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Fighting hunger, injustice to secure the nation

By Gbemiga Olakunle

Provision of good security is the primary responsibility of any government in any society. Without it, a state of anarchy will prevail as it happened in the days of the biblical Israel when there was no king and the unthinkable began to happen in the land (Please read Judges 19-21, KJV).

The account is both pathetic and instructive. There are two groups of children in this nation now: the rebellious who may be grouped as the Niger-Delta Militants with some elements of criminals among them; the second group are the wailers as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity has jokingly termed them.

I know the President’s media aide means no harm when he called this group of complainers wailers . Femi Adesina has also used the same term to describe himself and his siblings when the family lost one of their beloved sisters -an erudite Professor of Dramatic Arts in her prime through an auto accident on the Lagos- Ibadan expressway due to the poor state of the road.

The first set of children described above has chosen to carry arms against their father- the State in pressing/making demands for their rights which includes justice. And they have every right to press for these rights but for the mode of their agitation which we frown against.

Must a child burn down his father’s house together with the wealth/legacies that he is supposed to inherit as a protest to demonstrate his displeasure against his father’s attitude of alleged marginalization against him and other siblings from his mother’s side?

In our own opinion, the above question aptly captures the activities of the Niger-Delta Militants that sometimes border on pure acts of criminality like kidnapping for ransom and alleged highway robberies along Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Presently, a First Class Traditional Ruler has been kidnapped for more than 3 weeks in a Lagos suburb-Iba while other suburbs like Igando are not left out from their rampage. Some communities in the neighbouring Ogun state have also had their own dozes of terror from these rampaging boys.

Looking at some of the photos of these Niger-Delta militants, one can notice that they are well fed and have the strength to carry heavy rounds of ammunition and sophisticated weapons on their bodies inside the creeks unlike the other group- the wailers who are malnourished and fragile in looks.

In our past articles, we have pleaded with the first group of children to enter into dialogue and negotiate with the father the State as represented by the Federal Government and desist from the path of destruction under the guise of drawing attention to their plight.

Our attention in this write-up is therefore focused on the second set of children- the wailers who have chosen to wail and cry out for their father’s attention instead of raising their hands against him in an effort to ginger their father to rise up to his responsibilities as a good father. To us, the action of these wailers is more commendable than their militant’s siblings who are poised to burn down the whole house together with their inheritance.

Give the wailers food or means of good livelihood, they will stop to wail/cry and give their father rest of mind. “Ebi kii mo inu,ki oran miran wo” (meaning, you don’t entertain hunger with other issues at the same time).

In other words, let the Federal Government fight the issue of serious hunger in the land through direct intervention of distribution of food items and essential commodities to the citizens now. It is very applauding to note the documented reports of the alarming rate at which people are dying of hunger just because some State governments failed in their obligation to pay their worker’s salaries and pensions as at when due.

And the governors of such states still have the effrontery and the moral right to continue to draw their own salaries/allowances and bogus security votes that are running into hundreds of millions of naira every month.

Documented newspapers reports (as recently reported by the Punch) confirm that some citizens in the group of the wailers are dying of acute hunger and diseases that require simple medication which they couldn’t afford. These are the poorest of the poor that the Federal Government should quickly address their plight and prevent them from dying like fowls from preventable diseases and hunger.

Instead of sending N5,000 to them monthly, the Federal Government should partner with the state governments and begin distribution of food items/essential commodities and provision of free Medicare through the workers/pensioners’ unions, Cooperative Societies and Community- Based Associations (CBAs).

As we have earlier pointed out in our previous articles, the Federal Government will just be paying lip-service to the issue of Food Security as long as the menace of the Fulani herdsmen to the crop-farmers and farming communities are not checked. (Earlier in the week- Monday July 25, 2016, Vanguard online reported that as many as 14 people were killed in another attack on Gombe-Tieu, Logo Local Government Area of Benue state by some suspected Fulani herdsmen).

And that is why we are recommending this direct distribution of food and medical supplies through transparent channels that will ensure that there are no diversions pending the time when the authorities will rise up above sectional and primordial interests and amicably settle the problems between the Fulani herdsmen and the crop farmers in order to boost farming and food production.

Until that is done, we are not ashamed to identify ourselves with the wailers who continue to cry out to their earthly father- the Federal Government until the problems of acute shortage of food is solved. And if they do not respond on time, then the Father of all fathers- our Heavenly Father will take up the matter and solve it. In this respect, we are admonishing the constituted authorities who have this primary responsibility to take note of the Biblical injunctions in Psalms 41:1-3, KJV which state “Blessed is he that considereth the poor, the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him alive; and shall be blessed upon the earth; and Thou will not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing; Thou will make his bed in his sickness.” This quoted Scripture is the full- proof total security that guarantes personal security and good health of any set of rulers/leaders or anybody.

And in reducing the pains/pangs of hunger in the land, we enjoin corporate, religious bodies and well-to do Nigerians to partner with the Federal and States Governments. We should all be our brothers and sisters keepers in this venture. In this regards, the private sector groups can run restaurants where free launch are served. Churches can begin to serve packed launch to indigent members of their congregation after Sunday Services.

On the issue of the injustice and equity as reflected in the lopsided appointments, we learnt that The Presidency will soon look into the issue and other issues of alleged inequalities in the distribution of the nation’s wealth being a government that listens. And as obedient and law abiding citizens and children, we have no cause to disbelief the constituted authorities that GOD has chosen and placed over us for now.

But in the meantime and until the pressing problems of acute hunger and suspected cases of injustice are solved, the wailers should continue to wail and disturb the ears of our earthly fathers- the State. And we are hereby beckoning on our militant siblings to drop their weapons and join us in this wailing business.

Peradventure, the ears of our fathers will open to our cries and give us our daily bread and daily needs. Otherwise, the Heavenly Father Himself will intervene and fulfill the popular prayer of petition- captioned our LORD’s Prayer as recorded in Luke 11:2-4, KJV.

Or which group of children is better? The wailers who refuse to die of hunger in silence or the militants who have taken up arms against the State? It is our prayers that GOD will give the Federal Government the needed wisdom and the political will to settle the two groups of its children so that they discontinue to disturb the peace of everybody in the house-Nigeria.

If the Federal Government should tackle this twin-problems of hunger in the land and alleged cases of injustice, then the government will spend little or no money in buying arms and ammunition in order to maintain National Security. For an instance, a report has it that in Netherlands or Norway , the government has closed down 19 prison facilities for lack of prisoners! And we pray to get to that level of society in Nigeria in Jesus name.

Gbemiga Olakunle, JP, is the General Secretary, National Prayer Movement


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