There was a time when a very famous politician argued that Nigerians were not suffering because nobody in Nigeria was eating from the dustbin. Then, people had left-overs which they truly dumped into the dust bins.

Today, nothing like food can be found in the dust bins except condemned iron for the “abokis”. The empty cans of soft drinks and pure water hardly find their way into the bin.

That is the picture of our situation at present. The masses are suffering in the land. Our land.

Some years ago, Nigerians were suffering and smiling. Now, the smiles have disappeared while the suffering has increased to greater dimension.

Majority are in distress. Some wonder if this is a curse or divine punishment from God because it is hard to believe that a country which is richly blessed by the Almighty God will be experiencing what we are passing through at this stage.

The situation is so bad that both the people who hitherto were looked upon as helpers cannot even help themselves nor help others. The majority of Nigerians cannot be sure of when and where the next meal is going to come from. Both the needy and helper are trapped inside the camp of poverty. A country which declared that she did not know what to do with her overflowing resources has suddenly become the citadel of poverty.

One roasted plantain now costs between two hundred and three hundred naira; the amount which few months ago would have been enough to buy medium rubber of garri that would be enough for a family of five if used to make eba.

This time around, you have to really call for a meeting of your immediate family to decide if it is better to buy bread or akara and garri as dinner instead of sleeping on an empty stomach. This is not funny at all.

I went to a friend’s house for a visit. As we were chatting, his two sons came back from school apparently hungry and expecting Daddy to tell them where their meal (lunch) was kept. To my surprise, he gave each of them twenty naira for groundnuts. That did not end there. The garri left at home was not enough, so he asked them to put water inside a bowl and poured the garri inside with a cover to allow it rise before the children could eat. The distance from the school to the house is long and maybe they did not take their breakfast before leaving for school.

According to my friend, their father, his neighbour used to take them in his car to the school because his neighbour’s children attend the same school but since the increase in the price of petrol, the man parked his car. “Make everybody answer his papa name.”

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Since the government of Buhari, things started falling apart. It was obvious that Buhari just wanted to be President because of the name and not because he had anything to offer. His party members, a few members who constituted what was later known as cabals, hijacked the rulership of the country from him and operated as if they were running their private businesses.

Nigeria started running from pillar to post looking for where to borrow money. Sadly enough, there is nothing on ground to show as what they did with the money borrowed.

Enter Jagaban. Without making plans about how to make life easy for Nigerians if fuel subsidy was removed, the first blow to Nigerians in his inaugural speech was to announce the removal of the subsidy. And trust Nigerians, everything went up – prices of foodstuffs, transportation, house rents including the almighty dollar which at that time was about six hundred naira to a dollar. It now shot up to one thousand, two hundred naira to one dollar. As at the time of writing this piece, it has gone up to N1,600 to $1.

The issue now is that the government of the day does not seem to be bothered about the plight of the larger members of the society. About eighty-six percent of Nigerians are below poverty line. The remaining fourteen percent are the people making things worse for their fellow countrymen and women especially the youths, many of whom are facing possibilities of dropping out of school due to hike in fees.

The size of the ministerial appointments keeps increasing on a daily basis while borrowing is on the rise. Politicians who continually ask those who voted for them to be patient, especially those in the National Assembly, are growing fat every second by second. In the midst of these sufferings and hunger in the land, each of them still had the mind to approve and collected one hundred and sixty million naira to purchase SUVs.

President Bola Tinubu, on his own part, has been seeking and getting approval from the National Assembly to borrow more money. The sum of two point eight trillion naira supplementary budget which he got with the approval of the National Assembly was supposed to be used for construction of new buildings and offices in the presidency, purchase of presidential yacht and vehicle

It is a question of who cares whether kings are dying or queens are mourning. After all, “emi lo kan”; “it is my turn”.

Our politicians have taken too much for themselves and treated us like fools. It is time to let them know that we voted for them and therefore should be the ones to call the shots.

Marching or protesting through the streets will not be enough because the organizers of such protests always end up being settled and by the time the dust is settled, you see them in flashy cars and living flamboyantly. These groups are also part of our problems. If Nigeria is truly shut down for just two weeks, things will change. No going out of the country, no coming in; markets remain shut, no light and anywhere generators are found working, seize and burn them. Take over vehicles bought with our money and use them for public transportation. No radio nor television broadcast and other similar actions – provided all of these are carried out peacefully.

The suffering in the land of my hope has turned me into somebody without joy. There are still rooms in the correctional centres all over the country, anyone can decide to come for me; I am ready. Better still, you can shoot me through the back, I will readily go to my Maker.