Nigeria At Crossroads: What Do We Do About Our Poorest?,

By Marlikberry,
As I drove out of my office last Friday 18th December 2020, I noticed a slight commotion on the opposite side of the express road. I sighted a truck belonging to the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, and soon enough, I saw this poor woman, begging on her knees as agents of the (AEPB) seized her wares and were about to empty these into the back of their wagon. Instinctively I just knew I had to plead for this woman. I had seen so many heartbreaking situations such as this and had not been able to do anything about them, but this time I drove across the road and blocked the truck. I came down to intervene and asked the AEPB team what they had to gain by giving this middle-aged poor woman grief that afternoon. The team lead was a stern-looking rough guy, who made to challenge me. I told him I came in peace but there was no way I was going to watch them take the wares that may not have been worth more than N2,000 from this woman.
The guy barked at me; “Oga Senator! Na una make the law. If you want to challenge me…!” To which I quickly answered: “Stop there my brother”, people are suffering in this country and we cannot make their lives worse”. He calmed down a bit, and said to me: “Na you go pay her fine o!”, after which he told the truck driver: “Collect N5,000 for fuel from Oga make we go”. I peeped into the back of the truck and saw loads of oranges and other knick-knacks they had seized from poor hawkers for the day. Certainly, many souls were already distraught that Friday afternoon; a lot of people had lost at least some of the hope they had. Say, how many of us – educated and fortunate – can take such trauma; going out on a day and having your hope dashed, being set back, maybe even with this resulting in defaulting on some high-interest loan we had obtained as leverage? I started thinking of how many people had been disappointed down the food chain, branded as liars, never trusted again as a result of their tiny survival wares being seized and destroyed? These were poor enforcers further damaging the poor. Of course, amid laughter and brickbats, I gave them N2,000 for their fuel, gave the lady N1,000 for her trauma and asked her to take her wares (like some kpof-kpof and drinks), into the street corner. There was a construction site there that she had tried to service.
Lets join hands together and make Nigeria great again my people.

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