Disparity: The state of the Rich and the Poor; Nigeria as a case study.
by John Pam
The man’s stomach gurgles, he gets up from his bed and looks at the clock 2.am: unable to sleep due to hunger pangs. He decides to stroll around maybe he can get some food. He gets to the junction and sees some flashy cars parked in front of a night club people popping Moet in the parking lot. Yaron Maikudi had not been able to sleep because he had just moved into his new flat and the touts in the area made him jittery because he could not mingle with them neither had they installed his electric fence yet so he felt unsafe. So he went to the club where he felt a bit safer among the crowd. Maybe even pop a Moet or two. This is our country of today. The margin between the haves and have-not(s) continues to increase.
The poor man cannot sleep because of hunger for he has no fear of being robbed of possessions he does not have; the rich man cannot sleep because he knows the poor envy his lifestyle and the moment they get the opportunity they will harm him to get what he has. A child who says its mother will not sleep will itself not sleep says an African proverb. How long until we open our eyes and see that because someone else refuses to take responsibility it does not excuse us from doing something to remedy a terrible situation. All the trouble in Nigeria has never been about ethnicity, religion etc. but it is merely is result of the privileged taking advantage of those who have nothing of their own.
The status quo has become chopping and let me chop. In the Niger delta oil saga it was merely greed that led to the youth carrying guns to demand their right to be treated as humans when the oil companies would never act in such a manner in a first world country. Religious and ethnic crises boil down to the privileged paying off certain individuals to create discord when a situation is unfavorable to them and for someone who has to live from hand to mouth, five thousand naira is a lot of money to give someone to let out his frustration at how the country is on someone even though it’s an innocent.
But are any of us really innocent? for at each point when we choose to look the other way rather than do something or act like a sycophant to gain some advantage we inevitably become guilty of the next blood bath. Heaven helps those who help themselves it is said. You do not have to love your neighbor but understand that its natural for your neighbor to feel envious if you are driving two hummers and he can barely afford to feed. You don't do good to your neighbor because you are a saint but because if you don't he/she might become bad. Your act of goodwill might be what prevents that person acting in a way which creates the kind of society we do not want. So be good to your neighbor so he or she does not turn bad for in the long run society is a reflection of our collective actions cheers.
Pics courtesy Google.