The Vicious Cycle of Poverty
– Its Resonance In the Nigerian Polity
Gabriel Akhabue Iruobe
There is no gainsaying the fact that poverty has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian households, except that of the politicians who have amassed more than sufficient wealth for themselves and those of their children yet unborn.
This is a truism. But I cannot decode or fathom how economic poverty has gravitated and degenerated towards a “poverty of the mind” in which the poor would want to continue to empower their usurpers and imposters who pose as messiahs instead of the predators they truly are. I cannot find reasons to justify the poor’s lust for the pittance thrown at them by political vultures in exchange for their votes, even when it is clear to them that their enthronement of these predators is a vote for a sustained poverty and infrastructural backwardness.
I don’t know why the poor cannot remember the evil deeds of politicians who have ripped them off in the past and increased their sufferings. I cannot decode the attraction the poor have to continue to gather at the behest of cruel politicians who dangle before them some bottles of bear and gin, a ploy with which their votes are bought or captured to undermine their existence.
What is wrong with the poor in Nigeria? Has our peculiar poverty reconfigured our brains to becoming so malignant against advancement? Is the poverty in the land so controlling that we want to eat the poisens of politicians that will keep us languishing in squalor and penury for another 4 or 8 years?
I was saddened with the news of the fact that money is already moving around for vote purchase in the election of this week. And, our people are already thronging the distributors of these vote-buying money, and surrendering their PVCs or it’s details to party agents for a meagre sum. Paltry sums replace people’s consciences and will power to change the narrative. What is good is contemplatedly abandoned and sacrificed on the alters of peanuts. Are these people well?
Poverty is supposed to be an economic condition of lack. But in Nigeria, it has become a mental incapacitation to think and act reasonably.
Go and check it out: people are canvassing shamelessly, and without apology, for the expired candidates just for the peanut that will not last one day in their hands. Money is flying. Where did they get it; you ask? Is this not Nigeria? Mind you, these are new notes not available to Banks. They are very organized. You can now understand the meaning of “Structure”. Those who are taking it are saying ” we will take it” but will not vote them”. What a simplistic approach! You think, the evil geniuses aren’t planning to monitor your vote? Sometimes, you want to wonder if these agents have their own BVAS machine different from that of INEC. I hope we won’t have multiple or cloned BVAS machines on that day. I hope INECs machine will not be replaced with the clone.
But as for me and my house, not voting Peter Obi in this election is voting against my Christian Faith; and against the future of my children and of this country. God forbid!. No amount of bribe can change my mind. What about you?