The decision of 35 year-old Mrs Alice Daniel to trek from Minna in Niger State to Abuja with her 40 days old baby strapped on her back to meet President -elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has raised fresh anxiety.
Mrs. Daniel who was pictured already trekking several kilometres without covering her new born baby with umbrella, reportedly told all that cared to listen that her journey to Abuja on foot was in fulfilment of a bet she had with her husband prior to the election. “We bet that if Jonathan wins, he will trek to Abuja to honor him but if Buhari wins, it will be my turn,” the woman was quoted as saying.
It has equally emerged that she turned down appeals from her mother and husband not to embark on such a dangerous journey for the sake of her new baby and herself, thereby sparking a social media barracking. “Madness kawai! This country has no regard for life, if not, she wouldn’t even think about punishing a 40-day-old baby for one kind stupid fame or bet…Husband sef deserve serious flogging.. Ha!,” declares Mr. Qasim Abiodun Kelani, a critic.
Emmanuel Adukwu adds: “Stupidity comes in many shapes and sizes but this one is too of the range. Anyhow Minna no far na weather Buhari go meet her na him remain now! Sure she’s waiting for that all expenses paid 2 week vacation at Sheraton.”
Engineer Abodurin Moses views the growing list of people trekking various distances for either the president-elect or the outgoing president as a sign of unemployment and poverty ravaging the country at the moment. “Lack of employment has turned all Nigerian to trekkers,” he stressed.
“Adeola Ashek Samuel couldn’t contain his anger over the development. He tweeted: “Madness of the highest order…..GEJ has turned this country to something else. No work , no light ,no fuel, no security…poverty is not a good thing…may God help us…somebody should help that woman o..hmmm baby pele oooo,and 2 u GEJ dere’s GOD O….”
But Olufunmilayo Yusuf Odunaike, a social commentator thinks the issue goes beyond socio-economic challenges in the country. She suggested that the lady should be apprehended by relevant authorities to avoid harming herself and baby. Her words: “I’ve seen something about the poverty and desperation but strapping a new born baby for some Star Trek is stupidity. This woman could be attacked on the way; it is nothing but stupidity introducing that baby to her brand of madness. Me thinks she should be arrested.
Prominent political activists such as Senator Shehu Sani and Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon have already spoken against the trekking for political leaders now trending across the country
“Trekking from anywhere to Abuja to celebrate GMB’s victory makes no meaning to me even if it’s popular. Those who worked or contributed even any little before and during the election are the real heroes of the triumph,” the Senator-elect declared on May 6.
Two days earlier, Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon, former member of the House of Representatives had in a series of tweets tagged #StopTheTrekkers on his twitter handle @PObahiagbon, condemned the trend. “Why are we giving publicity to these individuals?”
“This selfish side attraction is needless and fool worthy to say the least…In developed countries people do that for charity but I think in our case, it is mostly a cry for help…”, he argues, advising people to rather trek to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Ota Farm instead of Abuja.
“I am sure Baba could use a hand or two…,” the man renowned for his mesmerizing grammar usage adds.
By Olisemeka Obeche