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The Perils of Stomach Infrastructure

Stomach Infrastructure is construed as an illegal infrastructure where politicians give out gifts (mainly foodstuffs) to voters during elections. It is typically structured as one of the dividends of democracy but beneath it is an evil enclave where the politician that gives the gift will use it to illegally sway voters. It got into the lexicon of Nigerian politics (as a phrase, it has always been around) when one candidate accused the other of dwelling on stomach infrastructure over focusing on real infrastructural development and people-oriented initiatives.

Stomach infrastructure is a trap to the unsuspecting citizens who sell their power (their votes) for bowls of rice, tomatoes, beans, etc. Cash has also been used to build infrastructure of the stomach. Stomach infrastructure is very potent because it delivers immediacy.

Stomach infrastructure works because people are poor. And when the stomach is the most important infrastructure to be built, the real ones become secondary. Who really wants better schools, airports and roads when the stomach has not been built?

But it does not have to be so. Whether it is stomach infrastructure or cash and carry politics, the outcome is one thing: a politician that does that has no real plan to build sustainable infrastructure of the future. We must oppose stomach infrastructure and use our votes to elect people that will build local and national infrastructures that would make stomach infrastructure irrelevant in the future. Breaking that vicious circle is very important to make progress in Nigeria.