How to Lose Friends and Destroy Your Future in Nigeria
Chijioke Osuji
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How to Lose Friends and Destroy Your Future in Nigeria

Chijioke Osuji

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1. Don't Carry Change When You Enter Public Transport.

On Monday morning once you use the ATM close to your house, be smart, save the environment, and save that keke or bike money. Take a walk and feel the pulse of your city. Don’t buy anything on the road as you go. Don't drink coke or eat gala. Wait till after work, go to the market, buy meat, go back home, and cook soup.

Once you reach the junction, just enter the car like that and balance in the back seat. When the conductor says “hold your change oh”, don’t hear him. Keep wearing your earpiece like that while you press your phone. When the fourth person is about to enter, protest to the driver and look at the other passengers for backup. When you reach where you are going, bring out your one thousand naira note and give it to the conductor. When he says “You no hear when I dey talk hold your change?”, Start vexing and threaten to change it for him. Ask him something like "is this not legal tender?”

2. Stand For Something.

When you feel external pressures to sway your opinion, reject it and insist on thinking for yourself. Make a passionate case for your point of view, and be sure to base them on something as laughable as your principles. Nothing says “I don’t want to be friends with these people” like demonstrating that you will not compromise on your virtue for material gain. Showing this at a job interview, will also almost guarantee that you don’t get past that first round of interviews at the Petroleum Ministry.

3. Be Speaking Grammar On Twitter.

When you go online, express yourself with unparalleled eloquence. Craft the most profound oneliners your vocabulary will permit. Stretch the sentences to the 160 characters limit and drive at the heart of the matter at hand - Of the social condition. In the middle of a pandemic, when people would rather fight race wars or compare clothing, slide into their mentions, and try to change their minds. Make them see reason. When you call for common sense and understanding of one another, be sure to use high-level words that nobody understands, like nuance and altruistic.

4. Know Your Rights And Try To Uphold The Law.

If this does not work and you need to intensify your efforts, try going around professing the rule of law. Rebuke people who don’t know their rights and make sure you inform every policeman you encounter, that you know your rights. Tell him “You have no right”. Order him to produce a warrant for your arrest or else! Go further. Threaten to report him and ask him if he knows who you are. If perchance you make it out of that situation, actually try to report him. Write a letter to the commissioner of police. Report other suspicious activities you see, especially the loud cries of a woman and a girl routinely coming out from your neighbor’s house who is also a policeman.

5. Question Authority Especially When You Have Reason To.

Write a petition to the commissioner of works. Demand answers for why the road leading to your house has remained untarred even after the contract for it had been awarded. Quote numbers and name names in your petition. Send copies to your local legislator and everybody on your street. Go door to door and mobilize your neighborhood to file a class action against the contractors and the ministry of works.

6. Don't Pander.

If the minister of Petroleum should visit your church once and you are somehow mistakingly fortunate to sit next to him, Don’t try to take his contact and beg for the contract. Instead, offer him your most honest criticism of his handling of the current oil crisis. Suggest better policies and show him how much better than him you are.

7. Engage Your Peers In Conversation About Nation Building.

The next time you and the boys go out for a drink, kill the football talk and try to galvanize them to action. Criticize our own complicity and corruption, call us all out for our passe approach to nationhood. Speak from your heart and remind them that if we do not take action now, our children will suffer as we have. Guilt trip them for hiding under a cloak of privilege, especially if you guys are in Lagos or Abuja. Tell the Girls that they are materialistic and dense. Kill their vibe and make them think about how full of emptiness their lives are. Say the music is wack, don’t go to the clubs, and don’t fuck with the culture.

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Chijioke Osuji

Chijioke is the author of Memoirs of a Third World Millenial. He is on Twitter and Instagram @ccosuji.

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