ORPHANS INHERITANCE LOOTED DESPITE MANMADE & NATURAL DISASTERS
When was the first time you saw that bumper sticker: Spending My Children Inheritance? It was supposed to be a joke on flashy expensive sport cars. Nowhere can that be real than in African countries, the richest Continent potentially, in the world. It is not the number of millionaires; as Africa deserves to have ours. It is the number of children and orphans that became desperate, homeless, hungry and locked in misery by manmade and natural disasters on African Continent.
These children are not only becoming orphans because they lost their parents to manmade and natural disasters, many African children forsake homes to risk lives crossing the deserts. They have become economic and material orphans from the countries they fled. They have been pushed to the point where they felt they had nothing to lose but lives that are useless at home.
The one situation we do not want to be in, is where see our children suffer while we are totally helpless to reach out and make a difference. There are those that could and can make that difference but only to spoil their own children and families with the resources of Africa. They give it away as gold in exchange for toys, mansions, outside taxes and mirrors like their ancient forefathers. Others want to, even strive to reach out but fall short or their fingers get burnt.
Africans are generally hospitable to orphans since it takes a whole village to raise a child. These cases are different. Most extended families that would have taken children into their care are afraid of ingrates or Ebola infecting their own families. It is farfetched to expect families from other countries or continents to take in children rejected in their own countries in the face of stigma on Africans. But for our civil conflicts, preventable diseases would not have taken hold.
Orphans estimated by UNICEF and other international bodies are staggering and unbearable. As Ebola victims increase exponentially, orphans without families explode with it. There is no good time or later time to think about orphans, as we think about these disasters and how to stop or prevent them, we must brainstorm on solutions. These problems are not insurmountable, they are preventable if politicians can only think, plan and stop wasting our children inheritance.
This Ebola disaster is a reminder for Africans of what civil wars have reduced us to. Once you are befallen by wars, little misfortunes turn into disaster preying on your fallen bodies. While most of us stand by our brothers and sisters, some Liberians are running away from one another, some Africans are running away from Liberians and some folks are running away from Africans. Civil wars in Africa are the hidden templates that have given Ebola the upper hand.
This is not the time to succumb to self-pity. Africans must be strong in the face of adversities. Ebola has been conquered before and diseases will be conquered again. We must start thinking and planning for our children that have been the weakest victims of disasters. While many died with their parents, survivals are shunned with nowhere to go. It has turned into survival of self before thinking of others. If our destiny is in doubt, there is no time to reach out to others.
There is no more time to cry, we have cried. It is time to plan our future. Our immediate goal is to defeat manmade and natural calamities whenever they reappear since our future remains with our children. African refugees have no other continent to go. We must find ways to make Africa suitable as our place of first and last resort. The debate in other countries is how to keep us out. Our debate must be how to make Africa comfortable for ourselves and our children.
Children have suffered from all natural and manmade disasters through no fault of theirs, yet they are the least able to provide for themselves. Diseased orphans are in addition to growing numbers of children left to cater for themselves not only in Liberia but all over Africa. Some are recruited as child soldiers, into militias, beggars and paid to lookout for armed robbers. We are losing a whole generation, the consequences are coming back to haunt us sooner than later.
Africans must have turned on one another otherwise we would not have country as Equatorial Guinea or Nigeria where we steal one another blind with impunity legally and illegally. Nigeria has the highest paid politicians in the world and no amount of pressure, cries, Boko Haram or disasters have been able to change that. Indeed, the politicians have their supporters within, trying to justify what is indefensible. But that is only looting the Country legally.
Illegally, treasury is looted by planeload cash or paper transactions. Nigeria has groups of ethnic champions that are ready to condemn others vehemently as long as the looter does not belong to their ethnic group. Surprisingly, the logic in their arguments clearly contradicts their stated positions when condemning other ethnic groups. The funds that could be used to alleviate and prevent suffering of children and orphans, not only at home but in Africa are looted individually.
Clergy and judicial systems have been compromised. Indeed courts outside Nigeria are more trusted with evidence smuggled out to convict our looters. Nigeria has gone as far as requesting prisoners exchange so that embezzlers convicted outside can come back home to enjoy their loot. They know Nigerian jails are in deprived conditions, no poor Nigerian convict would want to be repatriated home. Yet, they used unfortunate and poor criminals to negotiate for kingpins.
What shall we children do? Nigeria is the country the whole world looked upon to be a regional power, rich and capable enough to lift Africa out of its sorry situation. Today even decent Nigerians watch in amazement how all the money made from oil, cocoa, groundnuts and many other natural resources have been wasted on frivolities without being used as a takeoff for a durable sustainable, reliable and economic independence.
As Nigerians conquered Ebola as shining example to the world, Tom Duncan fell to Ebola in USA.
Written by Farouk Martins Aresa.