Published on all.Africa.com, as COLUMN, on February 22, 2007, Lagos:
WHEN we talk of human needs, we are talking about the essentials of life. We are talking of the inevitable things of life sometimes, people get confused between the word need and want and thereby using them interchangeably. This is an error. The two words are different and they convey different meanings. While wants are merely excesses or unrealistic wishes, needs are necessity. Wants can be postponed, but needs must be met. The need cuts across human beings and animals, and whenever need is denied in human/animal, the inborn instinct in us would look for a way out in order to get the problem satisfied.
Physiological needs are therefore those needs needed for our daily and generational survival. In his hierarchy of Motivation Theory, a world renowned psychologist, Abraham Maslow, identified some components of physiological needs.
These needs include the following: Food, Shelter, Sex, Clothing, Etc.
When any of these is lacking, then nature will take its position. Nature has a way of taking care of itself. Have you ever wondered how the lunatic (mad) people satisfy these needs?
Although we do believe that their heads “no dey correct” yet, you see them scavenging dumping ground in order to have food to eat. If you look around in major bus stops especially in Lagos, you will see cubicles constructed by these mad people because they need shelter. Even at that state of insanity, they still have urge for sex and that is why you see some of the female ones with pregnancy or new babies. Please don’t ask me who impregnated them!
When these physiological needs are outside the reach of citizens, it leads to illicit and anti-social behaviours. Let’s consider the commonest one of them, Food. Food is very essential for the nourishment and wellbeing of our body. If a “mad person” could know the importance of food to the body, then nobody needs further explanation. Lack of food gives birth to hunger and unsatisfied hunger leads to social vices and societal behavioural misfit. I once read a story in an international journal about HIV/AIDS/ A sex worker was interviewed in Johannesburg, South Africa. The journalist asked her “why do you engage yourself in such life threaten profession having known the deadliness of HIV/AIDS”?
Her response was rather philosophical. She responded thus, “it is better to die in 15 years time of HIV/AIDS than to die in 3 days of hunger.” That is a typical example of what denial of physiological needs can cause. She further stated that she is a single mother with a little girl to feed.
Nigeria is lacking seriously in providing physiological needs to her citizenry and the effect of this has been show-cased in different obnoxious behaviours … (full text).