Saturday 31 October 2020



I was thinking this morning..... the most popular word in Nigeria in the last one week is undoubtedly 'Palliative.' According to the Cambridge dictionary, Palliative means something that makes a problem seem less serious but does not solve the problem or makes it disappear. And of medicine or medical care, it means relieving pain without dealing with the cause of the condition.

There is no doubt that successive governments have failed this nation and that there is hunger in the land. And with Covid-19, it became clear that without some form of palliative, 'everywhere go cast' (speaking in my waffi patois). Following days of protest, things got out of hand with wanton looting and carting away of government and private properties under the reign of mobocracy (the rule or domination by the masses) which was interpreted as '#FreePalliative.' Many people tacitly supported the #FreePalliative movement after watching videos of Cacovid sponsored bags of garri and other perishable food items being 'liberated' from government warehouses across the country by thousands of hungry Nigerians.

As I juxtaposed these incidents against the definition of palliative, I realised palliative means different things to different people in a mobocracy. To the hungry, any foodstuff such as rice, garri, noodles and even poisoned beans, is a palliative. To those who looted vaccine stores and Covid-19 isolation centres in Taraba State, drugs and hospital beds are their palliatives. And to the 'deprived farmers' that looted brand new tractors in Adamawa State, farming equipment is their palliative.

I thought I had seen it all about palliative but got the shock of my life when I read of how someone with bad eyesight needed a palliative of reading/medicated glasses. He saw an opportunity and looted Obafemi Awolowo's glasses from his statue in Lagos. That was his palliative.

I believe that every well meaning Nigerian should condemn the mobocracy that we call #FreePalliative, but when our politicians come on air to shamelessly do same, I sneered at their hypocrisy. For 16 years since the commencement of the 4th Republic, the political mob called politicians has been going round the country looting the treasury. To them, the trillions of naira meant for good governance are their palliatives. Worse still, after looting the treasury, some even looted the palliatives meant for the masses for use as birthday gifts. Chai!

While the scramble for palliative continues, the question is 'what are you hungry for? In order words, what is your palliative?' Matthew 5:6 says 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.' Aim for a palliative that will truly satisfy the longing of your soul.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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