‘Do they really hate us this much?’ I asked aloud, not knowing that Tahir was within earshot.
‘Who hates you that much?’ He asked and then added. ‘You never cease to amaze me Bint. Here you are busy enjoying your gossip about others, yet you seek the slightest excuse to lecture our children on backbiting. Don’t you think you are setting a double standard in this family?’ he demanded.
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‘But I wasn’t gossiping. Who can you see around me?’ I asked.
‘Do you need someone physically around you to gossip these days? All you need is your phone, as I’m sure you know.’ He replied, walking towards the centre table to pick the TV remote.
‘My phone isn’t here Hubby dear. In actual fact I was talking to myself.’ I declared.
‘What? Were you really talking to yourself? Then this is more serious than I thought. And why were you doing that?’ He queried.
‘Because I was bothered by what I read here.’ I replied, lifting the newspaper I had on my lap to show him. ‘Look at this news item, it says “We kept palliatives in anticipation of a second lockdown – state governors.” Now why would they wish a second loçkdown on us? I mean we all know how the first lockdown affected most of us: physically, mentally and financially. It was an unprecedented incarceration which nobody would ever want to see again, yet Their Excellencies still wish us a repeat of that? And that was what got me asking whether they hate us so much that they just want us to go through that again.’ I explained.
‘I see, well I’m not sure about them hating us but I’m sure they were desperately looking for an excuse to give, for their inability to share the palliatives that were meant for the suffering masses of our people. They had no reason to hoard them when people had lost their means of livelihood, due to the pandemic and were going to bed hungry. For some reason they didn’t prioritise the distribution or they did a little and decided to save the rest for other purposes. But now that they’ve been found out, these state CEOs thought of nothing better than the lame but horrible excuse that they were hoarding them in anticipation of another wave of infections, which will necessitate another lockdown. What a shame!’ Tahir concluded.
‘It’s truly shameful Hubby dearest. The only reason they would lock up in warehouses what was meant to be shared is that they have other plans for it. After all other governors had shared the items as soon as they got them, why was it difficult for them to do so?
And typical of dishonest people they were even ready to bite the fingers that fed them by blaming members of the Ca-Covid, that is the main donors, for causing the lack of distribution. Yes, I read somewhere that the governors were alleging that the donors were putting stringent measures during distribution, in order to ensure transparency in the process. But this still doesn’t explain why the items were under lock and key in big warehouses, instead of with needy families.’ I argued.
‘No wonder the humanitarian ministry quickly said that it didn’t ask anyone to wait before sharing the palliatives among the poor and the vulnerable. This clarification was necessary since most state governors chose to deny any wrong doing and preferred to shift the blame elsewhere.’ Tahir observed.
‘You are right but I think whatever trick they tried, they’ve finally been found out. No matter what they say or do it wouldn’t change the fact that we now see them as enemies of the people. When they picked our holy Book and swore to do what they were elected to do, at inauguration, most of them didn’t mean what they said. Their hearts didn’t echo what their lips were saying. They might have resolved to be our sworn enemies for all we know. How else can you explain their neglect of many important sectors in their states, in spite of all that they get from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee every month?
What we see in most states is a tale of dilapidated schools and hospitals, unpaid workers and pensioners, but with state governors living the extreme good life along with their families and cronies.’ I lamented.
‘That’s very true Bint. But now that the looting of warehouses has exposed most of them as selfish and uncaring about the plight of the people, I hope they’ll try to salvage their image by immediately re-stocking the warehouses and going round to share whatever they bought to the needy residents of their states. Any attempt to go round and confiscate what was looted by the protesters, from the warehouses, will not augur well for any governor. Indeed it will only breed further ill-feeling in the people’s minds.’ Tahir suggested.
‘You are right Hubby. Going after warehouse looters is certainly a bad idea. If they had been given what was due to them on time they wouldn’t have gone for it so violently. And claiming that they were kept in anticipation of another rise in the plague makes things even worse. It makes us wonder whether they hate us so much that they wish to see us undergoing the hardship of another lockdown.’ I opined.