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Opinion

Renewed Hope: A Virus That Must Be Tamed -By Efe Agabi

Corona virus was not as pervasive as the renewed hope pandemic in Nigeria. Outbreak of the Covid-19 virus was scary, but Nigerians were to a large extent immune to it. Are Nigerians immune to the new pestilence (renewed hope) ravaging the land? Only few are still living in denial of the cruelty of the renewed hope agenda. Perhaps, the unrepentant party faithful, the ethnic jingoists and the religious fanatics. Others are now painfully aware that the consequences of election results are not sensitive to political, religious and ethnic boundaries. The renewed hope virus is contagious because it affects one sector and dovetail into another; no sector of the economy is extricated from the plague in the land.

There was restriction of movement during the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses struggled to stay afloat but Nigerians did not experience this excruciating hunger and insecurity in the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It seem renewed hope is a direct onslaught against the Nigerian people, it is evidently a pestilence coated in a political ideology. The renewed hope agenda is unfurling to become a virus that is vicious and untamable. It is highly contagious and seemingly defiling all solutions. The promise of economic prosperity is mutating to become horror that should be imagined and not experienced. But the reality is that the plague is here and it took Nigerians unaware.

The lifetime ambition of one man is becoming the undoing of over 200 million persons, he said he is a thinker, he has the ability to identify technocrats, he did it in Lagos, and he will replicate it in Nigeria. His first step was to conduct a surgical operation without proper diagnosis. The best neurosurgeon in the world, Dr. Ben Carson is always circumspect in his evaluation of the condition of conjoined twins before performing a surgical operation. He is never in a hurry, he is not ready to please the patient or the parents because any surgery on the human brain requires the best procedure, and the best experts available. Does it need to be emphasized that the essence of a surgical operation is to improve the condition of the patient and not to immolate the patient. It is true that days after surgery would be filled with severe pangs of recovery and healing, but the pain reduces as the day progresses. The Nigerian surgery is now eight months and it seem the surgery was not conducted with the best procedures, perhaps the surgeon is inept and utterly incompetent.

Dr. Ben Carson will always take time to study the professional history of every surgeon and medical personnel conscribed into the team to perform surgery on the human brain because mistakes on the brain are always fatal and irredeemable. He has invested so much in his surgical tools to avoid excuses but the highest risk that dots his professional career was when he conducted surgery in Africa with tools that can be considered as archaic. When he noticed that he will not get the best tools, he relied on his ability as a professional and still recorded success. As a tradition for Dr. Ben, the night before the surgery is used to re-evaluate the procedure, pray and review the situation and strategies, and he has recorded more successes than failures. Though adduced some of the successful surgeries to divine assistance, his expertise has never been in doubt. Perhaps the moment before the historic announcement that subsidy is gone would have been devoted to evaluating the handover books from Buhari again, perhaps the surgery was necessary but the timing was wrong. The pronouncement is still ravaging the land like wildfire, many businesses have been crippled, job losses are innumerable and hunger is making a mockery of the human dignity in Nigeria.
Terrorist are incinerating communities and renaming them to reflect their religious ideologies on the plateau, they are maiming and raping women unrestrained. Their partners, the kidnappers, have lost every iota of human empathy, they kidnap the young and old to sustain the very lucrative kidnaping industry.

Basic consumables are now luxury and reserved for the very wealthy but the handlers of the public till are holding forth to the very obnoxious policies. Who is still interested in the Muslim-Muslim ticket, or the tribe of the President? Where are the self-proclaimed Bishops that told Ahab to go to war? From the coastal and Deltaic communities in the south to the Lake Chad, hunger and despair continues to surge like a whirlwind.

The political elites should be worried, time is ticking and there will be no quick fix for the mess they created. To tinker with an economy that was on life support for eight years under the leadership of Buhari is the height of cluelessness. You cannot fix food production with executive orders, clampdown on food sellers and warehouses. The subsidy is gone pronouncement was hasty and ill-advised and ill fated. If you call it a tragic pronouncement you will not be far from the truth because that pronouncement threatens the very existence of the space called Nigeria. That Nigerians are setting the Nigerian flag ablaze speaks to the discontentment in the land.

Are the leaders aware that rebellion is here, rage of the almajiris is imminent, and the northern leaders have reiterated why they can no longer tame the talakawas in the North West. Ironically, it is the North West that delivered the bulk of the votes that enthroned hunger and despair. They joyfully voted along the lines of parochial sentiments and days of reckoning are here. Beyond the rage of the talakwas, there is the reincarnation of the historic Aba women that defiled odds to wear the garb of masculinity. The women that threatened to beat up the President would have created a comic hyperbole, but they are in touch with the reality of the time. They will not have access to beat up the President because the path to the high hill where the abode of the President is located cannot be accessed by Lazarus. The women have expressed their grouse without mincing words. They reminded the President that the hunger in the land is unbearable. They protested the high cost of food and transportation, all they requested is an enabling environment to trade and provide for the family. They are not interested in the SUVs or the bag of cement that is seemingly creeping out of the reach of the poor. The women did not request that they want to own properties or build personal bungalow.

They need food, and the right to eat predates human laws and constitution. The right to eat was bestowed on man by the Almighty. Till the land and eat its fruit, but in the ungoverned spaces in Taraba, Niger and Plateau where bandits collect taxes as dukes, you might be allowed to till the land, but to enjoy the fruit of your labour is a different conversation. The bandits are vicious and never in a hurry, they operate and produce videos because they are aware that they will not be hounded by security forces. Months ahead cannot be predicted, weep not, evil will not triumph.

Like the Corona virus that crept into oblivion, the renewed hope virus will be scorching, but it will surely bow to the superiority of time over humanly created axioms

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