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Do Better with Douglas: It Is Now a Crime to Be Poor In Lagos & Other Short Stories

Do Better with Douglas

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Douglas, a patriotic Nigerian has taken the week off his civil service work to celebrate the safe return of President Buhari to us. I mean, why not? While he has been away he has had more time to follow the news and in case you missed anything this week, this is the authoritative, imagined round-up you need.

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MMM Continues to Help Economy Boost, Reduces Inflation
Recently, Nigerians have had cause to rejoice, as the National Bureau of Statistics has announced that the country’s inflation rate has dropped to 17.78%. Unconfirmed reports say the drop in inflation is due to the economy-boosting activities of award-winning organisations such as MMM and Twinkas. It is being said that these Ponzi schemes are part of the economic change Buhari promised – though like with all his other activities, he has been taking his time to reveal.

Lie Mohammed, it is alleged, reckons that the schemes will boost wealth generation for all of us. With the excess money circulating, there will be enough funds to fix electricity shortages, pay every Nigerian a weekly allowance, buy Nigerian Senators new cars and also pay for Buhari’s next medical trip to whatever he country he likes. He may also throw in a proper vacation. I would personally suggest an Asian country.
Amongst other things, the food there is cheap. Maybe President Buhari will be able to add some weight.

Mauritania Votes to Abolish Senate… Setting a Very Bad Example for Nigeria
Lawmakers in Mauritania’s Lower House of Parliament have recently voted to abolish its upper house, the Senate. The vote will now move up to the Senate itself. The ruling government has a majority in both Chambers so this means the lawmakers will be voting on the abolition of their own office. This is likely voting against sitting allowances, official cars, housing, travel allowances, constituency allocation, and so on. Nigerian Senators have expressed their shock and dissatisfaction at this troubling development. They claim that Nigerians are fans of copying foreign things and hope this will not be one of them. They also stressed that Senate is very important to Nigeria’s survival. I completely agree!
Who else will inaugurate boreholes, occupy high tables and vote against uncultural things like the Gender Equality Act? Who else will provide political insight and commentary on Twitter and bring citizens ‘closer’ to government like Ben Murray-Bruce? Who else will hold entrepreneurship competitions with state money like Bukola Saraki? We must not go down this very dark road like Mauritania.

Nigerians Fight Corruption with Twitter |Twitter CEO To Be Arrested By Nigerian Police
Are you driving around Lagos without a drivers’ licence? Are your papers outdated? Do you have no cash to spare to donate to the ministry of VIO and FRSC officials? HURRAY! All your prayers have now been answered.

A Good Samaritan Nigerian has recently opened a Twitter account (@VIOSightings) that collects and solicits pictures and information on where VIO and FRSC checkpoints are situated across the country, round the clock. Of course by across the country, I really mean Lagos and Abuja. With the hashtag #VIOSighting you can know in real time what street, area or express to avoid a VIO checkpoint.
Ethnic and civil society leaders across the country have expressed their support for this account. Nigerians are for the first time coming together across ethnic and gender divides to act singularly. There is no question of whether a Yoruba or Igbo should be allowed to be caught. There is no question of whether it’s a woman driving her husband’s car or if she owns her own car.
The Nigerian Police has, however, attacked the account and has put Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, on its Most Wanted List. I will report more as the story unfolds.

It Is Now a Crime to Be Poor in Lagos | All Residents Take Note
If you are poor in Lagos, you are breaking the law. Your houses will be demolished. You will be arrested by the police.
Governor Ambode revealed this new development Friday, 17th March, when military police and a couple of bulldozers were sent in to demolish the waterfront community of Otodo Gbame, a fishing settlement outside Lekki. There had been a court order prohibiting demolitions but the government pointed out that this is an anomaly. The forgetful judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo did not remember that Gov. Ambode is above a court judgment.

According to an insider, this is how the government feels: Poor people are simply not part of the mega city plan. We are trying to build a beautiful city here. Poor people… They do not look like everyone else. They don’t dress well. Their children can’t speak proper English. Bloody hell, they don’t even eat three times a day so they will not even look nice in any promotional pictures. Plus the land they are living on is going to waste. That could be a nice golf course. Or a resort! The money Lagos could make. Our leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be very happy with us.

All Lagosians are now advised to work very hard and do all they can to live above the poverty level so as not to commit this crime like the Otodo Gbame residents.

A word is enough for the middle-class and the rich.

Photo Credit: Atholpady | Dreamstime.com

Douglas is a civil servant but this was not the plan. He convinced his parents to invest their elusive pensions in a private university education. He made sacrifices too. He tucked in every day, wore ties, ate tofu, attended church four times a week, listened to sermons probably drafted on private jets. He even graduated top of his class. At the end of it all the return was supposed to be a great job, regular salaries, workplace oppression by bosses who could actually write a sentence in proper English. But now he is a civil servant. Since the universe didn't keep to its end of its bargain, he won't either. He resumes work at the Secretariat at 11AM, on excellent days. Closes 3.30PM sharp. In between watching Africa Magic And gossiping with Folake in the next office, he writes things like this.You may also find him causing trouble on Twitter at: Tweets by dobetterdouglas

9 Comments

  1. TheRealist

    March 18, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Totally agree that what’s good for the goose should equally be good for the gander, but…

    Sadly, impunity exists across all classes in Nigeria. Both poor and rich Nigerians (and the fast-shrinking class in-between) have absolutely little or no regard for rules or the law. In fact, given that many so-called rich folks in Nigeria were poor (or their families were poor) less than a generation ago, the reality is that culture of impunity among Nigeria’s rich were likely cultivated when they were not rich.

    • Amaka

      March 18, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Even the family of a poor man avoid him while a rich man has many friends. Jesus became poor so we might be rich. Poverty in Lagos is not the only issue globally. Poverty anywhere is disadvantageous.

  2. funmilola

    March 18, 2017 at 2:40 am

    absolutely true in an amusing way…

  3. cayode

    March 18, 2017 at 4:17 am

    This Douglas profile sha dy make me smile 3:30pm sharp…lol

  4. Mar

    March 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I love this guy ?????????

  5. Fleur

    March 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    It has always been a crime to be poor in the world……if the poor are uneducated about the fact that law makers are simply humans they have deliberately accorded privilege. When you are poor, your first and most significant problem is lack of representation and voice at decision making tables. As oyinbo would say “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” When the rich dream up projects they go after what little the poor have left. When the poor have no representation, they frequently end up with the carpet pulled from under their feet. But no worries. That una Lekki will be the new cancer belt about 10 years post production for that mega refinery they are building there. Carcinogens cannot separate big man from small man’s nose. The water tables are shallow in the area and will be readily contaminated with effluent from the refinery. The same reason nothign goes well in Nigeria will be the reason this pollution will destroy your communities. Your sins have caught up with you.

    • Dayo

      March 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Without prejudice to the rest of your post, the Dangote refinery is located in the FTZ, and while the area is euphemistically referred to as “Lekki” (along with Ajah, Ibeju, Sangotedo, etc.), it is actually in Epe, far away from the residential estates of Lekki.

  6. ThankGod

    March 18, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    True Talk!

    I know I am about to digress a little, although i’m really not use to this, but there is a saying that goes “that a problem shared is a problem solved”, so I am only trying to invoke pity, cos that’s what I need now, for you guys to have pity on me.. I really have hit the rock bottom, cos all my effort to assist myself financially has been futile and now am currently hovering round my precipice almost plunging into depression, practically losing my sanity…

    First of all i’m a fresh graduate, who finished last year, and on my way coming back from school the vehicle I boarded caught fire mysteriously, it took the grace of God for all passengers to leave the bus on time before the fire spread fully, and for that I lost all my valuable stuffs, my credentials down to my most important stuff in the bus my Clearance Form, which is the only thing that shows that I have been cleared and the only document that I can use to collect my Result in school.. So I reported the case to the police and even took footage of the incident, and have even sworn affidavit to that effect…
    Now my result are out and my name is among the First A Batch for Prospective Corps Members 2017…

    The problem now is that I don’t have any money to go back to school so i can start resolving my issues, so that I can collect my result and start getting ready for service, no clothes or anything to put on, I have nothing or little with me; I am from that family that is finding it hard to survive financially, my parents or uncles are not an option now if they were i don’t think i would be writing this in tears, have really been through a lot.. All I ask or plead is that If there is anybody who believe he/she can assist in the least possible way be rest assured it will be highly appreciated… This is my account number.

    First Bank Plc
    Acct Name: Oyomoifo ThankGod .E.
    Acct No: 3066431737

    Thanking You In Advance!!!

  7. Lala

    March 19, 2017 at 1:33 am

    It is wrong to ask strangers for money just like that. You can tell your story and ask for help but all this see my account number just does not wash.

    Look around you well, you will see building sites. Depending on the town/city, you are in, you can earn up to 2,500 naira per day carrying concrete to make up this cash. I did care work wiping people’s backsides when I first came to the UK.

    If you’re honest, no work is too ‘dirty’ if you’re desperate. I come from above average income family but chose to do care work back in the day because I did not want to keep depending on daddy.

    Get off your arse and go work to raise the money, ain’t giving you nothing, sorry. I will help those genuinely in need.

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