Poverty and penury is a common phenomenon among retired pensioners; ditto many Nigerians. This is also the case in many third world countries where retired civil servants and the poor masses protests over unpaid pensions or economic hardship.
Majority of the aged pensioners who retired from active service have been in the habit of complaining or protesting of either not receiving regular pension or about its inadequacy in meeting their growing needs, or in some cases, outright non-payment or negligence in the part of the government.
This sad development of course is not unconnected with poor remuneration or minimum wage which in spite of inflation remains the same for so many years. And of course, the age-long corruption activities of pension administrators in that sector cannot but be mentioned; remember Maina to mention a few!
The sudden arrest of Mr. Paul Umar by the Happy Valley agency is laughable but interesting. A peccable source revealed that Mr Paul Umar, a retired civil servant and a pensioner is being questioned on why he remained in abject poverty. This is said to be one of many cases which the agency is seeking to prosecute, in a bid to finally make poverty a forgotten phenomenon.
An investigation was said to be carried out to determine the liabilities of this 65 years old man and those of his 30 years old son who is said to be a hawker on the streets of Lagos. According to a senior officer of the agency, Mr. Paul Umar will be questioned on why he remains poor in spite of the rigorous fight against poverty by the Happy Valley administration.
A spokesperson of the agency, who pleaded anonymity said that the reason for this project is to press charges against poverty and its allies. And when poverty is found guilty, it would be sentenced to life imprisonment, while the pensioner, Mr. Paul Umar and his poor family shall be acquainted. This, he added would serve as deterrent to other poverty crimes.
Pause and reason.
Is this achievable in Nigeria, Africa or anywhere in the world? A situation when poverty becomes a crime, and where poor persons would be arrested for living with poverty? Is it possible that the Government would not only chase corruption but also implement measures that would arrest and prosecute poverty and not the poor? This is a political Utopia; a happy valley! I believe that in order to reduce corruption, the government need to fight poverty.
Political utopia can exist, but not in this world. However, we can make life beautiful for ourselves if we are determined to.
*Broken News is an satirical online publication of a fictitious Happy Valley Agency which seeks to examine societal utopias that could foster positive change.