Prof Yusuf Dankofa
The Sultan’s argument that we are hungry because we are lazy represents the mindset of our right wing conservative traditional and contemporary elites in the discourse on how to drive development in a dysfunctional economy like ours. For so long the elites had wrongfully prided itself as a hardworking and creative class downplaying their legitimate role as plunderers. They have also successfully brainwashed the poor from the informal class to believe that they are what they are and where they are because they are lazy, indolent and parasitic in our social organisation. In reality the poor has always been hardworking while the rich are the parasites and the prebendal. In fact, in Nigeria, majority are programmed to be poor, because of the class structure that elevates and pampers the elites but alienates the masses
To start with, it is the rich and powerful that discouraged the poor from hard work by entrenching patronage instead of merit in our value system. The poor work so hard and get peanuts, while the privileged class work so little and get massively rewarded. A governor spend 8 years and allot unto himself through legislative surrogates millions as pension while the poor spends 35 years as a messenger and dies awaiting his pension and the same elite parasite who had cornered all the juicy contracts and landed properties as ex governor or senator will mount the podium and declare the poor as lacking in intellect and the drive to succeed. Dishonesty has always been the cardinal principle of the elites class in Nigeria so much so that any budgetary allocation for the poor goes to them,excluding the poor. Bank of Agriculture was established to help poor farmers but ended up helping the elites who are consumers. Microfinance banks were established to empower the poor but end up in supporting the elites.Fertilizers that will help poor agrarians end up in the markets for round tripping and the poor becomes unable to buy. Education that should be made available to the poor as a matter of right so that he can be useful to himself and the society has been denied the poor and of what use is the life of an illiterate? Yet they become bus conductors who shout themselves hoarse from morning till evening and the permanent secretary who works from 10am to 3 pm with about 1 hour break will open his mouth and say the poor is poor because he is lazy.
How can you declare the poor mechanic who is in the garage from 8am to 7pm a lazy man, when the loan he is to access from bank of industry has been denied him, while the same loan in millions has been given to the Director of Administration in government parastatals just for the fun of it. The entire budget of government at all levels is used to satisfy the indolence of the elites while the poor gets nothing,not even a good consulting clinic. Jobs are never created for the poor and the little ones they get they hardly joke with. The scores of domestic workers,messengers in MDA, cleaners of our streets and other downtrodden workers can never by any shred of imagination be deemed lazy because they work endless hours. It is high time we put a stop to that lie being propagated every time that the poor is poor because he is lazy, no..give the poor the same privilege and he will be materially successful like you. Award him scholarships and open up the economic space for him and he will be successful, afterall,you are not better than him. The scholarship meant for mass education of the poor has been cornered by you and for your children to the exclusion of the poor. If the poor is lazy, your policies made him so. He abandoned his farm to bootlick your shoes because you need him to become your political thug and the poverty ravaging the poor is artificially induced so that the poor will be in perpetual bondage as your slave. You enslaved a man and come around to say he is so because he is lazy.
That is sociologically, and scientifically incorrect.!!