Thoughts of A Nigerian Hustler Under General Tinubu’s Economy

Afolabi Samuel Odunayo

With the restoration of the old national anthem and its replacement of the popular but military government-signed national verse, one would think the country has already signed into law a relief song that is singing the economic freedom which the average Nigerians need right now.

But it is quite startling that only reality is in the best seat of power to judge whether it is a song of relief or a mere handgame fondly enjoyed by Tinubu’s political folks.

Yet, in the midst of the various questions which are demanding answers to the significance of the newly signed national anthem, I beg to share my thoughts as a Nigerian hustler whose life is currently being tortured and mouth being stifled under General Tinubu’s harsh economic policies.

Every time I hear of another ‘development’ in the struggle for surviving in this country, my mind often goes straight to looking for these questions:

“Is there any close bus stop to board the next bus to Ghana? Or maybe a waybill will be better?”

As an aggrieved citizen, that is the only sad song I have found to sing to anyone who might come to my rescue. To anyone who might un-drown me and my two aged parents from the economic tragedy in which the country has been being baptized constantly over the past months – since the start of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s tax-hungry government

A festerment of a dangerous kind it is. Indeed.

To suggest that the day will be as dark as this, given the beautiful poetic tone that was used to herald the coming ‘light’, Tinubu and his godlike political intelligence, before and during the last election that ‘voted’ him, one would think Nigeria was in the beginning of a new era of relief. A sort of renewed hope that turns, as we write, bereft of anything near ‘renew’, let alone hope.

The time has changed. Renewed hope, they say. But the light bulb has gone missing since the much-acclaimed light staggered in. It has got me groping in the dark looking for its impact and perhaps, its practical message (a gibberish of its own). The paradox is bold and confrontational. ‘Light’ came in only to lose light!

Thus, unfortunately, for the past months that I have been in the rummage, looking for it, things keep getting scattered with no traces of finding. I guess that is what rummage causes, especially when the government too assuredly tells you of how it is also rummaging. It means there is no hope the room is getting rescued from getting rougher by the day…

It even becomes worse to realise that, while I battle with the discomfiting news of one hike in the basic of everyday need, another news despairs the yet unrelieved heart and so it continues like that, like ripples on a troubled depth. To put simply, the translation is that the more I earn what, before this government, was meagre, the less of myself I see now. This is because it buys nothing. It does nothing.

But hitting the street to beg, after borrowing has sent me packing with my shivering hands covering my face in shame, could buy the little something better than my salary can. Nonetheless, this new-found means of surviving cannot deny having its own long tales of hardship stories to bore you with, even before you are going to get a hundred (100) naira or two for the night.

As the majority had, I had barely recuperated from the policymaking calamities of the Buhari regime when the most sadistic irony, the Renewed Hope agenda, also took over, therefore bending me to await drips from his faucet, while I patiently relish his taxing whips and sores of hunger.

So while this Tinubu’s profit-murdering economy is fast reducing humanity to shreds, you ask me why I am not wasting my time agreeing with the mannequins of partisan politics in Nigeria? No, I am not.

What I desire is a change. A true song of relief. Not the relief packages that are politically scuttled even before they begin operation. But a new anthem of relief that will forever be recited by every part of our daily lives.

A song of economic relief that is better than the reintroduction of an old national anthem garnished in a one-year celebration of a completely dysfunctional democracy.

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