COVID-19: An asymbiotic relationship between Nigerian capitalism and human life

With the coronavirus getting realer and scarier than we might have envisaged, there is no better time to priotize life over interests _ personal or public than NOW. On their part, the FG and a good number of states governments have given directives restricting movement of people so as to keep the spread of the ravaging pandemic to a manageable limit. There is no basis for unnecessary helter-skelter, unless you are a producer of essential goods and services. It is expected that if these human movements can be controlled, within three weeks or thereabouts, normalcy should return to life, business and the economy.

Like Pastor and Motivational Speaker, Sam Adeyemi on his Twitter page, advised Nigerians not to believe in the piecemeal update of those who have contracted the virus as it is being reported by the Nigerian Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC), the direct opposite is what other countries are keeping their people abreast of. Even those African countries that had their borders closed days before we did are doing more justice and sincerity by letting their citizens know the true number of people with confirmed cases of the viral infection.

It is therefore better for the Nigerian people to know the true situation of coronavirus effect so we do not underplay the plague and later get caught unawares or after we would have been constrained by human and material shortages. It is also this unwanted information hoarding that keeps emboldening capitalism believers and fans of the school of thought to continue to take this escalating global concern with levity.

Life is a privilege. And it is ephemeral! Once it stops, there is no further privilege of replacement and so it must be pampered and tendered. Even animals seek solace when in crisis. They keep their heads and hibernate, then resurface when a “storm” is over. During crisis, with vigour and desperation, they leave their pursuit behind them and go enmasse to seek temporary protection and cover. The ants are a good example.

On the opposite, amidst coronavirus which is an evidently international emergency, we still have very selfish business owners having a “continuum” with regards to their operations at the expense of the health of their employees. It is most unfortunate that these workers have already accepted their fate in good faith. Agreed that we may have been born human, it would be wrong to answer that generic name when some humans are worse than even animals.

A Nigerian capitalist sees exploitation as his best business strategy to achieve his overall mission which is to make an abnormal profit. He sees his worker’s life as an additional factor of production that he can use the way he likes and not the way the life owner likes. His selfishness knows no bounds. He is purely wicked. He is not to be blamed too, because he is more of a trust custodian of an anonymous government official or politician hiding somewhere. Try find out names on Companies’ boards of directors, you will see names of our political representatives and leaders filling a space or another. Nigerians are being dealt with left, right and centre. This conveniently explains the similarities in the ways our public and private sectors are operating. Human life is secondary in their plans.

As I am writing, some notable companies in Nigeria that do not specialise in essentials such as food, drugs, fire services and the likes have not deemed it all-important and dire to comply with the #StayHome directive by the government, thereby exposing their staff to the contagious virus. Should any employee dare defy, a replacement is already in handy.

An opinion of Kola GANIYU

Kolawole Ganiyu

Kola is an Economics graduate of University of Ibadan. He derives pleasure in fictional writings and contemporary articles arising from keen observation of events - political and socio-cultural.

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