by Pius Adesanmi
If you are a Nigerian and you can be on social media, you have two immediate attributes:
1) You own at least one device
2) You are literate (at least to some extent)
This means that you are not exactly hoi polloi. Recession permitting, you belong in a critical mass that can afford leisure and pleasure. Going to the beach or to a beer parlour to unwind and watch Arsenal struggle for their annual high achievement of number 4 is not beyond you. You can afford at least one nkwobi and one Gulder. You belong in the demographic which sustains the hospitality industry in Nigeria.
If you are in Abeokuta and you belong in this demographic, chances are you have been by the poolside drinking arena at the Green Legacy Resort, drinking pepper soup and Gulder, monitoring social media, and lobbing missiles in the direction of Abdulaziz Yari, the illiterate criminal Governor of Zamfara state who, it has been revealed, stole $3 million for an ongoing hotel project in Lagos.
Perhaps you are not in Abeokuta. You are chilling in one of the bars at Oriental Hotel in Lekki. And you are lobbing missiles at Yari.
Your umbrage is in order. But you would be doing it without realizing the tragic irony of your situation. And you would, once again, be underestimating the awesome power you have as a demographic.
Green Legacy Resort is a fantastic hotel in Abeokuta. It is owned by His Excellency General Chief Olusegun Aremu Okikiolakan Obasanjo. I am sure you know what happened to your electricty funds on his watch and supervision. And that is just a tip of the iceberg. So you understand that Green Legacy Resort is the proceed of crime and corruption.
And the rotten source of the hotels of Smart Adeyemi in Ilorin.
And the rotten source of the hotels of former and serving state governors scattered all over Lagos, Abuja, and the state capitals.
It is said that Oriental Hotel in Lagos is owned by His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Quatermaster-General of the combined treasuries of the southwest states before Fayose took control of his own treasury for ponmo and sundry stomach infrastructure usage.
Abdulaziz Yari is joining a very long list of current and former office holders investing in posh hotels.
These people can no longer take their stolen funds abroad easily. Things are getting tighter so they invest domestically in hotels and “international” schools.
These businesses are sustained to a great extent by the demographic I am writing about here because they underestimate their own power.
There is nothing you can do realistically about Yari. He has immunity. And you understand that NASS is not about to revisit the immunity clause. So, the only thing you can really do about Yari, for now, is to wield your awesome power as a demographic to ensure the failure of his business.
Mass boycott of a business, of a product, is one of the most effective weapons used by the masses in civilized climes. Businesses have collapsed or come to ruins. Voting with your pocket against your oppressor is the greatest thing democracy invented.
Your demographic is huge enough in Nigeria to make the owners of Green Lagacy Resort and Oriental Hotel understand that stealing does not pay; that if Nigeria rewards their impunity by doing nothing about stealing, you, the people, have other ways of punishing them.
Yari is building a hotel in Lagos because he is banking on the generous fornication output in the city and he is also hoping that the Sharia-compliant alcohol he will sell there will push your demographic to more and more fornication that will make him smile to the bank.
Unless you are ready to punish him with your pocket, he will not get the message. To punish people stealing from you to build hotels, you will first have to change your mentality. Green Legacy Resort, Oriental Hotel, etc: this is where you go to take selfies you wish to post on social media as evidence that you frequent “nice and posh places”.
If you want to impress, don’t worry. Take BRT from Oshodi or Agege and go and pose in the mall in Ikeja. Do not go and pose in the lobby of Oriental. If you do, after posing, you may have enough change to buy one Gulder and one nkwobi. That way, you would have supported a business built on your back before taking the bus back to Oshodi.
You have to start boycotting these businesses. Make Yari’s hotel dead on arrival. Vote against Yari with your wallet.
Ever since I wrote some articles about Senator Smart Adeyemi and his own hotels, he has been reporting me to people in Okun. I wager he will pee in his pants and start reporting me again once this essay goes around. If articles can make this powerful owner of hotels built with looted funds so jittery because he understands the danger they pose to his business and brand, how much more the power of your wallet?
There is power in your wallet as a mass demographic. Use it against Yari and people like him.