We are locked down. We are hungry. We close our eyes but catch no sleep. There is heat caused by incessant power outage. Our bodies aren’t looking good as before; they’ve been overridden by irritating, debilitating rashes. The sounds emitted by the various “I-pass-my-neighbour” generating plants are becoming unbearably deafening. The carbon dioxide we inhale therefrom is capable of ceasing our breaths without the hit of a coronavirus. Nigerians are apparently down!

We should be home, no doubt. Whoever says otherwise at this delicate time isn’t a friend but a foe to the masses. Coronavirus knows no one. It neither recognises the rich nor pities the poor. Everyone is a target as far as it is concerned. That’s why we’ve got to be indoors irrespective of the degree of hunger that may have hit us. We just have to endure and be steadfast. Lifeless bodies don’t eat, remember.

But where are those to ease the burden for the famished masses? Where are the politicians who have fed fat from the Commonwealth of the common men? Those who keep milking our common sweats to fatten their pockets – where are they? Where are the leaders to make our stay at home relatively enjoyable? Where is the money promised by the federal government? Where are the foods proudly promised by the governor of the state of excellence? Where are they? Lip service – that’s what we see.

The first 14 days of the lockdown isn’t over, there is hue and cry from the suffering masses. Now that the Lagos State government had added another 7 days, I hope compliance would not be a mirage. After all, an hungry man is said to be an angry man. I pray there would be no protest in days to come such that the lockdown order would get flouted and the situation went out of hands. May Allah forbid such from rearing its ugly head on us.

With my layman knowledge of Economics, I know it takes the government nothing to credit the bank accounts of Nigerians with some relatively appreciable token. That would procure for them foods for the period of the stay-at-home order, and gladly (if not euphorically) they would do so. #20k stipend, for instance, may not be too much for the government to give out to its citizens, after all.

Once I visited a friend who returned from a foreign country. In his comparison of Nigeria to other countries, he concluded and involuntarily said it might never be well with the country again. I interpolated immediately and admonished that he be positive about his fatherland. Regretting his negativeness, he analytically proved his claim. I listened with rapt attention and could not but share his sentiment. He talked about all spheres of governance as they are viably functional over there, as against what is obtainable here in Nigeria. He expressly said no one would see what goes on abroad and still have hope in the canteen called Nigeria.

The current situation of the country has proven my friend right. The lockdown order has exposed the gross weaknesses of the country. It has revealed that leadership across all levels isn’t geared towards taking the poor out of poverty but the rich into more riches. It has shown that our leaders’ minds – across board – are diseased with selfishness and hate for the downtrodden.

There is no single international hospital in the country despite having a world-class source of revenue – crude oil. Apparently, there is no plan for the masses.

Who do we run to, safe Allah? May He grant us quick recovery, not only from the fearful virus but from poverty actuated by poor leadership.


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