Things Politics Make Nigerians Do


Last week, a hawker ran after me in traffic, persistently singing high praise of the bread he was holding in my face, something I had no intention of buying.

“It is fresh, sir. And it is so sweet, you can even perceive the aroma, can’t you? If you eat this bread, tomorrow you will look for me and dash me something,” he said smiling.

I smiled. “The way you praise this bread, one would think Jonathan baked it.”

I have never seen a man lose his smile that quickly. Frowning, he hissed, said, “God Forbid!” turned and walked away, disregarding my laughter and my calls for him to return.

Yesterday, in traffic yet again, I took interest in some pieces of micro-fiber cloths a hawker was selling. He wanted five hundred, I offered three. He said no. Apparently, the sun had beaten the smile out of his face. We weren’t going to agree, I sensed.

So I said, “You know, Buhari will soon be president, things should be different now.”

He stopped. His spontaneous smile clearly had roots in his heart. You could see that in his eyes. “You have made me very happy,” he said. “That is not the price but I will sell it to you at that rate.”

I went home thinking what the people of this country will be like after February 14.


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