Occupying my N5000 note, By Ose Oyamendan

Ose Oyamendan

I’ve been looking forward to this week since last year. You see, as a self-professed political wonk, I thought this was the week the dreams of whoever the Republican presidential candidate would be buried. I didn’t know that candidate would be Mitt Romney who is the political equivalent of presidential stillborn.

You see, this was the week the Occupy movement was launched last year. I though this week, all of us liberals would be marching towards a victory that would guarantee the lives of those ninety-nine percent who have been marginalized by that big, bad one percent since Adam and Eve started having kids.

But, now, I’m not sure if I should be happy or sad. It’s the one-year anniversary and someone had to send e-mails out to remind us of the day. I was thinking the occupy movement would be the liberal answer to the Tea Party. Now, I’m getting e-mails of gatherings at Coffee Bean and Starbucks.

I was not even crazy about the Occupy thing to start with. I’m a Nigerian. We don’t celebrate poverty. We all have ambitions of being in the one percent and we know we’re one election and massive rigging away from that dream. But, when you live outside the country, you have to prove to everyone back home that you’re a big deal even though you you’re slaving for every penny.

Movements like the Occupy movement is a huge way to show people in Naija that you have Yankee under your feet and the best way to do it is to buy a T-shirt, find the closest bus stop to the event, take a picture with the event in the background and post it on Facebook. That and working eighty hours a week for a chance to pretend you’re a heavy roller when you go home for Christmas.

Plus, one more reason I wanted to be part of the whole Occupy thing was that I’m a revolutionary at heart. Or, so I tell girls with tattoos at bars. But, I was born about fifteen years too late. Otherwise I would have loved to be a part of the Cuban revolution, even if for the sake of those fine cigars.

I did try hard to be a part of a revolution in Nigeria. I was hot for General Buhari when he came to town with his brand of revolution. Then it occurred to me that the man must not be a Nigerian and it pissed me off that no one was spreading that rumor.

I mean what kind of Nigerian leader comes to town preaching discipline and carts every political leader before him into jail and it’s not because of he feared they will overthrow him. I was so sure the man was an alien until the suitcase thing happened and I realized we’d all been conned. The man was a Nigerian all along!

So, you see why I was happy about the occupy thing if even the closest I got to it was going downtown, taking a picture, photshopping it so it seemed I was actually in the thick of it and posting it on Facebook”.

But, of course President Jonathan had to take the swag out of my “swagger” when he thought Nigerians were going to be too drunk and hung over from the New Year partying that they would fail to notice a significant increase in the pump price of petrol.

Before you know it, Nigerians were occupying Nigeria, which was strange since they were already in Nigeria. You would have thought they would occupy Benin or Cameroon to give the thing a punch. To make it more confusing, people who should be occupied were part of the rallies. Worse, my Occupy picture was no longer special and hip.

For nine months, I’ve been so confused at the whole occupy Nigeria thing that I was considering including it in my laundry list of problems for my next visit to the shrink. But, thank God for Lamido Sanusi, the Sudanese-trained governor of the Central Bank.

Finally, there is so order in the Nigerian world. The poor people that were finding something to occupy can now occupy N100 coins. We’re going N5,000 notes baby!

Thank God for a revolutionary like Sanusi. Finally a man who thinks that the way to fight inflation and poverty is to print higher notes. Why didn’t anyone think of this before now? It’s so ingenious even my drink uncles are trying to figure out how to nominate Sanusi for the Nobel Prize.

I think those criticizing Sanusi are jealous of his brilliance. If I was the President, I would amend the honors list from last week and throw a GCON at him. Then, I would put his face on the N5000 note.

Do you know how bad the Nigerian note has become? Every street hawker had the same currency as the big man in the air-conditioned Mercedes. The driver and his oga had the same currency! Phew, what would we have done without Sanusi and his brilliance.

Now I know what I would doing at the occupy anniversary this week. I would be toasting Sanusi and his N5000 note. That is the way to occupy Nigeria.



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