AGBEROS: WHAT DO THEY SELL?
SANNI KAY YUSUF
I have been thinking about what values the agberos add to the society whose inhabitants they reap off on a daily basis, but nothing significant has so far been tenably figured out as the reason for the anomaly. May I then have someone help out in this troubling, aching puzzle? A highlight, not necessarily an epistle, will do.
Agberos earn cool cash, live bigger than the bigwigs and lavish money like it is minted from the comfort zones of their abodes. So I ask, what job is it that they do? What products do they sell, and from where do they order them? Could they be into an open human trafficking business? You can see how greatly puzzled I am? You want to help? Please do!
The other day, a shopping complex which must have gulped millions of naira was pointed to me as a property belonging to a deputy of the generalissimo of the agberos somewhere in the country. I gazed fixedly at the edifice and imagined how indescribably affluent the owner would be. So I thought aloud, “what business has he that earned him this humongous asset? What exactly does he sell for wealth?”
Agberos get richer on a daily basis, lamentably, at the expense of the already pauperized Nigerian masses. Transport fares are indiscriminately high, not because of distance but because of the impunity freely enjoyed by them. They whimsically determine t-fare even when some of them may have never owned a tire let alone a vehicle. They earn hugely without an inch of movement out of the motor park, no purchase of fuel nor repair of vehicle. Monkey dey work, baboon dey shop! What a country in a jungle!
Agberos have series of charges through which their purses are built to fatness and their stomachs fed to corpulence. I heard one demanding security charge from a driver whose bus I once boarded. Out of curiosity, I probed, “what’s that?” “It’s for the chairman. That’s how they collect it sometimes,” replied the driver. He mocked me that I wasn’t in the know of the age-long practice. Security? Whose life was on the line that needed protection? What’s going on in a country with leaders?
Isn’t it excruciating that a driver would have charged fare for a trip and one agbero (don’t even know how best to translate the nomenclature) would appear from nowhere and decide otherwise hiking the fare to the disgust of the already-seated passengers. Funnily enough, the presentation is usually done with no courtesy. They apparently reserve no respect for no one. They talk down on elders aged enough to father and mother them. They chase passengers out of the vehicles they may never own in their entire lives. Imagine the impunity.
It is said, and the impunity they enjoy has proven that the evils of the agberos are done in cahoots with the government. It is rumoured that certain unscrupulous bigwigs in government are given return from the daily extortion of the suffering masses. If that were true, then I doubt the reality of nipping the omen in the bud. And that invariably means that we will have to endure – forever – an avoidable hardship from the hands of a few cabalists.