By Bayo Oluwasanmi
Later this week, the interpreters of maladies and mad men without specialists of President Almajiri will celebrate five years in office of the aging dictator. They will tell you what Napoleon could not do, President Almajiri had done it. They will choke you with five years of toxic delicacies advertised as achievements of President Almajiri. Nothing could be deadly. Buyers beware!
Majority of Nigerians agree that the past five years have been years of tyranny, oppression, division, diversion, poverty, and many unspeakable evils manufactured by President Almajiri. We know from the evils associated with his administration that his overall agenda is to turn Nigeria into Almajiri nation. Sadly, he is forging ahead undeterred in this direction.
Because charity should begin at home, let’s focus on President Almajiri versus the haunted almajiris – the neglected children of the north. If President Almajiri could not make life better for members of his extended clan of almajiris in the last five years, how can he make life better for the rest of poor Nigerians? If President Almajiri had failed to lift one almajiri out of poverty in his five years in office, how can he lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years as he falsely promised? If President Almajiri had no sympathy and empathy for his own brethren almajiris, why should we expect him to show concern for the “infidels” he hardly knew?
The North has been in control of federal power and purse for 44 years of the 60 years of our independence, yet the almajiris have been oppressed for ever. They have been sidelined and excluded from the northern political agenda pursued by all the presidents from the north.
Recently, almajiris have dominated the headlines. They have been forcibly uprooted by their own state governments and shipped off like cows to far away Southern states. As expected, they met with stiff resistance. Why should Yorubas or Igbos accept and accommodate the Almajiris? What inheritance do Yorubas or Igbos have with almajiris? If leaders of almajiris who ruled Nigeria for 44 years could not take care of them, who else is better positioned to improve their lives? We say to your tents oh yea almajiris!
Oppression is a cruel or unjust exercise of power. The oppression of almajiris increased under the thumb of a cruel dictator, President Almajiri. Almajiris are not permitted to read or attend school. They are carefully controlled by their leaders. They have been denied basic necessities of life. They constantly operate in the survival mode “fight or flight” response. It seems they are lost for ever.
The number of almajiris living in poverty continues to grow. They stand behind the poverty line. They live in extreme poverty on 74 cents a day. They wander about hopelessly and helplessly. They prowl in poverty and die for no reason. Like the true captives they are, their minds are chained. They behave like people suffering from mental torture. From time to time, they move about aimlessly going nowhere like lost sheep.
What has President Almajiri done to improve the lives of his fellow almajiris? Absolutely nothing! Though his own children are being educated in the best schools abroad, he’s not interested in the education of the almajiris. It’s time for President Almajiri to remove his goggles to see the real world of the pulverized almajiris. But unfortunately, he can neither actively define reality, nor able to deal with the reality facing the almajiris. We’re told it’s not the style of President Almajiri to solve problems. It’s not his style to govern as a leader. It’s not his style to show interest in the plight of almajiris. His style is to keep the almajiris as tormented children of the north for ever!
As unrepentant propagandists celebrate five years of unprecedented woes of President Almajiri’s administration, President Almajiri should use the opportunity to tell us how he will solve the almajiri problem especially the three bare essentials that have bedevilled them: shelter, food, and clothing.
I don’t know what the Quran tells President Almajiri about oppression of the poor. The Bible tells me God hates the oppression of the poor. God will never spare the king or political leader who oppressed the poor. Neither the king nor the political leader will go unpunished.
As President Almajiri celebrates five years in office, the warnings in Proverbs 14:31 is too direct and too scary for him to ignore, and it ought to serve as a guide how he should govern for the rest of his term: “Whosoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their maker, but whosoever is kind to the needy honours God.”