Nowhere is the weaponisation of poverty more clearly seen than in
Nigeria across all classes and strata of society. For even where
poverty seems absent, the carefully choreographed dysfunctionalit
y creates and sustains a fear of poverty, providing hordes of
hustlers ripe for use.
That is why you can attend a Nigerian wedding and see people
who came in posh cars, fighting over food or souvenirs. That is
why you can see a lawyer with decades of work and renown act
like a moron on behalf of an illiterate politician. Why the poor act
against self interest.
Why people who seem firmly set in the educated “middle-class”,
become touts and thugs for people they would not normally have
any respect for. Why writers queue to kiss the filthy asses of
people, in poetry and in prose, people they should be scathing
about. Fear of poverty.
And for as long as these hordes are needed, the dysfunction will
continue. It is a very useful dysfunction. Poverty and the fear of it, is powerful and efficient. There is absolutely no reason for the
vacuous elite to fix Nigeria. It will mean the death of all they hold
We are all afraid. Because a serious health issue means you have
to go abroad for treatment and pay out of pocket. Because to get
any decent education you have to send your kids abroad and pay
out of pocket. Because even stress free, consistently safe, tourism
is hard to find.
It is a cycle. As long we are guided by this fear, we will keep being
hustlers, keep acting shamefully, keep doing things we cannot
defend, keeping selling our children and parents for the hope of a
contract, a position where we can steal enough to fight that fear of
I have stopped arguing about Nigerian politics on Twitter. Nigerian
political Twitter is just a massive poverty alleviation program. To
those who have the courage not to be guided by that fear.