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The T.A. Report

The poor can breathe, but they still have to pay for the air, BAT clarifies

The poor can breathe, but they still have to pay for the air, BAT clarifies

Nigeria’s tear-rubber president, Baller Ahmeth Tininbu, known fondly as BAT, says he stands by his statement regarding the right of poor people to inhale oxygen into their lungs, but now adds that this should not be misinterpreted to mean the air would be subsidised.

After former president Sai Baba took him on a tour of the state house on May 27, Tininbu famously asked people restricting the airflow of poor people to desist from this.

“We have to change our mindset, kill corruption in our society,” he told journalists. “Let be poor breathe [sic]; don’t suffocate them. We have that responsibility.” 

He, however, clarified in a statement released on Friday to select press outfits, including The T.A. Report, that while the poor are free to respirate whenever they want, it is not the government’s job to deliver oxygen to their doorsteps for free.

“What we are doing is to create an enabling environment for everyone, regardless of social class, to breathe. We will bring in investors from China and India to assemble premium-quality air in Nigeria and sell at globally competitive rates determined by market forces,” he said.

“This will create at least 100,000 direct jobs in my first 100 days in office. We will apply the same strategy to electricity, petroleum, healthcare, education, and even politics. The era of subsidy is gone.”

Tininbu added that the government has no plans to criminalise breathing as long as people don’t go sniffing around in places they are not welcome — like his underground pills empire. 

“I’m sure people will wonder how the poor can afford to breathe if they cannot afford the air. The answer is simple: single-digit interest loans. We will introduce financial schemes where people can apply for oxygen on credit. With this oxygen, they can then continue to live and earn money, with which they will pay back the loan in the future. Anyone can get these benefits as long as they have real estate collateral, guarantors who are senior-level public servants, health insurance, and citizenship in any of the G20 countries.”

Those who are unable to pay back, he explained, would have to be conscripted into the Army.

Meanwhile, the T.A. Report gathered that armchair billionaire Aliko Dan Quixote has perfected plans to get a sole licence for the import and manufacture of oxygen. “He already has the buy-in of the national assembly and ministry of finance,” one unquestionable source informed us.

Caveat: Note that this piece is a fictional satire aimed purely at humour. The words above are nothing but products of a drunk writer’s imagination. We hereby refuse to accept responsibility for the results of anyone’s credulity or mischief. Do not take us seriously. 

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I am Tubosun, the first son of Ajanaku; and my forte lies in casting light upon the bottomless pits of societal ills through the pastiche of news and satire.

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