the past and continuously being hyped at every given opportunity have all turned into lousy propaganda with no meaning to the ordinary Nigerian.
Today, the pain and agony is no longer for the poor and vulnerable alone. Now the rich also cry and bitterly, too. No particular segment of the Nigerian society is immune from the suffering and hardships currently being experienced in the land except those with itchy fingers who have suddenly found themselves in the corridors of powers and decided to join the mass ”looting spree” of their predecessors who they tried to demonise, forgetting that they are even worse.
Most of the officials in successive administrations have turned out to be rogues in power and the current ones are not faring better, either, from what we have seen so far. What we are experiencing currently now, unfortunately, are the cumulative effects of years of bad leadership and mis-governance stained by uncommon corruption and massive looting of the national treasury by rogue leaders who should, by now, be gnashing their teeth in jail.
With over 33 percent increase in food inflation, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report from the National Bureau of Statistics, it is no surprise that Nigeria has moved from the inglorious position of the poverty capital of the world to a country where over 90 percent of the world’s hungry people live, according to a recent report.
The recently-released Food Security Report of the World Bank even paints a more serious picture, saying the situation in Nigeria is compounded by worsening insecurity and armed conflicts across many states in northeastern and northwestern Nigeria. The bank specifically noted that significant portions of West and Central Africa are expected to remain minimally food insecure until May 2024.
It also projected that the far north regions of Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara States, will experience crisis-level food insecurity, due to the ongoing insecurity and dwindling livelihood of the residents of these states,
It is therefore still not clear, yet, how the presidential order for the immediate release of more than 102,000 metric tons of various grain types from the National Food Reserve and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria will have any impact in a country of over 200 million people.
The pervading general insecurity has contributed to the increasing food crisis as bandits, terrorists and kidnappers have driven away the farmers from their farmlands, killing, maiming and turning our various food baskets into killing fields. Kidnapping now appears to be the most lucrative crime in Nigeria today as dare-devil armed robbers are cashing out big time in the widespread kidnapping rings and cells scattered around the country.
Unfortunately, government’s response to the food crisis, especially the skyrocketing prices of food items across the country, is nothing to write home about. The so-called palliatives promised months ago to cushion the effects of the hardship Nigerians are facing have since entered ”voice mails” and they are nowhere to be found.
There is therefore no doubt that a major crisis is looming large as Nigerians have practically been pushed to the walls with empty and failed promises as the poor continues to get poorer while the rich are getting richer in a country that boasts the largest number of hungry and poor people in the world. Protests witnessed in some cities and states in the country last week might just be a sign of what to expect in the very near future.
The Federal Government and all the authorities concerned should therefore do all within their power to assuage the increasing suffering and hardship that Nigerians are painfully going through at the moment. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.