FEATURE ARTICLE

Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaMonday, October 24, 2016
amobipchuks@yahoo.com


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RECESSION: SAVE OUR SOULS!

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certain married couple has been living in peace and harmony since 12 years of their marriage. The marriage is blessed with four promising children. The family lives at Owerri in Imo State. Of recent, the devil visited the lovely family and planted the seed of discord between the husband and wife. Hence, things have fallen asunder. Economic hardship has crippled the life of the family. The man who is the breadwinner was retrenched two weeks ago from Federal employment because of the economic recession in Nigeria. The worst is that he was retrenched without benefits and was owed six months' salary. The wife sells assorted fruits at Douglas road in Owerri Capital City. She is now the functional breadwinner of the family. She pays house rent, electricity bill, kitchen bill, toilet bill, sleeping bill and carters for the children in school. The husband is presently idle. An idle mind is indeed the devil's workshop. The devil himself uses various assorted tools in his workshop. He can do any type of awkward work. Has he worked for you? A trial will convince you.

Few days ago, the idleness led the retrenched husband to eat the food kept for the school children, because he was not satisfied with the half plate of food his wife served him. Later the school children hungrily came back from school and discovered that their food has been eaten by someone. The furious wife asked her husband the where about of the children's food. With a bitter face he scolded his wife for suspecting him over the missing food. Later he told the wife that a straying dog came in and consumed the food in question. The angry wife slapped her husband and pointing at him she said, "You straying stupid dog!" The boiling husband in turn retorted, "You foolish hopeless Recession!" Imagine straying stupid Dog marrying foolish hopeless Recession. What will they give birth to? Their offspring may be a monster.

For about one year now, the economy of our country Nigeria has been in recession. In other words, it went on recess and has refused to come back. The price of oil, which is the life-wire of the Nigerian Government, fell beyond expectation. The America Dollar which controls our economy rose beyond reach. Consequently the power of our Naira fell into blazes. A popular business man whose business is now in jeopardy was shouting few days ago in his dream, "Recession! Recession!! Recession!!!" His wife jumped up suddenly asking, "Darling, what is happening? Are you sick?" The man sighed thrice and laid himself down again to sleep. Actually he is acutely sick, because recession is a chronic economic sickness. Indeed many Nigerians are currently suffering from this sickness. The medical doctors are cracking their brains on how to curtail this modern chronic sickness. In order to face the challenge, there is an urgent need to employ experts.

Last week, thousands of women and youths across the country protested in Abuja over the continuous fall of the naira and the hardship Nigerians are experiencing. The protesters lambasted the Federal Government for virtually doing concretely nothing to arrest the crashing of our economy. The Ondo State Women Leader of Yoruba Frontier, Mrs Folake Melody lamented in these words: "Many homes have broken down. Many wives have turned to prostitutes. Women now sell their children to feed. Children now wait for leftovers at parties to eat. You see them rummaging through garbage heaps to eke a living. We've never had it this bad. It is not only those in IDP camps that are suffering. The masses are really hurt. What is President Buhari doing? Who are those managing this economy? This is just too bad."(Daily Sun Wednesday, October 12, 2016, page 13)

The economic recession in the country has done much harm than good in the lives of Nigerian citizens. Hunger is mesmerizing the majority lower class of people. My Hausa Muslim friend calls me on phone almost on daily basis to complain of hunger and hardship in his family. He told me that the Northerners are fed up with the present Federal Government. I reminded him of their "Sai Baba" slogan during the campaign period in 2014/2015. He told me that what they now need is food on the table (Sai Abinci) and not 'Sai Baba.' Fighting corruption while Nigerians are dying of hunger is like putting the cart before the horse. Nigerians are on their knees asking God for Manna to fall from heaven. Lord, hear our prayer!

In the midst of the hunger in the land, we have to apply the Law of necessity. During the Nigeria/Biafran Civil War (1967 - 1970) the Nigerian Government imposed economic blockade against the Biafrans. Thus, hunger caused the Biafran children to suffer from a dangerous disease known as kwashiorkor. The disease is essentially caused by lack of essential nutrients, especially protein. Consequently, we resorted to the consumption of lizards, rats, and grasshoppers. Whenever I yawn till today, the aroma of the lizards and rats I consumed in those war days still come out from my intestine. If the present hunger continues in this country, then we shall descend on these rodents and insects as supplements. The stomach does not reveal what it eats. What is necessary is to satisfy the hunger drive. If someone these days comes to the church with some lizards or rats as offertory gift, what would you do if you are the officiating priest?

The Federal Government should not only stop at selling some helicopters in the presidential fleet, but also to reduce drastically the salaries and allowances of the Executive and the Legislators. Corruption is not only found in the Judicial Arm of Government. Search-light is also to be beamed in the Executive and the Legislative Arms of Government. The recovered money so far gotten from corrupt Nigerians should be utilized in the supply of food items and supplements for the hungry masses. Nigerians should urgently go back to Agriculture. All hands must be on deck. We need food to survive and not oil. We were better of a year and some months ago than now. Every Nigerian is now a complainant. The State and Federal Governments are the Defendants. Therefore, I put it before the Defendants that Nigerians are not happy.

There is no compromise in stating the obvious. The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has joined her voice with other Nigerians in lamenting over the current bad state of affairs in our country Nigeria. In her interview with the Hausa BBC few days ago, she categorically stated that Cabals have taken over the governance of this country from the hands of her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari. At his inaugural speech on 29 May 2015, President Buhari stated, "I belong to everybody and to nobody." Today he seems to belong to somebody (the cabals). According to Aisha, if things continue like this, she will not campaign for her husband and for APC in 2019 General Elections. She was asked, "Who are those cabals?" She replied that we can see them in television. So, let's watch out for the cabals as we view the National Television stations. By their fruits you know them. Journalists contacted Aisha's husband, President Buhari, who was far away in Germany by then for his reaction over his wife's statement and to which party she belongs. Buhari replied vividly that her wife Aisha belongs to his kitchen and the other room. You can guess which room. This scenario is pregnant. We shall see the result soonest.

Indeed, the lives of Nigerians are in danger due to the increase in crimes as a result of the present economic recession. Kidnapping for ransom is now at its climax. We are now living in the fear of the unknown. The kidnapping saga has even reached the sanctuary of God. Priests and other men of God going about their normal Gospel ministry are on the threat of being kidnapped. Some have been kidnapped, wounded, killed or suffering from trauma. The Enugu State Government should rise to her responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of her citizens and visitors. People are now afraid of travelling to Enugu State for fear of being kidnapped or killed by Fulani Herdsmen rampaging in the state. It is not long that a senior seminarian was brutally murdered at Attakwu in Enugu by Fulani Herdsmen. Many were also sent to their untimely graves at Nimbo in the same state by the same herdsmen. Recently, three Catholic priests were kidnapped, wounded and shot by Fulani kidnappers in the same state. As if enough is not enough, another Catholic priest and his colleague from Awka Diocese who travelled to Enugu for a meeting were kidnapped. Thank God they have regained their freedom but have not recovered from the trauma. What is actually wrong in Enugu State? Governor Ugwuanyi Gburugburu, where are you? An elder does not stay at home for a pregnant she-goat to give birth tittered on a rope. I call on the Enugu State Governor to consult his counterpart in Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano, to learn the secret behind the tight security network in Anambra State. In fact, Anambra State is the safest State in Nigeria. I applaud my working and able Governor Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano. Anambrarians are lucky to be sleeping now with two eyes closed. If I will still be alive during 2017 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, I shall vote him for second term. There is no progress without security of lives and properties.

The Enugu State born popular prophet, where are you? Prophesy for your people! The Fulani Herdsmen and kidnappers are killing and scattering your flock. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.

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