Native Doctor And Palliatives, More On Voodoo Economics

By Prince Dickson

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The worst part of a society manipulated by politics is to see the poor defending the rich who are responsible for their poverty.



There was one man called Femi in Ibadan, 98 year old Baba Femo, he was alleged to have made pregnant a 19 year old girl, an allegation he blatantly denied, he insisted that he was not responsible, he wasn’t the person.

The matter went to the court, he brought a lawyer called Nkiru to defend him. In court, the barrister said, “My Lord, this man can never make this 19-year-old pregnant”. The judge said, “Counsel can you prove that.” She said, “Yes, I can prove that”. And to further prove her case, she asked Baba Femo, “Baba remove your shokoto.” Baba removed his shokoto and the female lawyer started to touch him, eventually he started having an erection. As the ‘thing’ gathered momentum, nearing its peak, Baba whispered to his lawyer, “my daughter we are losing this case oooh.”

No doubt difficult decisions must be taken as a government, no doubt it’s tough, but these are decisions that must be corrective not punitive to the ordinary people, I agree that loads of lifestyle changes would happen, I agree that there are positives… loads of it from the current hard times that Nigerians are facing.

Nigerians are trekking, they will be healthier,  trekking and walking long distances are a good thing, no need for the gym, we are losing weight, problems of obesity will reduce. People are using less generators, reducing noise pollution, and our roads are less-used. Sadly, it is the common man that will still suffer from high blood pressure. We have removed subsidies but not punished those who put us here, we are still subsidizing corruption. All is not well, we are not borrowing to invest but borrowing to just eat, decisions that we are taking, does not show any form of intellectual rigor.

…because of a lack of rigor, we have come up with native doctor solutions. Like palliatives, like the old structural adjustment program SAP, and like the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) program, a plan for prosperity. A plan that was even moved to state levels as SEEDS to focus on four key strategies: reorienting values, reducing poverty, creating wealth and generating employment. It achieved none, because it was only a seasonal palliative.

Palliatives, we forget or refuse to acknowledge are medicines or forms of medical care that relieves symptoms without dealing with the cause of the condition. Thus, the bitter truth is “at present, available treatments are only palliatives and not curative drugs for our current economic woes”.

The actions and inactions that are intended to alleviate our problems without addressing the underlying cause are simply native doctor inclined and tantamount to economic voodoo. We are simply experimenting with indomie noodles, quick fix social projects presented as palliatives for the big crisis, like painkillers and analgesics. The hunger and pain has not been addressed!

For the fact we refused to see palliative care as care that affords relief, but not cure. We can’t explore curative care, care that tends to overcome the disease, and promote recovery, which is why the National Assembly gets 70bn, National Judicial Council 35bn, (Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning 500bn for the provision of palliatives and other items to Nigerians to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal). No dissenting voice, everyone consented, no minority voice. If the legislatorso are only a handful are getting 70billion, what about our lecturers, what about our health systems, our doctors who are leaving in hundreds, how did we arrive at these priorities and in so doing, refusing to see the realities that prices are skyrocketing even as the cost of burial has increased as a result of cost of living.

At the heart of the palliatives is the cash transfer, one that we all know, is a scam, like most things with government in these climes, there’s a trust deficit…which is why in ending this rant, I fixate on the inherent fallacy and falsehood in the following recommendations or advisory of the National Executive Council which comprises of the entire states’ governors and more;

Integrity tests on state social registers, cash transfers would be done via state social registers subject to state peculiarities. There is no state in Nigeria with a near decent up-to-date social register, not a single one, what exists are poor copies of what looks like one.

During the palliative meeting, government officials were urged to reduce the cost of governance in their various spheres. This is even as the Federal Government initiated a six-month cash award policy for public servants. I always laugh when government urges government, they tighten our belts and fatten their stomachs, in a week, we have not seen the cash awards, federal unity schools and universities have increased tuition by over 200% and need I remind them that the percentage of public servants are negligible and after six months of cash awards we are back to where we were before visiting the native doctor.

Food items, grains and fertilisers are to be distributed by state governments at the rate acquired from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and states are urged to double down on energy transition plans in the transport sector. Another poorly packaged scam!

The above only reminds me of the pregnant woman that went to visit a seer, after pleasantries with the native doctor, she was asked what brought her to his shrine. To which she replied, that she sought to know the sex of her unborn child. After the throwing of some cowries and some gymnastic movements, he looked her in the eyes and said to her. “If you no born boy, you go born girl”.

All said, Iet me state categorically that I am not hoping that Mr. Tinubu fails, because it’s the same as hoping the country fails, I do not agree with this policy, and like many of his predecessors and governments across all tiers, it is dead on arrival. You don’t borrow money and just share…Nigerians are currently at the end of our national anthem which says, “…so help me God”. For me and countless Nigerians it’s about good governance and getting it right, we cannot continue like this—May Nigeria win

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