tyro Profile picture
8 Nov, 8 tweets, 2 min read
Short rant on politics and the economy
After Biden took the lead in GA, all of my Nigerian timeline was taken over by stories of the role Stacy Abrams played in making that happen particularly with her Fair Fight PAC
But I did not see a single comment on the economic context in which she made that happen. Here it is - the GDP of the state of GA - at $540bn - is almost 40% bigger than Nigeria’s. To add insult to injury, there are less than 11 million people there
Why are young Nigerians so disinterested in the actual workings of economic development as the tool that makes so much else happen? This continues to baffle me. By the way Abrams raised ~$33m for the effort
I don’t doubt that young people in Nigeria can organise to take power in 2023 or soon after. But there is a troubling sense in which today’s young people are behaving *exactly* like the post-independence generation who were not bothered with building an economy to pay for things
Then, as in now, the economy was an afterthought. Like something you didn’t need to do much about as long as there was a commodity paying the bills. Of course it inevitably ran out of fuel allowing countries that were poorer than Nigeria in the 70s to leave it in the dust today
60% of Nigerians are ‘employed’ in ‘agriculture’. There is a huge void in the economy with nothing but a big hole in it. That is the hole that needs to be filled for everything else to work
As I’ve said before, because the grunge work of building most western economies was done a long long time ago, the average westerner today cannot tell you how it was done. It is your job not to be taken in by that.

Rant Over

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More from @DoubleEph

7 Nov
The Great Ali Kwara is dead. I came across his story when I used to do the daily paper review and I immediately installed myself as the Chairman of the Ali Kwara Appreciation Society leadership.ng/pmb-mourns-leg…
This link has some of the stories I shared going back to 2013. Completely bizarre of course but perfectly normal in Nigeria twitter.com/search?q=doubl…
Basically, state governors and the police used to hire the guy to go help them catch some thieves or castle rustlers. He apparently had the best charms in town and he always delivered often in spectacular fashion
Read 5 tweets
20 Oct
This idea all over my TL that the violence at the protests is sponsored by the govt is just depressing. Even in the U.K. with the mildest police, violence broke out to say nothing of Chicago or New York. Come on guys
The key ingredient is able bodied young men with nothing but time on their hands. And no country in the world has more of that constituency than Nigeria. Govt or no govt instigation, you should be surprised if protests *don’t* degenerate in this way.
I hope this incredible opportunity to drive real change is not now lost. Protests are a powerful tool in a democracy but they’re one of many tools to drive change. They should lead to a ferment of ideas for reform that lead to real change
Read 5 tweets
18 Oct
What if you focused on Nigerian Police Colleges for overhaul? Potentially, you can start seeing results in under 2 years and it will cost almost nothing #EndSARS
How does one become a Nigerian Police officer? The ‘training’ can be as little as 6 months. And whatever it is they are teaching them is obviously not very useful #EndSARS
There are only 4 Police Colleges (?) [Ikeja, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Oji-River]. What if you made a demand for an overhaul of the curriculum? Do you think they’re taught things like de-escalation or community relations?
Read 7 tweets
14 Oct
By the way this option has a precedent. When Tafa Balogun became IG, he set up a handpicked team that went around raiding other police checkpoints (often with cameras). They would search the pockets of the police officers there and if they found money, arrest them
It was quite fun and it did work for a while. Look, I know Tafa Balogun eventually went to prison for stealing money meant for police salaries and pensions but we are discussing options here so let’s focus please
This leads me to a funny story I may have shared before but is worth sharing again. During this period I was in University in Nigeria. One way the police reacted to Tafa’s regime was to constantly keep their bribes in a can or box somewhere away from them. Never in their pockets
Read 11 tweets
14 Oct
So how do you actually end SARS? This a LOT harder than people think and will involve an incredible amount of work. But these protests have presented an opportunity to get it done that is better than previous opportunities
Again, SARS is the textbook definition of a rogue unit. It ought to be painfully clear to anyone watching this drama that the Inspector General of Police has zero control over them. He doesn’t even know how many of his men are in SARS
Not long after the IG announced he was ‘replacing’ SARS with the brand new never before seen SWAT, internet archaeologists dug up these ImageImage
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct

Infact maybe the hashtag should change to #EndSARS+ It has to end in addition to whatever else is demanded for 2 clear reasons
First of all, if you are a sadist and want to design a police unit that is unaccountable and operates with impunity, you will struggle to come up with anything worse than SARS.
First one - count the number of testimonies of people’s encounters with SARS and see how many times people say they were not even sure if it was Police or Armed Robbers. They wear ripped jeans and have NO name badges or numbers. But this isn’t even the worst part
Read 8 tweets

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