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Who Is Managing Population?

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“We have been engaging traditional, religious rulers and other leaders. Specifically, we have found out that to be able to address one of the great challenges that we identified in the ERGP, which is the growth in our population, we need to engage these institutions. And we hope that with their support, we will get to a point where we can come out with the policy that limits the number of children that a mother can have because that is important for sustaining our growth.” -Zainab

I just thought to note and follow up on the conversation that the erstwhile Minister of Budget and National Planning and current Minister of Finance in her statement above; pegging the number of children a woman can have by involving religious leaders. As a side note, it seems that religious and traditional rulers have become the pivots on which society bases its personal decisions and every campaign in trying to correct anomalies and negative situation in the way our society behaves, includes them now.

So, it leaves you to wonder and wonder. Going back to the topic at hand, it seems a major player in this saga has been left out and that is the bearer of the ‘seed’ -the man. The last line of Honourable Minister’s speech mentions the woman-not the man or the entity as a couple.  As it is, our society is gradually going back to its traditional roots of polygamy irrespective of religious persuasion and as such, if the number is not pegged per man, then a man with four wives will end up with sixteen children…not to talk of men who keep a second family from the prying eyes of the public. Just thought to point that out.

In Religion’s Name

I was listening to the radio the other day when a caller made an interesting point as he defended the fact that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), blocks the road when they want to carry out their religious functions/obligations. He pointed out that on Fridays and Sundays, the country over, roads are blocked, major highways are barricaded, and the rest of the citizenry inconvenienced and so he didn’t understand why there was a hullaballoo as to IMN blocking roads. Based on the practice of these other groups, they were within their rights, doing what every other religion does. Though we haven’t seen the traditionalists blocking the road and it has been a while since the Hare Krishan members trekked, it was a clear thought, if these other bodies do it every week, why can’t IMN? However, things weren’t always like this and I’m sure the speaker was alive and well then. 

We used to worship with our streets unblocked. We did not infringe on the rights of other citizens to move around freely. People were not killed in the churches or mosques or buildings destroyed. This is what happens when portions of the law regulating us to ensure that protection of everybody’s rights are protected, are violated. It has become second place to deprive citizens of their right to unhindered and unfettered access when the group is exercising one of its rights-freedom of worship. How we moved from sensitive, caring society to a dogmatic, uncaring one beats me.

I heard two interesting stories that will leave you cold, but it is the reality of our country and I stay awake some nights wondering how we will reverse the wrong that we’ve done to ourselves. Evil has become so pervasive that it seems that it is only a matter before it is our turn.

Story one: Time was 2am when they heard a loud noise and they were awakened. The husband bravely opened the door to investigate when he saw 10 young boys high on something all wielding brand new cutlasses and torchlights. They said the boys’ ages ranged between 14-22years. The boys tied them up, demanded for gold and money and for the next two and half hours ransacked their house uninterrupted. They were lucky. Despite the length of time they spent, they didn’t harm the couple only the security guard that had been slashed in various places to incapacitate him. You are wondering what the haul is, right that would warrant this violation? Nothing much; it was the usual-phones, laptops and twenty thousand.  The trinkets were non-precious materials. All in all, the haul would not fetch more than two hundred thousand naira and that is dependent on the make and age of the gadgets. Two hundred thousand naira among 10 boys equals N20, 000.00.

Story two: Along Kubwa road, the time was 8pm and the young man recounting his ordeal was heading to Jahi. In the service lane, he slowed down for the car in front of him to exit from the service lane into the main road, when he got hit from the back. He had lived in Abuja long enough to know not to engage anyone in a dark service lane with nobody around. It was an irritation but then, he gauged from the impact that it wouldn’t be too bad and so being cautious he rolled his car along as the person who hit him came out and apologised and made to look at the possible damage the impact had made. He waved him off and accelerated. Unknown to him, the fellow had put a metal to puncture his tyre, he realised too late as the tyre burst and he was left driving on three tyres and one rim.

He was determined not to stop and managed his vehicle to a slightly crowded bus stop. He noticed that he didn’t see the headlights of any car following him, so he stopped to fix the spare tyre. Lo and behold, they seemed to appear from nowhere (they were four young men), the other three had apparently hidden in the back seat. They hauled him into the car; furious with him that he had made them exert unbudgeted energy. Once satisfied, they threw him out of the car and made off with his car. He had a tracker.

(In the background playing-This is Nigeria by Falz)

This is Nigeria

Look how I’m living now

Look how I’m living now

Everybody be criminal

This is Nigeria

Look how we living now

Look what we eating now

Everybody be criminal



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