“It is difficult to think FCT-Abuja residents that live less than 3 kilometres to Presidential Villa will suffer these kinds of poverty and inequality that come with multiple levels of deprivation”, residents say
Residents of the Mpape community area of Abuja which is less than 3 kilometres away from Presidential Villa, Nigeria’s seat of power, have in different narratives recounted how they suffer poverty and inequality that are making life very difficult and unbearable.
The residents who spoke to MAWA in their respective homes and places of businesses say the poverty and inequality they go through have multiple-level deprivations while calling on the government to help with intervention programs that will address them.
In affirmative voices, the residents say the poverty and inequality they are facing are not about money alone, it is also about their human dignity which denies them access to health, and education and has subjected them to different kinds of humiliation.
Mrs. Alice Ngbuo, a community resident who participated in the 11-man focused group discussion organized by MAWA, in her contribution, pointed out that living in Mpape is frustrating considering the huge poverty and lack of decent living one faces daily.
Mr. James Ubong, while speaking at the focused group discussion, painted a gory picture of how over 29 tenants in his compound rely on two toilets and two bathrooms. According to him, the toilets and bathrooms that are grossly inadequate are hugely deplorable and not fit for human use.
“We have come to accept poverty and inequality as a way of life, our poverty goes beyond money, we lack decent living and suffer different levels of deprivations”, Ubong said.
On a visit to Mpape, which is less than 3 kilometres from the Aso-Villa, at the entrance from the Zenith Bank area, one is confronted with a dirty environment that paints a clear picture of poverty and inequality.
In the Ajegunle area of Mpape, there are no provisions for any form of drainage system and waste collection. Many of the houses have their toilets and bathrooms channeled to the road making faeces litter major streets and complicating their already existing poor hygiene.
The huge inequality and poverty in Mpape and other parts of Abuja have continued to increase despite the huge amount of money the Nigerian state in the last 20 years claimed to have spent on addressing poverty.
Although the Nigerian State has committed to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), designed to address poverty and inequality and allow for a decent living. The huge poverty and inequality in Abuja communities and other parts of Nigeria do not present the country as a nation that is sincere in addressing poverty and inequality.