An ATM and a revolution that could be | Sayo Aluko

Clearly, the sun that hovered atop Ibadan today left heaven in anger.

What!!!!

I mean, it felt literally naked and nearby, and everyone I met had an invective or two to describe its heated bite.

Bearing my fair share of the scorch, albeit poorly, I approached a famously reliable Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in my area as I headed home, and as if the unsolicited sun-baking wasn’t enough, I met a characteristic long queue.

That type you jam and scream “blood of Christ”. Yeah, that type.

I joined the queue, silent and seething. I believe I once shared how ‘ATM-wastetimebility’ is my highest weakness and biggest pet peeve right? How if you heard that I shot someone, it’d be because of that person’s ๐™ ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ค๐™—๐™ž and/or misuse of the ATM at the expense of others?

Remember? Well, today was almost one of those days. Unknown to me though, I am not alone, and today proved it.

I queued. The line wasn’t moving. A woman had practically married and had been using the machine for over 10 minutes.

Grumbles brewed. Me? Still criminally silent and seething.

There were two ATMs at the point, only one was working, queue had grown to 9 people, the sun still angry and pelting, and now 15 minutes in, this woman was still there, answering the surprisingly courteous grumbles with periodic turns of her neck and some spits of gibberish.

This woman, a buxom, and looked in her late 30s.

Shockingly, she removed her card and then made an attempt to slip in another one, apparently for another set of transactions.

Now, permit me to describe how I felt at that point in Yoruba: orรญ mi gbanรก je! [sorry, English cannot convey it]. As I readied my lips to talk and query her, two voices screeched from behind me:

“Madam, if you try itโ€ฆIf you trrrry it!!!”

“Madam, I will carry you away from there now with my hands if you don’t leave that place now!”

I just gentle.

She attempted to mumble some “it is my right” kind of platitudes in defiance, and things just went from 0 to a 100 real quick. Everyone (except a shocked me) hauled animated colours of rage at her like a pack of deprived cats.

She left the place herself ๐™Ÿ๐™š๐™Ÿ๐™š๐™ก๐™ฎ, as we say in local parlance.

While all this happened, my mind saw something else.
Like, did I just watch a set of Nigerians just revolt against oppression? Did I just see a people united in saying NO to a situation that oppressed their commonwealth. Did these people just exercise true right against an unpalatable status quo?

Wow!

You should see how my mind immediately ran amok with imaginations of what could be!

Can Nigerians truly rise up against real oppression?
Can Nigerians truly unite like this against the satancracy that disguises as democracy here?
Can Nigerians really really really get tired enough to fight back?
Sayo, what you just saw, does it mean there’s hope?

Well, I got my answer before I got back to my car.

“Sayo, it’s late. This set of Nigerians in your generation are already past the notion of true revolution. You know this. What you just saw is good. But that’s just where it stays. Forget seeing this on a scale you wish it to be. In a country where your anti-corruption Chairman was just ‘arrested’ by your DSS for corruption allegations, focus on your kids. I have told you before, in your kids, if you people focus on them now, lies your hope as a nation. Your generation? Forget it, it’s already lateโ€ฆ.”

My mind is cold, sha.

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