Hunger Has No Political Party

by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Any man in power in Nigeria can boast of an intimidating number of sycophants, toadies and lickspittles roaming along the corridors of power.

One excited toady of the moment was making noises lapping up what his leader said, to wit, anybody protesting against the government should wait for 2027 to contest the election.

This translates to the grand philosophy that any man starving to death today must perforce keep himself alive anyhow until 2027 when the elections are due.

It is in the interest of the government’s ass-licker to understand that hunger has no political party to contest any elections.

While the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) can issue notices to the government before going on strike, the hungry and angry masses will give no press conference before striking.

Just the other day, the news was everywhere that hungry Nigerians looted a vehicle of a private company filled to the brim with noodles.

This was followed by the story of so-called hoodlums breaking in and looting the store of a NEMA warehouse in Abuja.

It was soon after that some defences were put up by the authorities that it was an FCT storeroom that was actually looted, and not the NEMA warehouse.  

Whatever is the case, the auguries are not good for this country whose past leader once boasted that the nation’s problem was not money but how to spend it!

It’s so bad in the land that hungry Nigerians are now ransacking refuse dumps for crumbs to eat.

It’s striking that celebrated yes-men of the government are now putting off musical performances and the celebration of landmark birthdays because of the hardship in the land.

For the minions of the government now lamenting about hunger, let’s put forward this quote by St. Therese: “More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”

Going back in history, it should be remembered that in the 18th century when the starving masses in France were begging for bread the king’s wife, Marie-Antoinette, said: “Let them have cake!”

It was shortly after the fabled statement that the angry masses of France stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, thus kicking off the French Revolution.

The watershed revolution brought to an end the 800-year-old French monarchy that was touted to be impregnable.

The Bastille Governor in 1789, Bernard Rene de Launay, had no hot-air balloon to escape with until he was killed and his severed head was stuck on a pike and paraded around the streets of Paris.

Marie-Antoinette’s husband, Louis XVI, was executed in January 1793 while she was guillotined on October 16, 1793.

It is incumbent on us all to learn that power comes with tremendous responsibility and an acute price.

The transience of power is such that any power-wielder should constantly remind himself thusly: “Even this too shall pass!”

History is replete with sordid examples, but let us just take a sample of the country, England, that gave us flag independence where there was once upon a bad time when King Charles 1was executed in January 1649.

After the execution of the king, the attempt to retain a measure of constitutional authority by the Rump Parliament taking supreme power was swept aside by Oliver Cromwell with the following damning words:

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice. Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

“Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes, have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

“Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do. I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place. Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble (mace) there, and lock up the doors.
“In the name of God, go!”

Let us all finally remember that the German philosopher Georg Hegel had said it all from before-before: “The only thing that we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

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