In an Igbo parlance, there’s this proverb that goes thus: ala adighi mma bu uru ndi nze.
What that empirically means is that in every ugly situation, there’s definitely, a certain group of individuals that are benefiting from the charade. But does this really sound strange to any discerning ear? Even with the knowledge that casket merchants make fortune only when misfortune befell others?
As the world continues to battle the global pandemic, the dreaded coronavirus(covid-19), losers and winners are inevitability sprouting from many angles. In countries with severe cases of the virus, of course, casket merchants are smiling to the bank amidst the wailings of bereaved families.
Chemicals(for embalmment) and other health products are in high demands.
Back to the country where there’s lesser cases of the virus, losers and winners are also emerging. Ranging from food vendors to health products dealers. From politicians to men with political and economic ambition.
Everyone now licks fingers from the global misfortune. After all, the world is not ending from here.
As many ‘good spirited individuals’ continue to make monetary donations to the federal government to help provide relief materials to her citizens, we expected that, having over #15B in cash from donations, that relief items would have reached the nooks and crannies of the nation. It’s on record that the foremost business mogul and CEO of Dangote groups, Aliko Dangote led other donors with the sum of over #2B(two billion naira). It’s also reported that the president recently gave a directive for the customs to release all foreign rice confiscated from smugglers.
In fact, there has been adequate ‘directives’ for the humongous funds realized from donations to be efficiently distributed amongst the people. The problem however, is that there has been no corresponding compliance to the ‘directives’. Suffix to opine that such development is more or less a recipe for embezzlement, diversion and misappropriation of funds gotten as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
At state and local government levels, monetary donations are also being made. Though, in some cases, food items are made available to some mayors for onwards delivery to the poor and vulnerable ones. What stopped donors from directly giving the items to the poor and needy appears to be a puzzle to everyone.
What am I even talking about, wait, didn’t financial institutions with databases of the poor and vulnerable not release money to the federal government, instead of wiring same directly to their customers accounts?
Opportunity, according to Igbo high life legend, Oliver D’Coque comes but once.
This appears to be an opportunity to cement one’s place in the society. Either for political or economic gains.
This is an opportunity for some compromising security men stationed at borders to smile home with good cash.
This is an opportunity for food vendors to hike the price of food items and make good sales afterwards. Some local vigilante groups saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that local markets are shut are daily smiling to the bank as erring shop owners part with some money when caught transacting business as the lockdown lasts.
Definitely, new houses will be built from the proceeds from this pandemic as it has been a bountiful harvest to some individuals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, expect more donations to the federal, state and local governments. Opportunity to endear oneself to the hearts of the government has presented itself. Expect politicians to use this period to ‘shine’. Images are now printed on relief materials and distributed to those lucky enough to receive them.
Religious men are not being left out. Many have successfully produced ‘anti-coronavirus’ oils, stickers and water and sold to members at an exorbitant rate. This is at a time scientists are still yet to produce vaccines to combat the dreaded disease.
Some freestyle clergymen, as the government banned all forms of gathering, devised means to stay afloat by introducing electronic tithe payment system. What have we not seen? Religious, political and economic exploitation are on the rise. These gladiators are the winners in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The poor that have been shortchanged are the losers. They lost it all. Their business, their ability to feed ,name them. The poor have no access to the virus testing machines. Only the rich are being tested and treated. The poor may even die of the disease without the public being in the know.
Indeed, there are winners and losers in every situation.