BEYOND COVID-19, NIGERIANS NEED PALLIATIVES EVERYDAY!

In the wake of the worthy #EndSARS protest, and the further brutalities that ensued, hoodlums were let lose under the watch of the Government in various States of Nigeria. There was widespread violence, looting, robbery, arson and other criminal activities by men and women of the underworld.

In the middle of this development, some Nigerians at different locations made huge discoveries – not of natural resources or scientific causes – but of Covid-19 Palliatives meant to cushion the hardship occasioned by the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in Nigeria. 

Incidentally, it happened that the Government and other civil organizations had pooled resources together towards making available, food and other materials including cash to help the people in the trying times. But typically of the Nigerian environment, the Palliatives failed to go round. Like the proceeds of our natural resources, a few people have held on to big chunks from inception and till date, leaving a vast majority of the people impoverished. Nigeria is a land of plenty but a land of want. A land flowing with milk and honey but also flowing with hunger and thirst, for food and for justice.

The “Scientists” who made the discoveries of the Covid-19 Palliatives were jubilant as they helped themselves and their families with large stock of food items originally meant for them. From the videos making the rounds, the Palliatives were sufficient to go round, making the whole process of evacuation peaceful. No sooner than later, Nigerians became more and more inspired as they went in search for more, like oil explorers. Reports had it that even the residence of the Oba of Lagos was one of the “warehouses”. But this claim is largely unfounded because the Oba is not expected to be one of those charged with the responsibility to share the Palliatives in the first place. More so, the Oba would have been a recipient of Palliatives from well-meaning subjects. The home of some politicians were put in flames in the hope that the fire will exhume more palliatives. Expectedly, other privately owned warehouses with no connection with Covid-19 palliatives also became victims. In Ekiti State for instance, the “Explorers” went in search of palliatives until they allegedly took delivery of food substances not fit for consumption. But from the body language of the people, they seem to be saying they would rather die, after all, they have been used to feeding on “poisons” which have kept them malnourished for long. Hence, does it really matter now? They say. All die na die! Government at the grassroots has not been living up to expectation especially in this Covid-19 era and with regards to the Palliatives, and the people are not holding the leaders at that level accountable. 

Nigeria’s Divine Palliatives

The human and natural resources with which Nigeria is blessed are God’s own way of giving the nation divine palliatives for the good of the people. But some of our leaders and politicians have stood in the way – Fantastically corrupt leaders performing fantastic stunts. Huge “cash deposit” have been found buried in caves like mineral resources. Cash have been found living in fully air-conditioned apartments like humans. Bullion vans control the votes at elections. Discovered loots are relooted and then rediscovered. Some of our ancestors like the Late General Abacha have been indirectly repatriating funds he had “saved”, from the grave. Those at the mouth of the grave are taking delivery of that “super Palliatives” falling like manna from heaven.

Nigerians deserve Daily Palliatives

Nigeria has enough to go round and her people deserve daily palliatives. The poverty and suffering are at unprecedented level. Nigerians need palliatives in the form of food, clean water, good healthcare, roads, housing, electricity, employment, security, etc. Human and fundamental rights must be respected and preserved. Life must be cherished. 

The people need a true and effective enabling environment for them to realise their full potentials in business, sports, entertainment, etc. 

Our civil and public servants cut across several agencies of the Government must turn a new leaf. Many of them are incredibly corrupt and have been a clog blocking the wheel of progress in Nigeria. Any fight against corruption that does not penetrate into these agencies is a waste of time.

Instead of piling huge sums of money at home and abroad for their 4th and 5th generations, our leaders and politicians should fix the country now so they won’t have to bother because their unborn generations will naturally have enough to live with. This is achievable. 

The Handwriting on the Wall

In 2012 Nigerians occupied Nigeria. The 2020 #EndSARS protest has made the 2012 Occupy Nigeria look like an activity in an amusement park. We have no idea what may be next. This is not prophetic. Past and current events are throwing more and more lights to the handwriting on the wall.

Our leaders, politicians and other wealthy citizens acknowledge this. This explains one of the reasons many acquire dual citizenship and build homes abroad while Nigeria is being used as their shopping plaza for business and raising of funds. 

We must come together

The Council of State, stakeholders, elders, youths, civil society groups and all true lovers of Nigeria and lovers of Nigerians must come together and agree on a way forward now that peace still linger like day, before the mother of all nights will befall the nation. I sincerely hope that night should never come. 

 



Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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