Poverty, A Tool Of Subjugation In Nigeria

Poverty, A Tool Of Subjugation In Nigeria
  • PublishedJuly 9, 2024
  • By Egungwu Chukwuka Benjamin

Our Nation has been plagued by poverty for decades. Despite having vast natural resources, the country is termed one of the poorest in the world. Poverty in Nigeria is not just a result of economic mismanagement; it is also a deliberate tool used by the leaders in the country to subjugate or bring down its citizens.

Let us have an overview of what poverty entails. Poverty is often thought to be just the lack of money, but it is more than that. It goes beyond just physical or material needs.

According to the World Bank Organisation, “Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is limited access to education and healthcare. Poverty is vulnerability to violence and exploitation. Poverty is feeling voiceless and powerless to change one’s circumstances.”

The Nigerian government has consistently failed to address the country’s poverty crisis, instead, they focus on trivia issues such as; changing the national anthem, renovating properties, building new ones, spending outrageous amounts on changing tyres, and intending to acquire private jets for their comfort.

It saddens one to watch the currency devalue and the purchasing power nosedive. In Africa, Nigeria to be specific, poverty is not just an accident, but a tool used by the government to control its citizens. When people are poor, they become gullible. The government uses this to its advantage, offering small favors during elections instead of making real changes.

Watching the whole drama playing out, one would understand that poverty was designed, architecture, and masterminded from when the Nation was being amalgamated.

The idea is to keep “the lack” at the core of people’s thinking faculty. So they think lack, they breathe lack, they see a lack in everything. This has built a robust inferiority complex mindset in the citizens.

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Poverty itself is not the problem but creating a barren environment around the people where nothing works, where people always think acquiring basic needs is impossible, where people think getting quality education, health care, stable electricity, good roads, clean water, and other necessities are out of reach.

You should agree with this that people’s religion, tribes, ethnicity, or languages are not the core incubator of poverty even though they contribute a bit when they are approached from the wrong perspective. But there are people who shake the jar in order to divide people and make them think otherwise.

According to Shera Starr who says “If you catch 100 red fire ants as well as 100 large black ants, and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen. However, if you violently shake the jar and dump them back on the ground the ants will fight until they eventually kill each other. The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy and vice versa when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar. This is exactly what’s happening in society today. Liberal vs. Conservative. Black vs. White. Pro Mask vs. Anti-Mask. Vax vs. Anti-vax. Rich vs. poor. Man vs. woman. Cop vs. citizen. The real question we need to be asking ourselves is who’s shaking the jar… and why?”

Reasoning with Shera Starr, one would understand clearly why poverty isn’t a natural or biological or genetic thing but a man-made weapon to subjugate people into an unbearable state.

The operators make sure the subjects are held captive to the point where they’re rendered powerless over their own circumstances. They loose the rope on the people’s neck so they can feel relieved temporarily and before you know it, they fasten it back whenever one among them is making effort to challenge their authority.

This creates a sense of dependency amongst citizens, making them rely on the government instead of being able to take care of themselves. When the citizens are kept in a state of poverty, the government is able to maintain its power and influence over them.

With this citizens are more likely to accept small tokens from them during election campaigns, rather than demanding real change and accountability promised or which is expected.

Many Nigerians are struggling to access basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. The country’s poverty rate is increasing exponentially, with many people living below the poverty line. This has led to many social vices and economic problems, including high levels of unemployment.

Poverty in Nigeria is not just a normal phenomenon but also a strategic/deliberate tool used by the government to subjugate its citizens.

  • Egungwu Chukwuka Benjamin, a Nigerian journalist and blogger, writes from Lagos.

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not represent the opinions or views of OSUN DEFENDER.

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