By Galaxy Imanmadu
Vibrant Human Rights Activist and Executive Director of Global Action Against Hunger, Crime and Violation of Peoples’ Rights (GAHCAVPER), Comrade Emeka Nwokocha, has taken a swipe on Nigerian political leaders, saying they are wicked, heartless and very corrupt.
Comrade Nwokocha, made the statement in Warri recently while lamenting the excruciating suffering and hunger Nigerians are being confronted with in recent times following astronomical rise in foodstuffs in the country, especially in the southern States.
He said, “how would you describe the leaders of Nigeria who do not bother about the welfare of the citizens; what do you say about the Nigerian leaders who have succeeded in enslaving the poor Nigerians and subjecting them to unbearable suffering and servitude; what name would you call Nigerian political leaders who have become so corrupt to the point of embezzling our common patrimony and living like Lords and swaggering with humongous salary, while the gullible citizens grope in forlorn hope, penury and hurtful destitution.”
He continued, “is it not an aberration that despite being blessed with abundant natural resources, including crude oil, gas, gold, uranium, limestone, and others too numerous to mention, Nigeria currently bears the humiliating appellation as the poverty capital of the world, having overtaken India in 2018? Meaning, about 87 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty because their daily earning is less than $1.90 dollar a day. Most annoying is that 6 Nigerians migrate to the poverty club every minute.
Does this narrative not vex good spirited Nigerians? Assuming Nigerians are living in delusion, and blinded by their ignorance, I don’t think I should tow that inglorious path. I must speak up against festering evil, I must speak up against oppression, I must speak up against the maltreatment Nigerians are subjected to by their wicked political leaders.”
Comrade Nwokocha continued, “would anybody deny the fact that Nigerians are suffering too much? With what indices do you describe a country whose leaders are heartless other than the glaring facts staring us in the face that majority of Nigerians can’t afford two square meals a day? I can go on and on to reel out the wickedness our heartless leaders mete out to the people. I challenge anybody to counter these open facts I am bringing to public awareness.
“In a nutshell, what I’m saying is that Nigerians are gnashing their teeth, and they have not had it so bad before now. Can you imagine that one cup of rice is now sold at N150, even a basket of garri is N1, 200 at open market. You can’t buy meat, you can’t buy fish, even eggs and chicken are too expensive in the market because all have become the food for big men.
“How do we live in a country where the citizens are starving to death because they cannot afford common food? With all these happening before our very eyes, I can confidently say we are living in the perilous time. But, what are the governments doing in the face of this hardship? If they are concerned about the welfare of the people, they should act now to ameliorate the suffering ravaging the people.”
He continued, “in European countries, including U.S and others, the governments prioritize food production; hence they invest heavily in agriculture and go the way of mechanized farming in order to produce enough food for the well-being of their citizens. Little wonder, good and delicious food is very cheap and affordable by all in those beautiful countries where the welfare of the people matter most to the governments. But here in Nigeria, food production is given lip service, hence subsistence farming is in vogue, and shortage of food has continued to recur in the face of our constantly devalued naira.”
Reacting to a question as to whether the government of President Muhammadu Buhari acted right by signing the contract for rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna refineries, Comrade Nwokocha said, “it is a right policy coming very late. But President Buhari was aware of the state of our four refineries when he took over the leadership of the country in 2015, why didn’t he swing into action immediately, at least to save Nigerians and the country from pains associated with importation of petroleum products.
“If President Buhari had acted in the way of a patriotic Nigerian in his six years in office by fixing our moribund refineries and conserving foreign exchange, he would’ve earned himself immensurable accolades from Nigerians. At least, our troubles would’ve been reduced by half, but rather than looking the way of the poor Nigerians who brought him to limelight, he played along with the oppressors and plunged the country into deeper mess.
“If I may ask, what does it take to build new refineries or repair the old ones? I don’t think it demands rocket science, not at all. It only demands political will, patriotism, love for the people and a vision to put Nigeria on the map of progressive nations. This policy is rather coming to late, however, it is better than it never happened.
“On that note, I commend President Buhari and I want him to do more to lift Nigerians out of poverty. Nigeria is too rich, therefore its citizens shouldn’t have any business with poverty, hunger or unemployment. But the reverse has been the case in our chequered political history over the decades.”