The Oasis Reporters
March 18, 2019
It was the Nigerian-Canadian Professor of English at Carleton University, Ottawa in Canada, Pius Adesanmi that first used the term, “slyly normalizing poverty” shortly before he died in that fatal Ethiopian airlines crash that threw both Canadians and Nigerians into grief just a few days ago.
Pius Adesanmi must have hated poverty so much that as brilliant as he was, he never considered his teaching vocation worthwhile in Nigeria. He shipped himself off to Canada, for if he must teach, he were better off earning the fat salaries only Western countries could offer, unlike the pittance Nigeria’s seriously underfunded and strikes prone universities offer it’s professors. He became a Canadian citizen. With a Canadian passport, and a Nigerian heart.
Professor Pius Adesanmi must have had contempt for the mindset of poverty that has been spun as a net over Nigeria, whereas in the midst of Nigeria’s vast human and material resources, the country ought to be one of the richest states in the world. Nigeria is poor because of the mindset of poverty inherent in the classical conditioning some of its leaders foist on the people. The intellect has not been well energized to be productive in wealth and the Infrastructural development to enable wealth to be created is sorely lacking. For most Nigerian youths to prosper, they have to think of abandoning the country to sojourn abroad.
Pius Adesanmi’s wife had this to say about her late husband :
“He lived and died in pursuit of a better world. He lived and died in service to Africa. Nigeria was dear to his heart and he longed for Nigeria’s development”
A few years ago, he turned his pen against the perceived northern political Cabal in Nigeria that were dead set against any victory for then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan before the 2015 general election. Not that he had any robust love for Jonathan. As a matter of fact, he opposed the man until who he supported turned out to be an even worse disappointment.
In upbraiding what he perceived as the northern political powerhouse that have so much land, yet too much despicable poverty, Professor Pius Adesanmi gave examples of farming in Canada, with billionaire cabbage farmers, billionaire lettuce farmers and so forth. Then asked where the northern Nigerian millionaire onions or tomato’s farmers were.
In other words, why pursue the Oil wealth in the South South rather than develop the agriculture with the vast lands in the north?
Added to the fact that the scourge of child food beggars was prevalent in the region with over 10 million children out of school.
It gets even harder to understand what the import of saying that Buhari is poorer now, than in 2015, as if to say that poverty was even a virtue.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said that during a dinner in honour of volunteers who canvassed for votes for the APC during the campaigns for this year’s general election, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said “When I looked at his assets declaration form, I was checking it in 2015, I said to him, “Mr President, I am so much richer than you, it is an embarrassment.”
“He said, “I am only a soldier, you are a big lawyer so you should have more money than me.”
“I can tell you that he is perhaps; even poorer than he was in 2015 when I saw his declaration of assets form.”
“It just struck me that what we really need to do a lot more is to connect with the people.
“All the people need is opportunity for us to interact with them.
“We should have a way by which everybody is involved one way or the other.
“One of the complaints that people made about our government is that we were not communicating enough and that people did not know what had been done.”
The irony of it all is that when people get to the market and find cost of commodities cheaper in price, would be a better communication strategy and when people are getting jobs or having the openness, infrastructure and space to create jobs and employ people etc, such indices would be much more effective communication tools that extolling the virtues of integrity on empty stomachs when there is so much one can do with infrastructure on ground
As long as the basic necessities of life are lacking, Nigerians would continue to detest poverty and would never be in love with who they perceive as doing nothing while more and more of them are sliding into poverty every hour.
Someone sent this to me and I am not sure of who the author is. I therefore beg to conclude with it. (With apologies to who the author is) :
“Don’t ever in your life settle for poverty.
Poverty was created by man and can only be solved by man.
Poverty is birthed our of lack of judgement, fairness and inequality.
Poverty is not a virtue and must be hated by all men.
Those who uphold poverty as a virtue are evil and have not your best interests at heart.
Poverty kills dreams. Poverty denies children their future.
Poverty makes sickness and disease thrive.
Poverty denied over 15million Nigerian children access to school.
Poverty is a product of a society run by greedy and selfish individuals who never in their plans put people at the centre of it.
Poverty cannot be defeated by prayers but by men with passion for people and the best interests of all without fear or favour.
Any leader who under any clime or society elected into office who sees lifting people out of poverty as a privilege has a poverty mindset and with such mindset cannot lead people into wealth.”