ANOTHER OUTCROP OF THE LEADERSHIP CONSPIRACY AGAINST ITS PEOPLE,GOVERNMENT IDIOCY & INEPTITUDE.

Being a Paper Delivered by: Dr. Dayo Kayode

At The National Democratic Coalition Conference (NADECO) On Friday, 23rd February 2024 at X-Space.

When hunger is understood as fundamental to human existence, then one appreciate the importance of a well-nourished people to the socioeconomic growth and development of a nation. To this extent, this paper shall attempt to contextually conceptualize hunger, periscope Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the United Nations’ stand on hunger, the correlation between hunger and a nation’s fragility index, how hunger and malnourishments has brought down some governments, the situation in Nigeria of today and the solutions to the issue of hunger.

HUNGER DEFINED: this can be depicted as situation of physiological sensation that leads to a state of discomfort which inhibits effective functioning of the body system and as such requires nourishments for energy. Basically, hunger has to do with metabolic imbalances within the body which thus requires food consumption that will ensure nutritional needs for fundamental healthy living in human survival.

ABRAHAM MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS: in his 1943 paper on ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’, Maslow organized human needs whereby, certain needs should instantly be satisfied before the next within the structure. The first among these has to do with ‘Physiological needs’ for nourishment so that the body can function effectively towards seeking for other needs within the hierarchy.

UNITED NATIONS’ STAND ON HUNGER: the vision of the United Nations is a world of zero tolerance to hunger and malnourishments. Thus, in its signed charter of June 26,1945, it laid the groundwork for addressing issues relating to hunger, poverty, and human rights. This charter emphasizes the promotion of higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions economic and social progress with development as fundamental to peace and security. It equally stresses the worth of the human persons which entails the right to an adequate standard of living, inclusive of food, clothing, and housing. Consequently, this charter led the United Nations to develop such initiatives like Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO), the World Food Program (WPF), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 2: Zero Hunger towards eradicating the issue of hunger, poverty, and food security.

HUNGER AND FRAGILITY INDEX OF A STATE: there is no doubt about that, the relationship between these two is very high to the extent that, where there are exacerbation of food insecurity and hunger, the tendency to vulnerability of high fragility index can never be over emphasized. Aggravated food insecurity and hunger invariably leads to serious conflict, civil unrest, disobedience, and violence. Invariably, governance structures will be weakened with limited capacity to resolve the trajectories of hunger and food insecurity. Essentially, reducing the high fragility index of a nation largely requires a purposeful policy direction to reducing hunger as well as enhancing food security. Historical examples of this relationship abound around.

HISTORICAL SCENARIOS OF HUNGER AND GOVERNMENT INSTABILITY: the mismanagement of the economy of Venezuela and uncontrolled widespread corruption coupled with over reliance on oil led to its people’s hunger, and food insufficiency that resulted into civil disobedience, mass protests, social uproar which eventually proceeded to political instability. The Somalia experience of hunger and food shortages differ a bit as this was caused by protracted civil war and the emergence of armed struggles which further aggravated food production, distribution, and access hence, heightened social tension and instability in the country. Likewise, the exacerbated hunger and food insecurity being experienced by Syrians pre 2011 marked the advent of the civil war in Syria. THe Assad Machiavellian regines’ weaponization of food and malnutrition in war ahs further worsened the crisis. THe North Korea food insecurity and famine was brought about from both governement mismanagement and its idiocy of prioritizing military spendings over production, distribution, affordability, and accessibility to food items by the people; eventually giving rise to social unrest and political instability. These are cogent instances in illustrating the extent to which hunger and food insecurity could inhibit social cohesion and peace within a nation, promote radical political upheavals that can undermine government stability which can invariably destabilize the system.

UNDERSTANDING THE HUNGER IN NIGERIA OF TODAY: history has shown that, a nation experiences hunger when there is famine in the land (God’s punishment of His people as described in the ‘Holy Books’) caused by either lack of rainfall, draught, non-availability of fertile arable land, and persistent war within a geographical space. This can also arise from policy idiocy as neglect of agricultural activities with purposeful food distribution by the authorities concerned.

In the first instance the primary constitutional assignment of any government is to guarantee safety, security, wellbeing, and prosperity of its people. Essentially, the government is supposed to protect its citizens from threats of terrorism with assurances of economic stability, growth, and prosperity by providing an enabling environment for businesses and entrepreneurship, regulating financial markets, investing in infrastructural and public services, coupled with implementation of sound monetary and fiscal policies.

From the ongoings, an insightful understanding of the present Nigeria situation indicates that, this prolonged hunger is brought about by Nigeria leadership idiocy and connivance against the people.

Leadership Idiocy has to do with inadequate policies and purposeful abandonment of constitutional duties by the government. How do we explain humongous expenditure of government on inanities of billions of naira car purchases and renovation/construction of residences for elected government officials as against investment in various agricultural activities and infrastructure; why the abandonment of our currency’s protection through monetary and fiscal policies unlike the Mohama Ghaddafi’s Libya; where are the policies that protects the people from the various acts of terrorism which had been seriously affecting the farmers from going to their farms; how about price control to ensure affordability……….rather, government had been concerned with policies that ensures their own personal economic wellbeing at the detriment of the people.

Leadership connivance against the people can be viewed from their various activities pivoted on the Stalinist/Leninist and Machiavellian ideological penchant. Like Josef Stalin gave the analogy of weakening a live chicken to conformity by plucking its feathers one after the other, so also, Nigeria leaders have been removing the people’s rights, freedom, and especially resources in making them to be very weak through hunger against organizing agitations to their perpetual leadership. If not, how do one explain the removal of fake petroleum subsidy (google DSDP policy of NNPC) which increased the price of PMS from N190/ltr to now over N600/ltr (despite that NNPC was allegedly making N100/ltr profit while selling for N190/ltr – 10th National Assembly) knowing that such will have spiral inflation effect on the economy; allowing insecurity to fester in the country as such displacing the people (APC Brought in Militias from Mali, S/Leon, Others to Win 2015 Elections – Baraje , Daily Independent, Feb. 4, 2021); unaccounted and non-transparent distribution of monies to the people (through various antic interventions) without any visible effect on the economy as against investing such monies in various GDP generative endeavours; allowing the free fall of the national currency against other currencies without any form of protection; intentional abject neglect of price control and consumer protection mechanism? – all in a bid to drastically reduce the purchasing powers (real income) of the people towards forcing them into submission (Stalinist/Leninist) for further perpetuation of their brutish rulership.

The ongoing discussions and expositions must have been enlightening enough in assessing and evaluating the present predicament of excruciating hunger upon Nigerians. Consequent upon these contributing factors, we should be able to locate the appropriate antidotes of therapy in averting the experiences of those nations narrated above because, an empty stomach has no ears. These shall be located within the government and the people.

The government should as a matter of urgency be deliberate in coming up with policies that will tenaciously ensure affordable access to nutritious food which are essential for building a resilient and cohesive nation purposefully to preventing the current national crisis from aggravating into a full-blown war that can truncate our nascent democracy. In protecting our naira, the government should stop dancing to the tunes of international organisations’ (IMF & World Bank) dictates of our currency’s devaluation as they have no good intention for our nation’s growth and economic development. Bearing in mind that, our peace and tranquility will be detrimental to their continual suppression and exploitative exploration of our natural and human resources (Mali, Niger Republic, and Guinea examples). Likewise, our naira must be seen as the only legal tender while also preventing the free sales of foreign currencies on the streets of Nigeria; inclusive of commercial banks giving daily report of their forex dealings to the CBN. There must also be a deliberate effort to resolving the endemic issue of insecurity. For the fact that, our nation is blessed with crude oil and abundant natural gas, the pricing of these products inclusive of electricity must have the ‘social’ component in it rather than majorly economic; more so that, they all have significant impact on the socioeconomic wellbeing of the citizenry.

Nigerians must at this time be ready to hold their destinies in their own hands by not totally leaving it in the hands of the government and their external collaborators. This therefore calls for self-education and knowledge seeking. They are veritable defensive tools for analyzing, understanding, contextual engagement and insightful scientific interrogation of exploitative government policies that has direct negative impacts on their socioeconomic livelihood/survival. We must not jettison legal and political advocacy alongside adoption of international pressure on our government. Equally, this present conundrum of leadership conspiracy, disconnect, along with abandonment requires people’s resilience, resistance with some radical and proactive strategies away from the current docility being exhibited. Importantly, the people must develop their own strategies in stopping the anarchist leaders from purposefully unleashing hardship of hunger on them through enduring civil disobedience to achieving a just society where the sanctity of their affordable access to nutritious food, safety coupled with meaningful economic wellbeing can be assured.

In conclusion, for those that earnestly seek this national recalibration, the time has now come to die for something rather than live for nothing as our resources are just good enough for our needs and not for our greed. Intrinsically, a people that refuses to emancipate itself from the brutish, Stalinist/Leninist and Machiavellian oppressive leadership will be perpetually emaciated under such oligarchies.

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    The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Nigeria’s premier pro-democracy group based in Washington D.C. Established in 1994, NADECO was founded by a coalition of prominent politicians and pro-democracy campaigners from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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