Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they’ll eat the rich”.
Have you noticed that anytime there is civil unrest in Lagos, people troop out to Lekki Epe expressway and disrupt vehicular movements, loot shopping malls and some neighborhoods?
The reason is simple: there are poor neighborhoods near or right next to Lekki. The poor who lives there believes that the rich is their problem. They believe that the rich is the reason why they are poor. So, they use every slight opportunity to deal with the rich.
The same thing is applicable in Abuja. Asokoro, Maitama and other rich neighborhoods are surrounded by the poor. Kpaduma is close to Asokoro while Mpape (I have been there on few occasions) is close to Maitama.
There are slums that surrounds or near almost every rich neighborhood in Nigeria. The reason is because the poor used to live where the rich is currently living.
How Can the Rich and Poor Live in Peace?
The rich must make the poor happy at all times.
You may not like it, but that is the only way out. The poor sees your mansions and automobiles. They see your children that lives abroad. They see the kind of people you associate with. So, you are their problem.
It’s not supposed to be so, but that is the reality on ground.
If I have the opportunity to speak to politicians today, that is the first thing I will tell them. Make the poor happy. Make life better for them. Build good schools for their children and affordable housing estates for them and you will have peace in your nation.
United Arab Emirates is led by monarchs but there is peace in their nation. Why? Because they make sure their citizens lack nothing. They make life better for them and embark on projected that gives the citizens hope.
The poor knows that politicians are sharing the national cake. That is why they are currently going to their houses.
I don’t support stealing and arson, but the rich, especially politicians must take care of the poor.
“Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.” — Kofi Annan, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations.
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” — Aristotle, Greek philosopher.
I am Ifeanyi A. C. Eze.
Convener, Inspire Africa Project Conference.