Dear Nigerians, Sleep With Your Two Eyes Open

October 31, 2022

This is Zikoko Citizen’s Game of Votes weekly dispatch that helps you dig into all the good, bad, and extremely bizarre stuff happening in Nigeria and why they’re important to you.

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It's Raining Nigerian Doctors in the UK

On October 23, 2022, the United States government issued an emergency alert to American citizens living in Nigeria. The notice warned them of imminent terror attacks on any number of assets — especially in Abuja — and preached caution and vigilance. 

Of course, Nigerians received the alert as well as you might expect.

[Image source: Tenor]

In typical Nigerian fashion, our own Department of State Services (DSS) quickly dismissed the U.S. alert as an ordinary security headache, not the pulmonary embolism it sounded like. The agency even said something like, “Hey, we’ve also issued similar warnings in the past” — which is true but isn’t the point. It’s not the Warning Olympics.

Whatever calm the DSS response offered, it went down the toilet when the U.S. government made another move on October 25. The U.S. Department of State authorised the departure of non-emergency staff and their family members back to America over the terror threats.

One of the embassy’s helpful suggestions for Americans who choose to remain in Nigeria is to have plans that don’t require the U.S. government’s assistance, which sounds like, “You’re on your own if kasala bursts.”

[Image source: Zikoko Memes]

Considering Nigeria’s history with terrorism in the past decade, this week’s events should register some concerns that the Nigerian government should be taking more seriously. 

Instead, we’ve got the DSS soft-pedalling the threat and Lai Mohammed doing what he does best — calling Indian hemp spinach. Nigerians were sleeping with only one eye closed before, but we may need to sleep with both eyes open until this cup passes over. It’s time to be more vigilant than ever.

[Image source: Zikoko Memes]

What else happened this week?

Nigeria’s flooding crisis is a campaign issue

[Image source: Peter Obi Campaign]

It’s been weeks since Nigeria’s 2022 flooding crisis went from “It’s okay, this is normal every year,” to “Too many people are dying, do we still have a government?” The floods continue to wreak havoc around the country leaving 612 Nigerians dead and over 3.5 million people directly affected. 

The situation wasn’t tragic enough to stop Buhari from travelling to South Korea this week. And he didn’t even bother to send the Minister of Condolences, Yemi Osinbajo, to have some humane facetime with the victims. His version of taking the crisis more seriously is announcing that he needs 90 days to put a plan together.

[Image source: Zikoko Memes]

Thankfully, the 2023 presidential candidates are filling the wide gap of humane leadership Buhari has left right in the middle of the flooding crisis. The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi, has gone on a donation spree and visited victims, gaining leadership points and photos that’ll look great in his campaign album weeks from now.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar has also met displaced victims, donated millions and made commitments to provide permanent solutions to Nigeria’s frequent flooding problems. And the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, has thrown millions of naira at the problem, even if he’s not found time in his busy schedule to meet the victims.

The good thing here is that as much as Nigeria’s 2023 elections campaign season has been troubled by ethno-religious tensions, it’s also catered to real issues affecting Nigerians. The days when campaigns were about eating roasted corn by the roadside are over. Or maybe we’re just being too optimistic here.

Have You Seen This Video?

Question of the week

Fuel queues are back in major Nigerian cities and we spoke to a filling station manager about how good or bad a fuel scarcity crisis is for business. We also want to hear how you’ve been dealing with the ongoing scarcity crisis.

Click here to tweet your answer to @ZikokoCitizen on Twitter.

Ehen, one more thing…

Godwin Emefiele’s Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is redesigning the ₦‎200, ₦‎500 and ₦‎1000 banknotes and one of his reasons is that it’ll minimise the access Nigerians have to large volumes of cash needed for ransom payments.

If you’re a kidnapper in Nigeria, it’s time to find a new line of work. Meffy is coming for you.

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