Did the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, actually say that Nigerians eat too much rice and that we should shift to potatoes? Or was that another internet mischief? You see, I didn’t see or hear Chief make the statement. I didn’t attend the event and today being Sunday, I’m trying to keep the sabbath holy. I don’t want to accuse Chief of what he didn’t say. Ok, let us even assume that Chief said we eat rice like it is going out of fashion, was he wrong? It is the truth, God’s own truth, truth with NAFDAC number. We eat too much rice.
All of us.
Cooked rice, raw rice, coconut rice, vegetable rice, concoction rice, jollof, fried rice, all kinds of rice. Did I mention Chinese rice? Is there anywhere you go and there is not one kind of rice or the other? No party is complete without at least three types of rice in play.
Rice, rice everywhere and we import 90% of what we eat. All we contribute is the fire to cook it and then the forks, knives and spoons we use in eating rice. Yeah, we are that resourceful.
What was the Minister thinking? We should rebase our appetite and replace rice with potato! Where would that leave us? Imagine a party with jollof potato, fried potato, potato porridge, boiled potato… Oh please! Life would simply become ‘unliveable’, parties ‘ungoable’. How would we swallow Chinese potato? I’d simply stop going to parties, me and my fellow rice ‘choppers’.
What will the adverts and billboards of Nigerian eateries look like with steaming bowls of potato this and potato that? Try and picture the display units of your favourite eateries without fried rice and jollof rice. Even the thought is depressing, right?
I’m really trying very hard here to imagine life without rice in their different forms in front of me but I’m failing woefully. I simply can’t see a rice-less life. I’m just not a potato person. Most Nigerians are not. We are a rice race, which is why the statement allegedly made by the Minister of Agric was greeted with so much furore. People just panicked at the mere thought of their kitchens and dining tables without bowls of rice. I bet they are equating it with Armageddon.
All that said and jokes over, we really need to start thinking straight and try to see through the starchy fog of our rice-induced lethargy. For how long do we think we can continue to live on borrowed robes? How can we insist on eating everything we do not grow? How can we even contemplate getting out of the mess that is threatening to choke us when we do not want to change the way we think, the way we live? It’s just depresses me the way we all complain about how bad things have become and yet we do nothing about it.
Do we actually think that if we groan and moan about our economic recession long and loud enough, all our troubles will just vanish? Are we dumb or simpletons or both? Nothing will improve if we keep sitting on our hands. The price of rice, or anything at all for that matter, won’t crash just because we wish and want it to crash. The pride of the naira will remain in the dustbin if we do not stop playing the victim. Nigerian rice will not grow itself and imported rice will not improve our economy. We need to start growing rice as if our lives depend on it, because it actually does. The federal government needs to go all out and make things happen.
The President must invest the same amount of energy he has put into the anti-corruption war into revamping the agriculture sector, and indeed every dying sector of our national life. Long speeches won’t fix anything. Economic terminologies are just what they are, high sounding stuff that don’t raise the stakes.
We need to see action, change that we can touch.
Let the federal government start by banning the importation of rice! There, it is out. I can already hear people cursing and letting off streams of unprintable expletives. But we need to do what we need to do. It will be mighty painful but it is pain worth investing. The air is always refreshing after the rain.
Just think of it as the pain of circumcision. Anybody who has seen how male circumcision was done 20 years or so ago can testify to the ordeal of the boy child. But after a few days, the little man starts peeing majestically straight at the ceiling or in his mum’s face while she’s fixing his diaper.
The foreskin removed bloodily reveals a potent weapon of mass pleasure ready to go on rampage. And on rampage it goes until God calls it home or old age takes away its might and majesty.
Just a few days of pain and then a lifetime of proud maleness, taking and giving pleasure. That is all it is. A few months of ‘rice-lessness’ and then a lifetime of rise and rise of economic might and majesty.
We need to make many sacrifices. We cannot continue in sin and expect grace to abound. It is time to face reality. The prodigal son must go back home now or else…
From my mail box
Mama Sun, wow, nice and great piece as always. You write the minds of Nigerians. You are on point. We are in more than a mess. Posterity awaits and will judge somebody big time. Appointments: 8 out of 10 is from North. You don’t belong to everybody, we know where you belong.
-Iva, from Kaduna 07068212015
Funke, interesting as your masquerade satire is, it could be gleaned that PDP’s current problem was schemed by APC to scuttle PDP completely. PDP will soon mend its fences. What a man sows, he reaps in the end. As for APC, it is an amalgam of incompatible parties with disparity of interests.
I thought you were on your usual satirical lane in “WE ARE IN TROUBLE, AREN’T WE?” until I read it up to where you started giving correct data on price hikes of consumables and potent facts on other areas of the economy.
You have said it all. Nigeria is in dire need of economic deliverance. Let all the “Miracle Preachers” and all Imams who recite the Holy Book from 12.00am to 11.59pm come out for an interreligious prayer summit for 21 days beginning September 11 to October 1st for God to revive the economy of this project called Nigeria.
Mrs Egbemode, you started crying very late. When Buhari was busy practicing Nepotism, you hailed him as the Messiah, when he was replacing Southerners with his vindictive politics, were you expecting
Which type of trouble are we in? Proverbs 29 vs 2 says ‘When the righteous is in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked rule, the people mourn.’
-Solomon U.C. Okezie 08032634142
God is watching all those who used their media platforms to work and oust a better and caring leader and government and installed this promise-and-fail one that could only boast of how things have awry within one year.
Where are the Wole Soyinkas and Occupy Nigeria Protesters? -08033097331
I believe and have great hope in the capability and steadfastness of Uncle Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu’s great efforts that there is great hope soonest, after the wastefulness of the former regime.
Let’s join hands together and keep hope alive and believe tomorrow shall be greater than today soon.
Jonathan, Nigerians deserve what they are suffering. That’s what change delivered to them. They should gladly live with it.
I will leave this situation into the hands of God. Because with Him, all things are possible.
Hello Funke, I really enjoyed your article : For marriages that are still standing. I wish your parents more grace, more joy and more love and eternal life in God’s presence. Well done.