Saturday, 14 October 2017

WHICH WAY NAIJA?


Just last week, I went to a local food market close to buy some food stuff and groceries. On my list was cassava flakes (known in local Nigerian parlance as garri). When I arrived at the shop/table of the garri seller, we bargained and we settled for five cups of garri (my household is still quite small) at a reasonable price. As she went in to get nylon in which to wrap the garri for me, my cell phone rang of which I answered and I was still in that phone conversation when she returned with the nylon and reached out for her measuring cups. I on the other hand got a bit carried away with the 'sweetness'of the gist I was having but I kept my corner eyes alert and glued to my 'garri transaction'. The seller whom I can swear is a mother and a wife like myself (so should have some level of fear for God as I expected), must have noticed how enticed and carried away with the gist I was enjoying on phone and turned the back of her measuring cup to the bottom and started measuring from there! At first, I didn't see what was going on, until my ATTENTION RETURNED and I saw in utter disbelief what cheat my garri customer was. By that time she claimed to have put in three cups of garri measure into the nylon already or so she said. 
 Trust me na, I let out a mild scream when I caught her red handed and cup fell off her hands to the table and then floor. I told her to her face what I just caught her doing because she felt my attention with her was divided and as expected she immediately denied it saying I was accusing her of being a thief. I then threatened to leave her store if she refused to own up by telling the truth and apologising for it. Not until I had picked my purse and my shopping bag, did she know I was serious and started apologising immediately saying it was the devil's work because she hadn't sold much since morning and needed money to cook soup for her family. I then had a softened heart and started talking to her, telling her that despite the fact that act was a sin, it was capable of bring calamity and disfavour from God to her business if she made it a habit. Of course, as a typical Nigerian that she is, she blamed her actions on the economic hardship and inflation (popularly now being called OCHICHI-BUHARI).

As if that wasn't enough; that same week my husband and I, on our way to wednesday mid-week service, stopped by at a filling-station to buy fuel (PMS). The attendant (a lady) that we met; a beautiful young girl in her early twenties approached us to know the exact amount of our purchase and we told her N1,500.00n  (i.e One Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) and when she turned around to punch in the figure and start the refilling, my husband turned his face towards his breast pocket to get the money for payment I suppose so I decided to keep watch on the pump metre for him.  But alas!this fine young girl punched in N1,000 instead of the N1,500 that we had just told her. I quietly tapped my husband and brought his attention to this lady's misdeeds and we both remained silent in order to know whether it was a mistake she made (because we know she heard us well when we spoke) or whether that was a deliberate act by her to cheat and short-change us. 

When she was done pumping in fuel into our gas tank and approached us for payment, my husband, withdrawing the five hundred naira in his hand, handed over one thousand naira only to her. She wanted to complain or argue, and we told her that we both saw what she did because she punched-in and sold the amount of one thousand to us so she felt immediately ashamed and walked away. The sad thing is that my husband told me as we drove away that she was not a smart thief and cheat, as most of her colleagues would manipulate the fuel pump metre even before they start selling to the public that was why we easily caught her in the act. Once again, another person would blame that evil on hard times or OCHICHI-BUHARI. 

Now, with these sort of corruption,insincerity and selfishness all over the place, I'm led to ask; "WHICH WAY NIGERIA"?  Since everyone no longer cares about doing the right thing for the good of all, but selfishly for his or her own individual benefit alone.

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