Nigeria, my country is a very blessed and naturally endowed nation. Her natural resources make other nations envy her and wish they have half of what she is blessed with. But her leaders do not manage her resources properly and they are also filled with greed. Before they are elected, they promise heaven on earth but after they are elected, they deliver hell on earth, though there are different degrees and levels on hell according to the administration in power. Her leaders become power-full and greedy that they forget the poor masses who elected them and start enriching themselves and families. Those who they find loyal and those they feel indebted to are not left out.
The living conditions/situations of the poor is heart breaking enough to grow sympathy from well meaning elites and those in power. In the course of these article, I will be giving few examples of some persons I know.
She attends the same church with my mother. They are both from the same state and she lives in the next street. She is a young married woman whose husband has nothing tangible doing. She has a son and is heavily pregnant. She lives with her family in a place that was originally a store/shop/kiosk for selling things but has been converted to serve as an accommodation for the family.
She sells pap in front of the store and most times she feeds herself, her unborn child and her son with the pap. And other times when there are enough sales, she manages to prepare food for the family from the little she has. She is a strong woman. Two months ago, her husband’s brother came from the village to the city looking for a job. Her husband told him to come and stay with them in the store since he does not know anyone in the city. Of course, he agreed even if the arrangement was not a comfortable one and might make Mama Emeka uncomfortable. A month later, her brother-in-law brought his new friend to the house / store to live with them, claiming his friend does not have a place to stay. Some weeks after that, the friend brought the lady he was befriending to come and stay with him without prior notice. Remember they live in a store / shop. Now the little food she struggles to make available even in her pregnant condition is now shared by 5 people excluding the child in her womb. People who do not contribute to the running of the ‘house’ either by contributing to paying rent or making food available.
As I write, she is 8 months pregnant and has never registered for antenatal because according to her, she does not have money.
As I write, she is preparing to travel to the village next week where she plans to put to bed with the help of mid wives and her in laws.
She is a young widow with two sons. Her two children attend my school. Even before her husband passed away, life was very tough for them. They never pay school fees of their children on time and even when they pay, it is never complete. Now imagine how life would be for them now with the demise
of the head of the house. I stopped her from paying school fees for one of them but she still struggles to make ends meet.
She sells fruits in small portions at the bus stop and anytime she does not finish selling. It goes to waste.
She lives in a swampy place. Her house is built with wood only and old rusty zinc, when rain falls, it rains into the house and no one moves around for fear of sinking or being carried away by the flood.
Time will constrain me from taking about every single one of them I know. Not that these persons are not hard working enough, they just have not found an opportunity to improve/upgrade their standard of living.
If only the government at both the federal, state and local levels will look into the case of the poor, uneducated and helpless in the society.