Rose Audu is a widow and hails from Lau LGA of Taraba State. She earns a living as a firewood vendor in Kasuwan Bera, Jalingo. Through her business, she ensures her children always have food on their table. One thing she has not been able to provide for them, however, is education.
Having no extended family to help her, her little income is not sufficient to buy them clothes or other necessities, talk more of paying school fees. She is saddened that she cannot help her children, but is more frustrated with inconsiderate privileged individuals who instead of being pathetic, struggle so hard to beat down price of the firewood beyond any reasonable amount.
Not minding the hardship Rose goes through in breaking the firewood and trekking with it on her head to the City, the individual goes on and on bargaining, and having no choice left, she sells it at that meager amount just to provide her children with the next meal.
How else can one explain a situation where a Director overstretched the services of a cleaner, driver or messenger in an office and decides to deprive him of his entitlements, just to add to his own.
How about instances where a pregnant woman from an interior village, comes hawking yams or other items in the City and you see a person who is by all standards more privileged bargaining so hard to beat down the price ridiculously low.
Last week, as I walked down one of the streets in Jalingo, I sighted a gorgeously dressed man in a Toyota Highlander Jeep, seriously bargaining for fruits of about 200 Naira from a little girl, his daughter’s age.
As I pondered over the scene, I suddenly realized, in one way or the other most of us are guilty because when we patronize Supermarkets or Shopping Malls, we never question their prices rather we pay exactly what we see on the price tags and even hand out tips to the staff, I ask, why is the common man’s case different?
While the common man bleeds in his heart, lamenting the responsibilities he has to handle with the low income, you go your way bragging on how smart you are at beating down prices of goods, forgetting that you can double the amount sometimes just to be a channel of blessing to the less privileged. Take some seconds out and think about this.
It is rather disheartening to see women and children trekking under the Sun and in the rain as well as crossing busy roads, hawking just to make ends meet and then someone out there, more privileged tries to frustrate them by either throwing careless comments or outrageously beating down the prices of such commodities, not minding what they go through, I ask again, do you care how much gain they even make from such sales?
The common man knows he is all alone in this cold country. He has since given up hope on the government and their incessant tirades, then to add insult to injury, an exotic car with tinted windows wound up with air conditioners in full blast chilling the occupants park to display such a shameless act.
Everything is stagnant right now for the common man. No food, light, water, fuel or fun. It is obvious they have resigned themselves to the hopeless fate and bleak future life has saddled them with.
I always say all fingers are not equal. Even if the fingers are moulded into a fist, the inequality is still evident. If you can feel the pain and regret in the words of the common man then you too deserve to be given common sense. Truth they say is bitter, this is one of such truths!