Wednesday, 18 May, 2022


Social Welfare vs ‘Every Man for Himself; ‘God’ for Us All’

Days back, I asked myself a question thus: “what are the basic Needs of Man in this life”?

With a view to answering the poser above, I ‘consulted’ some sources including but not limited to some ‘Holy Books’, the internet, to mention but a few.

My ‘expedition’ led me to some discoveries which I consider worthy of sharing with my Friends.

Basic Needs of Man ***(personal opinion of the writer, please note):

(i) Food;
(ii) Health;
(iii) Shelter;
(iv) Clothing;
(v) Education;
(vi) Security; and
(vii) Transportation.

I then asked myself some other questions thus:

(i) “the advanced nations of this world, what makes them tick”?
(ii) “how many of those 1st and 2nd World nations have failed in the above regard”?
(iii) “how many African countries, save for South Africa and maybe Libya (under Ghadaffi) and a few others have been able to guarantee any of the afore-listed ‘Needs of Man’ effectively?

My guess is as good as yours.

That brings me to a fundamental issue. In my country today, when a politician wants to demonstrate his ‘magnanimity’ before, during and after elections, what does he/she do? He/she splashes/doles out material gifts to the electorate and naturally, they praise him/her to high heavens! Behold the ‘Messiah who taketh away our poverty and brings us succour’! Wait a minute! When a politician fails, refuses and or neglects to ‘show some love’ to the electorate, then, we shout ‘crucify him’! He/she is stingy! When an aspirant fails to ‘show some love’ to the electorate, and woe betides his soul, if he does not have a godfather, he is indeed a joker!

Let us take a trip to saner climes. I follow world politics like a sinking star on the tiny television set in my little space, social, electronic and print media and I am still searching for items of news similar to the ones that make the rounds in my clime. I undertake not to bore you, my reader, with details of the ignoble demonstration of ‘love’/’magnanimity’ in my country. ‘Res ipsa loquitor’ meaning ‘the facts speak for themselves’.

What is wrong with the approach mentioned above? Everything! What citizens are entitled to, as of right is ‘Social Welfare’ from a responsible and responsive Government and NOT (please note) handouts in form of food, kerosene, chicken feed (as handed down) from politicians.

‘Oh ye’ Politicians, We the People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria do not require your ‘handouts’. Go to the various Arms of Government and pass Bills that would ensure the availability of readily and easily accessible ‘Social Welfare’ for all, including but not limited to the following:

(i) Food;
(ii) Health;
(iii) Shelter;
(iv) Clothing;
(v) Education;
(vi) Security; and
(vii) Transportation.

We are tired of eating the crumbs that fall from your dingy tables in a manner reminiscent of ‘Lazarus and the Rich Man’. Are we asking for too much?
Olakunle Tayo Fapohunda lives and practises Law in Lagos, Nigeria 

4 comments on “Social Welfare vs ‘Every Man for Himself; ‘God’ for Us All’


I think this is a misconception of your write up…..when you talk of social welfare you have a lot to consider…..population….gdp…. Tax….igr…. legibility….nationality…..etc….. I think what you should be advocating is how citizens can utilize what they can of the natural resources we have in Nigeria… Which is part of this administration agenda…. government apart from providing your seven basic points which you also have to provide for yourself can also provide a conducive business and investment environment….which they are trying to do…..your Lazarus and rich man example is not appropriate….my opinion….when we begin to realise that we are the government we will move forward…..America’s slogan is…..think not what your country can do for you which is also necessary…..but what you can do for your country…..and I add yourself… opinion….!

Toney Ejiofoh

I totally agree with you, Kunle.
If there was food security in our country the political class will not have to distribute food to the public.
If we have a system where looted funds cannot be stashed in foreign lands, we will have a greater level of development and more jobs.
It’s a vicious cycle really, because the majority of “oppressed people” today are simply waiting for their turn to become “oppressors” themselves rather than becoming Liberators after having suffered the oppression.
This is sad.
In the end, I believe that the force that develops a society is the People, not the government.
If we each take our small circles of influence and make it a sane space, with time we will transform our country.
Little drops of water…
Thanks for your post!


Our small circle of influence. Very aptly postulated. How do you tie this to the emergence of New Nigerians??

Tony Ejiofoh

Thanks for your reply, Bidemi.
My response:
As the “small circles” of right thinking and right behavior grow, a new Society gradually emerges.
It may seem like a dream, but it is not.
Right now in many organised residential estates in Nigeria, pedestrians have the right of way and you don’t blow your car horn.
Peaceful, Organised and Quiet.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to drive “one way” there as taxi drivers and some mad people do on the streets in the wider society.
This is just one example.
We can all get there if we try.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

testimonials foundation
music panorama