OGA GENERAL

We have to lift a 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. That’s all I have to say. Enjoy!

Dear Oga Patapata,
I throwey salute o!
I know say you never know me before, but I no think say dat one matter. Because as oga patapata consine, you no go fit know all the peoples wey you dey rule.
Around independent time last year for October, I write that former yeye president make he come save we poor people wey dey suffer. But the foolish man no do anytin, even sef he no reply my letter.
Oga, make I first thank all the army boys wey do the coup wey drive Shagari an im tif-tif politicians comot. Dat day, I happy well well, so-tey, the small money wey dey my pocket, I take am go shack.
But the tin wey come pain all of us be say, all the big-big politicians dem escape run comot. Uba Ahmed wen una say una catch escape; Akintoye himself escape, and the one wey come pain me pass na Umaru Dikko own. Una for catch am put for inside dustbin make himself chop rubblish so that he go know say we poor peoples dey suffer.
Anyway, no be dat one sef dey worry me now, na person we chop belleful fit get power purshoe tif. After una do una coup finish, wey una soldiers enter market, I happy small, because the price for everytin just come down like that.
I remember say I buy one bag of rice for N32.00, and for “hotel de no mind your wife”, “Mamma Comfort” bin dey sell him beer for 80 kobo. But all dat one don pass, I don blow the rice finish, and Mama Comfort him beer now be N1.50 “cash down”.
Since dat time, the company wey I bin dey do gate man work don close down. The oyinbo directors dem, all don tear race go dem country. All those big-big managers dem and even me wey dey for gate, dem give letter say make all of us go home say spare part and raw materials don finish.
But God no sleep; because small-time, man pikin come get one kind part time job for one site, dey carry cement. For there na him I meet Kwesi my friend, him too be labourer.
Anytime I complain say man dey suffer, he go jus look me laugh. He say for Ghana, the tin wey dem eye dey see for suffer, dem mouth no fit talk am. But Oga Sir, e come be like say our own suffer don dey reach Ghana own. Because the suffer wen some of us dey suffer for dis country, our nose sef no fit smell am. For the place wey I dey, dem never pay us our last month salary. Wen we come hook the site manager one day, he come order the akantant make e give us check, make we go collect our money.
The time wey una change money the tin no worry me sef, because na only people wey get money for bank nahin the tin wahala. Na now I come see the tin wey people eye dey see for bank.
I reach there “sharp six” for morning, I tink say na me go be the first person … na lie! If you see people! Before soldiers begin flog people bulala, W.A.I. no get head there o. After man pikin don dey line, time reach 3 o’clock and hungry dey wire man, and sun wan finish person and e come be say the whole thing no come get head, nahin man just vex leave the place. I hear say some women wey get belly born for the line as them wait for money. And dem talk say one old papa die sef.
When I go come go back to the site, na dat time one other oga there come tell us say, all na wayo, say company no get money for that bank sef. Since three days man neva shop anything better, before-before, if man hold one naira, he go fit take am chop better chop, but now, common bread, he no fit buy with one naira.
Upon all the try wey government dey say him dey try, everyday tory dey wo-wo. For Shagari time, rice be N100.00 a bag, now those market women dey sell am for N170.00. E be like say na all those market women and middle men dey spoil dis country sef.
Everyday dem go dey increase their price like say dem be god. Dem no kuku care about people wey dey suffer, and I don begin hear say na all those big-big officer dem wifes dey distribute all the essential commodities now. Any way God dey.
Oga, I wan beg all of una wey be our leaders, make una try bring prices down. You sef tink am, how man go dey buy groundnut oil for N10.00 a bottle? And Oga, make una no let all those wicked politicians go o! Because na dem cause dis our suffer. Kwesi, my friend, say una go do ‘quota system’ with those politicians, I tell am say na lie, say make we de look see.
Oga, thank you very much. I go write you again.
Yours in suffering Citizen Joe Sufferhead
The Punch,
Saturday, May 19, 1984

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