War, warts and all…
In these days when the world seems to be in a constant state of war, the common humanity that binds people everywhere ensures that whatever happens in one corner of the world reverberates strongly in other corners of the world to leave people sufficiently feeling the heat from any of the many ills that afflict people at any given time.
Because at every point in time there are people who battle one adversary or another be it hunger, conflict, political or economic upheaval and so on, the world always appear to be on edge, where words are simply not enough.
On February 24 2022, Russia ordered her troops to cross the border into Ukraine to begin a war that in two months has sent jitters to practically every corner of the world. Hard hitting sanctions have failed to deter Russia from continuing the senseless war it`s warmongering president prefers to euphemistically describe as a special military operation even as a humanitarian catastrophe is afoot in many parts of the Ukraine. The ripple effects of the war in Ukraine have been felt far and near extending beyond the borders of the eastern European country and even Europe itself.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently slashed its forecast for global economic growth by nearly a full percentage point citing the war and warning that inflation was now a ‘clear and present danger in many countries of the world’ as a result of the war
Already, hunger has become one of the prices the war in Ukraine is extracting from countries that are not directly involved in the war. This price is especially being paid by the some of the world`s most vulnerable people.
In Africa where the dog`s nose was already long cold even before harmattan arrived, concerns are already mounting at the impacts of rising food prices and shortages of staple crops. The Horn of Africa is precariously primed to take a brutal hit.
A quarter of global wheat exports comes from Russia and Ukraine. Forty percent of wheat and corn from Ukraine goes to the Middle East and Africa, which are already grappling with hunger issues, and where further food shortages or price increases risk pushing millions more people into poverty.
The extortionate cost of war is that people who are great distances away from its epicenter somehow come to share in the suffering issuing from something they know practically nothing about. It is the reason peace is really invaluable.
Nigeria is not directly at war with any other country and the horrors from Ukraine heighten the appreciation of that fact. However, pockets of conflicts are scattered here and there, and not all of them are armed. Of course, between the defenders of the country and the brutal terrorists angling to overrun it, battle lines are indelibly drawn. It is a fight to the death because never will it happen that the Giant of Africa will surrender its sovereignty to mindless criminals.
Within Nigeria, there are other wars going on. The war against women is raging on so many levels and the aim of those who wage this war is to reduce such a key
contributor to national building to shadows and phantoms who cannot participate in national life. There is also the war against corruption which has since stuttered and apparently petered out.
What makes war especially bad is the belief that all is fair in war. War at any level is devastating, disruptive and incredibly destructive. The Nigerian students who returned from Ukraine know as well as those who became detainees in Poland just how disruptive war can be.
Vulnerable people in Africa and the Middle East who are already feeling the bite of soaring food prices are finding out just how devastating war can be. For most parts, war does no one any good. It instead places women and children in grave danger. All hands must hit the deck in building a world where war is never an option.