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Opinions of Friday, 3 April 2020

Columnist: MyNigeria

Beggars Republic

I don't blame Nigeria for begging Elon Musk for ventilators in a shit- show on Twitter, who do I blame? No one.

In Nigeria, to beg is usual. From the daily agbero screaming at the conductor: Owo mi da? to the entitled drug lord on the street hailing you for a little change; to the security man hounding you for a tip. The best name for Nigerians is the title of this piece: Beggars Republic.

On Twitter, it has become a usual thing for Nigerians to hound online personalities for money and little straps of cash. Someone was saying the other day that people who don't beg are just being proud. I said it's not pride; it's content. I am content with the little I have.

The psychology that comes with Nigerian beggars mentality is greed, pure avarice. The average Nigerian believes the Government is a fraud and the best way to gain is to beg their way through. So if your rep steals N2bn, a N100,000 giveaway will mean that you are also partaking of the share- no matter how small.

The beggar mentality leads to an entitlement complex- an ideology that can never leave these shores for years.

I have asked in countless polls what Nigerians need during this lockdown period. Many people said money. I wonder; is money more important than food? Lagos has closed down its shops and cleared the streets. If you don't have food, how would you survive the next one week? My people humour me and say they need money. Money must be shared to their account because you are who? Because I am Nigerian and the Government must feed me.

Entitlement mentality mixed with greed, that's what I call it.

And you see why this mentality sickens me? The Germans are not seeking conditional cash transfers, Neither are the Russians or Norwegians? All they are seeking is for people to stay home but your average Nigerian influencer is seeking money on every tweet- for what? Money you cant spend? Shops are closed! Except for home service.

I will be scared if I were you, coronavirus is not airborne but can be spread via speech or breathing. Some reports say they stay on surfaces. If you order shawarma and the delivery guy meets a potential carrier who talked around your food, what happens to your shawarma- knowing that this virus stays on surfaces and you touch it?

This is wild thinking but nothing is impossible.

Well, Nigeria has always begged, so I can't blame Nigerians for following in their government footsteps. The philosophy of beggars is that they always depend. Maybe that is why we are where we are.

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