Unashamedly, the players in the food and other necessary commodities supply chain are taking advantage of this life threatening situation to make money by any means possible.
From the soldiers on the street to the stall owners, to the fake hand sanitizer producers. I hear rumours of fake face masks. Again, the presence of soldiers on the street has only caused more harm than good.
At Itedo market today in Lagos, every food commodity has miraculously increased in price. What is even more disheartening is the fact that Garri, the most affordable staple food now sells at more than thrice its original price. Garri is the only thing that the common man can afford.
I got vexed and told the woman that i will invite the authorities to address the issue. To my greatest surprise, she didn’t feel a thing, no fear, no remorse!
Upon further inquiries, I discovered that the problem is not from the retailers in the market but from the suppliers, to the transporters, down to the very authorities that i had hoped on!
Now this is how it goes;
The supplier doubles the price, the retailer who happens to be the market woman has no choice than to buy, the driver who will transport the goods from the supplier to the market doubles his fees (because the soldiers on the road whose duty is to enforce the “sit at home” order is extorting a thousand naira (#1000) from them per checkpoint, and if a driver refuses to comply, he will be turned back.
And, notwithstanding the stable price of petrol, the cost of food is hiked as a result of the aforementioned.
That is to say that the driver of a vehicle conveying food spends about ten thousand naira (#10,000) or even more going from Oyingbo market to the Island on Law Enforcement Officers alone!
A few questions then require answers: Who authorized this daylight robbery?
What is now the essential goods and commodities the government exempted from the lock down? And are these officers not aware that the populace is free to restock their supplies from time to time?
Finally, the common man goes to buy as little as Garri and a painter, which normally sells for five hundred naira (#500) is now two thousand naira (#2,000).
Why are there always loose ends enabling greedy officials to cause avoidable hardships on the masses? The government is clueless. The very people you are suppose to protect are the people you hound, brutalize, intimidate and suck their blood for refreshment.
The cash transfer allegedly going on is a story for another day, as that will finally make the Guinness book of record as the most successful daylight scamming by a government. The masses are hungry, and Corona Virus hardly stands a chance of wiping them out in the face of the deadlier Hunger Virus
Its brewing gently. We are sitting and watching. The tide will change. When it becomes unbearable, the poor will rise and eat the rich. One day, the poor will attack with bare hands the armed rogue empowered by the careless government.
Soon, there will be a breakdown and anarchy and chaos will be the visitor who chased out the house owner.
“One day, monkey go go market, but him no go come back!”
Elochukwu Emmanuel Chukwudi; firstname.lastname@example.org
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