Sunday, 15 March 2020

The SIP Ideology; a new kind of hunger politics

Richard F. Inoyo|15 March 2020 

"if evil could be overcome, it was possible to build heaven on earth!" 

~fifteenth-century millennial sects

Throughout history, it isn't uncommon to find strange prophecies that spread new kinds of worries that terrify those in its post-declaration era, who came to the knowledge of what sort of terror such set of prophetic declarations envisioned and illuminated in its foretold manifestation far afield.

With reference to historical context, in Breughel's Triumph of Death, painted in 1560s and now in the Prado Museum, there is already a terrible prophecy of the Nazi extermination camps.

It has been argued by John Berger in his essay *lAgainst the great defeat of the world that most prophecies, when specific, are bound to be bad, for, throughout history, there are always new terrors — even if a few disappear, yet there are no new happiness — happiness is always the old one_ replicated in a changing mode of struggle that reproduces it.

Without sounding too surrealistic, it is important I stated here for the purpose of reinforced clarity that, half a century before Breughel, Hieronymus Bosch painted his Millennium Triptych a drawing that depicted Hell as a mental climate imposed on the world, and advanced by the displacing forces of globalisation, new economic order and the meteoric rise of cold politics that seek to freeze the hearts of national and global policy-elites, while rendering the generality of the public mass hopeless without ethical initiative, civic resistance and indigenous opposition needed to arrest and stop the destabilising effects the aforementioned forces have on lives and happinesses. 

The opening paragraphs bring us to the subject for which this article is commissioned with the objective of bringing to the podium of propagation, the hostile and threatening ideology that drives the Stomach Infrastructure Politics (SIP) which in turn sustains the hunger politics which demand of policy makers at the helm of affairs to control their subjects by offering them only a fraction of what to survive on, through sipping of the trickled-down intoxicating wine from their banquet that could be best described as left over crumbs but sizeable enough to command and maintain the loyalty of their needy subjects who are given appointments of survival and attendant silence, and not necessarily one of duty, responsibility and service to realtime nation's building which brings true prosperity to all citizens at all levels.

The SIP Ideology which thrives on hunger and the fear of hunger, has been largely predicted by sociological and economic experts decades ago in a way that can now be best considered as parallel with traditional prophetic utterances in motion. Make no mistake, the SIP Ideology is already here and it is currently taking its toils on the psychology of hunger that drives the hunger politics.

The Ricelization politics we witnessed in Ekiti State few years ago, where bags of rice were distributed to each electorate to induce them to vote for one of the candidates during the state gubernatorial election was a strong reality of how hunger politics and stomach infrastructure policy (SIP) work together to arrest the mind. 

Across the Niger, in Cross River State, Nigeria, with the introduction and weaponisation of Food On The Table Policy by the State government aimed using the fear of hunger to control those who are supposed to speak out against government excesses and failing policies; it is quite visible to observe absolute silence from state appointees who had neither a single office desk to work on nor a clear job description to work with, inadvertently defending the very hunger politics of sip to survive_ that the state government is using to render them redundant alongside the state in the scheme of defeated development.

In the closing, let it be on record for public discussion across the state,  that if truly OPM (Other People Money), Intellectual Money, and G-Money were real and successful, how come the state government recently  wrote to the State House of Assembly to borrow N1.5 Billion Naira from State Reserve and N35 Billion from local Money Deposit Bank which was recently approved? Is this not a sign that none of those claims is working and hence the need to speak out, ask questions and demand answers?

The current SIP ideology that appear to look like the only policy working in the state is enough to get us all to reassess our position and pull down the veil of silence that protects the SIP Ideology which in turn has been endangering the development of the state and promoting hunger rather than curtailing hunger and guaranteeing true socioeconomic development that impacts positively on all.

This I demand as I urge you to remember the wise words of the fifteenth century millennial sects as captured in the quote above.


Richard F. Inoyo
Is the Executive Director of Citizens Solution Network

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