We the other IDPs By Alex Agbo

BBOG-AMBODE3‘Internally Displaced Persons’ the popularly known as IDPs became more popular in our daily conversations at following the insurgent  activities of the Boko Haram sect.

In the wake of the sect’s reign of evil and mayhem, a lot of Nigerians were Displaced or rendered homeless.

Aside loss of lives and property worth millions of dollars, there was mindless plundering of the economy and desolation of cultural commonwealth that has continued to defy all attempts at halting the expansion of the frontiers of these merchants of sorrow and destruction.

What is more painful is the fact that there is no clear cut ideology by the insurgents, yet they want to be heard.

A man has to convince someone that he has something important to say before one can hear him out or don’t you think so? A lot of lives have been wasted by all parties involved in the war against the Islamic militants, including the insurgents, the victims and the military.

That’s a war against the country and her citizens. Be it ideological, political or economical, a war is a war.

In my pre-degree days, and my able lecturer, Mr Allu Alkali, who taught me the art of military intervention, didn’t forget to mention that one way a successful war can be prosecuted is by using ‘Google’ economic blockade.

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Later, after school, I began to see how the economy can be used as a veritable weapon of war.

It can be used in different ways to attack and weaken the enemy. Remember, the enemy is one with whom one is engaged in a battle of some sort.

Walking down Ojuelegba, Ijora, Ajegunle, Nyanya, Mararaba, Ketu, Okere road, Nyamanyama village or any ghetto in Nigeria would reveal to you a different kind of group of IDPs.

There are the jobless, and the homeless, the destitutes, the hawkers, and the beggars, etc.

In a country with stupendous riches, and we have different kinds of IDPs: there are no jobs for the graduates to engaged themselves and the first step for the unemployed is to have food and shelter.

However, the government of Nigeria has denied her citizens all of the basic needs and has, no doubt, turned them to IDPs.

In a village that has not seen light for ages, and slums where the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) supply power as a favour to the people about three days to the due date for payment of new electricity bills.

Or in a community where quack medicine dispensers, popularly called ‘chemists’ give the people ‘aspirin’ for every known ailment because of the absence of any standard hospital in such communities.

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In slums, you find there are no schools and in such ghettos they have no government presence whatsoever, and the people are no different from IDPs.

We are all IDPs in Nigeria’s enchanted Island except those who wage the war against the people. The government in its own right, is waging intentional war of deprivation and lack on its people.

One of the ideologies of, if not central to, the Boko Haram sect is the expressed intention to erase Western education from its caliphates. In what way is the Nigerian government doing differently?

Our public schools are comatose; these days, private schools have taken over. And because the common man cannot afford to send his children there, but he has been left to struggle to send his kids to the scrap left by the elite, which we now refer to as public schools.

In these schools we have intimidating student-teacher ratios, missing scripts, cultism, teacher harassment of students, unchecked lecturers’ enslavement of their students and so on. In totality, the human assets are disadvantaged as they are displaced in their country.

Now, how do you explain the fact that a man works for six months, ten months and even a year and is not paid? Can you imagine the nightmare? That’s displacement. Yet we vote in elections.

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We queue in the sun and in the rain to (s)elect leaders(?) and they end up displacing us. African historians are fond of using Rodney to justify our wickedness towards fellow Africans.

It’s high time we told ourselves the truth, that Africans are wicked to fellow Africans. We first of all need to change the mindset of wicked avarice in us. This is why we are in this mess. Let us learn to take our leaders up on their promises and their ways of life.

Alex Agbo wrote from Abuja
aagbo10@gmail.com, 08038951588 

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