Recession is not just “a” word, it is reality – Viola Okolie

Recession is not just “a” word, it is reality – Viola Okolie
Fellow Ordinary Nigerians,

I know that you have been told, that “riseshn ees jest ei wourd”, but does it seem quite that way to you?

Especially now when your pre-recession salary can no longer meet up with your post recession needs, even when those needs have remained constant.

You have the same number of dependents who eat the same quantity of food but somehow, the same amount of money now purchases a smaller quantity of food.

That is “reseshn”.

If you would reduce it to just a word, you would probably rechristen it “hunger”. Hunger at having to skip a meal or two and even then, eating below quality foods, eating just to keep body and soul alive.

This government that is peddling this one word “reseshn”, they seem determined to stamp out corruption like they have always sung right from their campaign days, but how come it seems like the common man is the person being stamped out?

Let us play a game called “ajooming” (also known as assuming)


“Ajooming” for instance, Chief Ajanlekoko had the sum of one million dollars hidden away in his soak-away tank at the start of this administration.

“Ajooming” that like the government had been insisting, they are here to stamp out corruption and reduce the luxuries and profligacy the elite few revel in to the detriment of the common man.

“Ajooming” that part of this government’s strategy to combat corruption, is to totally and completely destroy the naira and reduce it to competing with Zimbabwean dollars.

“Ajoom” for one minute that Chief Ajanlekoko bought his dollars at the rate of N190/dollar in the era of corruption. At that time, you the common man only heard about dollars when it was flashed briefly on CNN.

Now, we are in the era of non-corruption. And for doing absolutely nothing – he did not trade with the money, he did not invest it, he did not even make any attempt to launder it, Chief Ajanlekoko’s One Million Dollars which roughly translated to about N200m less than 2 years ago, is now valued at N460m today.

Now, “ajoom” for an instant that you and Chief Ajanlekoko’s wife shop in the same market and from the same customer.

You need to feed your hungry children and she needs to feed hers too.

You arrive at the butcher’s at the same instant and the price of goat meat has doubled.

Oga, dollar don add money o.
Haba, na dollar goat dey chop?
No ma, but na dollar den dey change take buy fuel wry we take carry the goat comot from bush. You know say if dollar add money, everything go just add money.

So, you reluctantly turn away from the goat meat and cast a weary eye upon the fish. You will go and try your luck there and if the fish was also bred on dollars, you might have no other option than to go for crayfish or ponmo.

But Chief Mrs. Ajanlekoko, her husband’s money has more than doubled just by sitting in the soak-away doing nothing. He has in fact increased her shopping allowance to enable her to meet up with the “recession prices”, so she can still afford to buy the goat meat, even with the increase in price.

And she will happily brag, “no matter the economy of the jungle, the lion can never eat grass”.

No it cannot, the lion is a PREDATOR. It’s feast is the misfortune of its neighbours in the jungle.

Kwashiorkor which is crouching at the gate of your compound waiting to come in, is very far from the compounds of the elite.

To put it kindly, Dear Fellow Nigerian, You and I are the ones suffering and bearing the brunt of this recession.

We are the ones losing jobs, contracts and patronage.

We are the ones who can no longer afford to maintain a certain standard of living.

We are the ones ardently practising poverty economics and signing our signatures on yam tubers to monitor usage.

We are the ones getting depressed,  looking for stout ropes to hang from and jumping off bridges.

We are the ones still being talked down and condescended to by the big men.

They make you out to be lazy, “go and farm, agriculture is the way out now” – if all of us are farming, who will buy the crops?

They make you out to be rabble rousers – the same governor who accumulated refuse in the middle of a market for over a week as a punishment to the people of Owerri, accuses you all of “exaggerating the recession”.

How would be know? He is an original government pikin.

Whatever the economy of the jungle, the predators would still feast on the prey.

Of all the big men that have been accused of corruption and corrupt practices, please point out just one successful prosecution.

Only one.

What we are witnessing are the settling of political scores

The rich, in the meantime, keep getting richer.

While the poor keep drowning in their poverty.

Dear Ordinary Nigerian,

I think that if we wanted the “action film”, that we hoped the new administration would bring, we should be fed up with it by now.

Action film cannot take the place of a bowl of well prepared and garnished food. It can sate the thirst for drama, but the body would need more than that for sustenance.

Perhaps this is the time to wean ourselves off the pre-election propaganda and realise that we are the expandable variables in the Nigerian equation.

Perhaps this is the time to demand for more attention to the economy and less to the bumbling drama of the inept state police.

We do not all want to die off while watching arrests that lead to nothing; loot recoveries that have no impact on the bottom line and appointment of more and more media aides – far more than we know what to do with.

Fellow Ordinary Nigerians,

I do hope that by the time this fight against “corruption” is over, you and I would remain standing. For us, recession is not just “a” word, it is a reality.

It is time perhaps for us to unite with one voice and ask the government of the day to fix our economy first, then pursue corruption afterwards.

Please note that those Nigerians who live abroad, are benefiting from the crash of the naira. Where $2,000 was just chicken change before, today it is almost a million naira. So do not expect them to sing any song that will not encourage this focus on witch hunting political opponents and scaring off potential investors thereby putting a strain on the Naira.

They will continue to applaud nonsense.

They are benefiting – economy of the jungle things.

You and I, we are prey.

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