Bello,Dino & the Role of Hunger By Pius Adesanmi

Too many commentators are misreading what really went down in Kogi. I am talking about the failure of Dino’s recall.

Some say it is an indication of Dino’s strength and support in Okunland. That is rubbish.

Some say it is an indication of Bello’s unpopularity in Okunland. That is partial rubbish.

Partial rubbish because such readings see a direct correlation between Dino’s purported popularity and Bello’s purported unpopularity. Bello is not supposedly unpopular because Dino is supposedly popular.

Bello is massively unpopular in Okunland because at no time in the history of my people have poverty, hunger, and hopelessness been this widespread.

Our people are so hungry they no longer have any memory of what it means to have a full belly; they no longer have any memory of what it means to be decently human.

Personally, I have been severely hit by the widespread hunger in Okunland but how far can the salary of one person (with his own family) go via Western Union? N10k here, N20K there running into thousands every month to alleviate hunger yet you know it is really nothing.

The poverty has always been there but it skyrocketed in the last two years. From Egbe to Kabba via Isanlu and Mopa, people are literally just dropping dead owing to poverty.

I have lost count of how many extended family members I have lost this year – old, young, men, women. We are now in a situation where in many families, corpses are dropping while you are planning the burial of other corpses.

An aunty died recently in my extended family. We are planning her funeral. Her daughter drops dead. These are scenarios replicated across Okunland, drowned by official narratives from Lokoja denying these realities.

Every time I ask Mama Adesanmi what the heck is going on? Why are our people dropping dead at such a dizzying rate? She has one unchanging answer: poverty. She would sigh and say:

“Bola, iyan ni o. Ebi npa awon eyan wa.”

From Kabba to Egbe, that is the same song on everybody’s lips.

We are dying.
We are hungry.
We are tired.

I am saying in essence that our folks are too tired and weary to step out for any yeye INEC verification.

In the extended oriki family of Baba Adesanmi alone, we have 3 dead bodies on the ground – including a mother and daughter – that we are yet to bury as I write. We hold poverty and hunger responsible. Then some people come, talking about signature verification. Who do you think is going to step out for that?

Our people have been beaten to a point where only stomach infrastructure can get you to that queue. You do not go and stand in any queue on an empty stomach.

Those who do no understand these dynamics will be surprised to see the same people – who did not step out now – stepping out during election time when stomachially mobilized by Dino.

Bello stands little chance in Okunland not because of Dino or because of his ethnicity. It is because he is associated with the worst experience of dehumanization by hunger that the Okun have ever known in their history.

Written By
Prof Pius Adesanmi

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