Recently senator Dino melaye, a senator representing kogi west senatorial district in the 8th assembly tweet ‘’I am afraid of the revenge of the poor, it happened in Russia, France and recently in Sudan. It can happen in Nigeria. Housing segregation put us the elite in jeopardy. Ikoyi, Banana, maitama, Asokoro etc. our leader plus me beware of violent revolution. Perilous times loading’’
Different countries across the globe has witnessed varying degrees of revolutions on different fronts, for example: the revolution of American colonies against Great Britain in 1775-1783, it was a war of independence, French revolution in France against the Bourbons 1789-1799, Russian revolution, the revolution against czarist government which led to abdication of Nicholas 11 and the creation of a provisional government in March 1917. Cuba revolution, the revolution led by Fidel Castro and a small band of guerrilla fighters against a corrupt dictatorship in Cuba 1956-1959.etc.
Quickly, for clarity what is revolution? Revolution could mean a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system. It could also mean a fundamental change in political organization, or in government or constitution: the overthrow or renunciation of one government and substitution of another by the governed. Revolution could be bloody, violent or bloodless in nature. In a violent revolution, lost of life and destructions of properties are inevitable.
On the other hand what is poverty? It is the quality or state of been poor or indigent; want or scarcity of means of subsistence; indigence; need. To be poor means to be destitute of property, wanting in material riches or goods, needy, indigent, it also mean; having little money or few possessions. Poverty could be relative, absolute or penury.
According to the former minister of finance, Dr Ngozi okonjo –Iweala, in her book ‘’ fighting corruption is dangerous ‘an estimated 36.1 percent of the population live below the absolute poverty line of $1.90 per day. This basically means that more than 72 million Nigerian cannot afford to spend three hundred naira a day. Additionally, the depth of poverty is particularly worrisome as more people are falling from relative to absolute and penury.
The inequality associated with wealth redistribution in Nigeria has visually eliminated the middle class from the economic strata. It’s obvious, one is either rich or poor, the dividing red line is so glaring, and the rich are getting richer from our collective natural resources by the twinkling of clock while the poor get poorer by ocean waves.
In Nigeria, some are born into poverty and subsequently pass it on to the next generation as inheritance. Others with aid of a particular set of institutions and circumstances are able to escape inherited poverty. It is the more common inability of the poor to pull themselves out of poverty due to restrictive, local and cultural environment; that form the crux of development dilemma. In the modern economy escape from poverty can only be made easy through access to quality education for all and reliable job creation with a living wages.
Poverty in Nigeria accounts for 75 percent of the social vices ranging from: kidnapping, terrorism, robbery, ritualism, internet fraud, cultism, stealing, and recently suicide. Etc.
The weakness of our national institutions or non existence and the few kleptocratic, selfish ruling elites has taken advantage thereof and are perpetuating all kinds of evils against the Nigerian masses. The so called ruling class, so long as they are the lord beneficiaries of the somnambulistic nation, non-working country, they want the status quo to remain; any attempt to change the order would meet stiff resistance, As they would do anything humanly possible to hold onto the lion tails. No wonder many of the so called ruling class are into different kinds of cultism and rituals just to ‘remain’.
Truly, the poor are not happy seeing how extravagant the wealthy lives daily in the same society. However, it suffice to say that the revolt of the poor simply mean the fight of the poor against the ruling elites, the wealthy, the rich, no wonder, a renowned economist Adams smith said ‘’ no society can surly be flourishing and happy, of which the greater part of the members are poor and miserable’’ the poor will one day revolt and its going to be bloody. The poor has nothing to lose in the revolution that is coming like wildfire but the wealthy do. At this juncture, the poor can take any risk because even life doesn’t matter to them anymore.
Senator Dino statement could be viewed from two different perspectives: as a means of exonerating himself from the so called ‘ruling class’ that in case any revolution spring up in the nearest future, do not touch me and my properties, am part of you. Secondly, as a way of directing or invoking the anger of the poor masses against the ruling class which he is not part of, a senator!
Here I have seen the higher level of hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness of Dino. Dino a senator has a garage of more than 30 different types of car with the least amongst not less than ten million naira. Dino is one among the first ten Nigerians with expensive houses across Nigeria. Who is Dino, just a graduate from ABU Zaria whose authenticity of certificate and graduation has not been confirmed due to cult activities while in school? Meanwhile, the kogi west senatorial district where he represents at the senate has the highest percentage of absolute poverty in the country. Why has he not redistributes his wealth to lift many out of poverty? His extravagant life style never represents an honorable man he ought to be.
The fear that the poor will revolt is certain. A blind man revolution that will sweep across the entire nation is eminent. Like job in the holy bible, the fears of Dino will surly visit him and many others who thinks Nigeria exit for them and their families alone.
To Dino and his likes, to avoid the near future fight of the poor against the rich___the revolution, an urgent step at wealth creation and redistribution to eliminate the enormous social and economic inequalities in the society become paramount as it’s the only sure way to avert the looming war of anger.
By Ameh Johnson