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The Pyramids Of Folly

The Oasis Reporters

February 13, 2022


Col. Gora Albehu Dauda (rtd)

At the mention of the word ‘ Pyramid” one’s mind goes to either the famous pyramids of Giza in Egypt built as tombs for the Pharaohs or those of the ancient Inca civilization in Mexico which were places of worship for their gods.


Once upon a time too, in Nigeria, groundnut Pyramids were built by British colonial entrepreneurs at the rail head in Kano awaiting shipment to the ports for export.

Recently though in Nigeria pyramids other than groundnuts can be seen in Abuja said to be of rice and in Kaduna, of maize.

Wherever the pyramids are and so long as they are of the much needed foodstuff which are obviously in short supply, the question to be asked is ” What is to be achieved by erecting the pyramids”? Who is intended to be impressed upon seeing the pyramids?

Whoever came up with the idea of the pyramids of foodstuff in my humble view requires psychiatric evaluation.

I anchor my submission on the fact that the food supply chain is disrupted as those behind the thinking must be moving into markets to buy off the little rice and maize the peasant farmers take to the mostly local markets for sale.

Because of the mentality of those behind the dubious food pyramid scheme, prices which should have come down during the harvest season have been going up as a result of the demand by those building the pyramids and we who are patronizing the local markets for our food requirements.

In the local markets in and around Kaduna, there are days you cannot find maize to buy. The prizes continue to shoot through the roof and well beyond the purchasing power of ordinary people.

One wonders for what purpose the maize pyramids are built by the roadside and at a strategic location. Could it not be for propaganda purposes or for what exactly?

In case the pyramids are erected as a demonstration of food sufficiency, those driving this thinking have goofed. Do they not know that almost everywhere in the farming belt of this country farmers could not freely cultivate their farms because of insecurity?

Are they also not aware that Fulani armed terrorists and sundry armed bandits harrased local farmers off their farmlands?

Fulani herdsmen deliberately and on purpose usually drive their cattle into already planted farmlands to destroy the crops.

On the Plateau and much of Southern Kaduna, crops mostly maize, sorghum, corn in the early months of growth were slashed with machetes and fed to cows as an aspect of war.

Maize heaps left to dry on the farms were set on fire and burnt to ashes as a war tactic.

The bottom line is that there is a short supply of basic foodstuff in the country to warrant the erection of pyramids designed to deceive the population. The ordinary people know the truth that food is in short supply.

A curious observer on social media wondered why the maize pyramids and followed with a question, “Should it suddenly rain, what happens to the exposed maize”?

Since even meteorologists cannot predict the weather with a hundred percent certainty it then means that in the event of sudden rainfall the entire effort could come to ruin. Surely, provisions must have been made for waterproof cover for the pyramids but anything can happen.

Another vital question is why the choice of pyramids and not grain silos? In Kaduna State, I know of grain silos in Katabu or Mararraban Jos, Kujama in Chukun LGA as well as Kafanchan in Jama’a LGA.

Why not these grain silos which provide a better and more efficient storage system?

I can see very clearly that politics is the motivation behind this madness. A cartel somewhere wants to prove a point that they are working just to deceive the people.

The truth is that the population is largely going hungry and would have preferred that the maize be left in the markets so they can easily access it.

Of what use are the maize or rice pyramids when people are going hungry?

In the case of the rice pyramids in Abuja, did I not read that some of the rice was probably imported or smuggled through our borders to have enough to erect the pyramids some of which have wooden frames informing a deluge of vitriolic criticism and sarcasm.

Unless my memory is failing, at some point in the life of this country, there was talk of strategic grains reserves all over the country which could have informed the construction of the grain silos earlier mentioned supra. What use then are the grain silos under the APC leadership?

Politics in this beleaguered country means different things to different people. For example, why would any genuine politician be making a whole mess of providing purposeful leadership with this dubious philosophy of erecting pyramids of much needed basic foodstuff?

Whilst there is a hot competition between those consuming the maize as a staple food and those buying it to produce animal feed, the prizes can never go down.

As 2023 gets nearer, you can bet that the ruling APC that obviously has lost already if the mood of the people is a measuring gauge will use the items in the pyramids as a political and therefore a campaign tool.

Given that the best way to subdue a people is to keep them hungry, food will be a very important campaign tool. A few measures of either the rice of the maize will make all the difference to any family going hungry.

If that turns out to be the case, would the Buhari government have been fair to Nigerians?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Col. Gora Albehu Dauda (rtd) writes from Kaduna, North West Nigeria.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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