I just heard with one ear that the Honorable Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has put the blame in the rising cost of family spending more on health care at the feet of Nigerians not feeding well.
Says Mr Minister:
"Most Nigerians often consume carbohydrates and less of protein. This affect their well-beings, especially some children under the age of five who lack access to milk, beef, chicken and other basic proteins."
He added that inappropriate feeding of children has resulted in stunted growth, obesity and other forms of ailments.
“Good Food as the best medicine.” TDS h.s x52/52 (24/7/365) ad infinitum.
“We want our children between the ages of one and five to be properly taken care of at crèches. The best time to develop a child’s brain is the first five years. We don’t want to have stunted children......"
This government is working very hard to provoke the people into a revolution! In a country where it is a taboo to fall sick, talk more of being critically ill due to the comatose health infrastructure, the Minister of Agriculture puts the increase spending on health care by individuals on their inability to feed well.
Who made it impossible for the people to be unable to afford foods that are rich in all the essential nutrients for healthy living? The answer to that question is blowing in the wind.
Take Benue State where Minister Audu Ogbeh is from as an example:
The Governor, Mr Sam Ortom is owing Benue workers over SIX (6) months unpaid salary arrears. Retirees are also being owed pensions and gratuities for only God knows how long. Benue is predominantly a civil service state with very minimal private sector businesses. The bulk of the populace dwell in the rural areas and are into subsitence agriculture.
In Benue state poverty walks across the length and breadth of the land on all fours. Most families eat meat as a source of protein only on rare occasions like Christmas and New year. This is not an hyperbole.
I mean it sincerely and I make bold and testify that I have had cause to visit friends and family where lunch or dinner is served without any obstacle in the soup. Imagine eating "Ona" pounded yam or Amala with "okoho" or draw soup without Shaki, Pomo, Goat meat, cow tail and orisirisi to sensitize your spirit, because you cannot afford protein in your diet, talk more of a glass of juice or any other drink to act as vehicle or gargle after the meal.
Imagine a family that cannot afford milk or egg on the breakfast table. Better still imagine a family that skips breakfast in order to balance the family budget. Instead of balance diet, most Benue nay Nigerian families resort to rationing and survival formula - 0,1,1 or 1,0,1 or 0,1,0 due to lack of means.
The above scenario is typical of the state of nature described by Thomas Hobbes as the Hobbesian state, where man was ravaged by disease, life was nasty, hellish, brutish and short. Man typically existed in a jungle.
This is the situation we found ourselves. We have read the cause of diseases and the role of malnutrition in making us susceptible to illnesses as as a result of an immune system that is not performing at optimum levels. Chief Audu Ogbeh should zip it and stop bugging us with theories. Anyone who can read and memorise a few words and concepts can bamboozle his uninformed audience with gobbledygook which he crammed from the Internet. How that will improve the peoples lot and their lives in any way, remained to be seen.
Somebody should please tell Chief Audu Ogbeh nay the federal government that the campaign season is over. They should stop speaking as if they are still on the stump. They should roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty on the plough.
It's about time they move from EAR-MARK to EYE-MARK!
Campaign is over!
Author : Sunday Akoji
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