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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Nation's Identity Crisis

It's November 2008, youre's truly is working at his father's publishing firm selling one of Nigeria's most recent bestsellers when a driver comes to purchase a book for his boss. The book costs two thousand naira and this driver I believe was given three thousand naira. With the inordinate desire for things which do not belong to us that a greater majority of Nigerians seem to posess he asks me to falsify the receipt indicating that the book costs three thousand naira so he can falsefully generate that extra one thousand naira for himself. I politely declined. Bribery and Corruption, arguably the greatest problem Nigeria has ever faced.

This is the story of a nation's identity crisis(Apologies to Dr. Reuben Abati). Fast forward to the year 2009 and the media is awash with Dora Akunyili's plan to "rebrand" Nigeria. I ask myself rebrand what? The millions who live on below $1 a day. The money Obasanjo, Babangida, Abacha made away with? (Only for me to read in City People that Abacha's son wants to be the next Governor of Kano. That is a story for another day.) Birds of the same feathers flock together the saying goes.Someone I know once said "Yar' Adua keeps complaining every time he hears there's a G8 summit and he's not invited or when it becomes public knowledge that Obama selects Ghana over Nigeria as the African nation he would visit first. What does he want to say or do when leaders like Gordon Brown, Silvio Berlusconi, Barack Obama, Dimitry Medvedev are talking on solving economic problems? His country is in an era of poor electricity, poor water facilities, bad roads and consumer exploitation." He would look like a JJC that he is. Does he know what they mean when they are discussing eco friedly measures or going green? You then talk about rebranding. Shouldn't that be lying? Making the world believe that which isn't true. If we can rebrand ourselves, by this, I mean that driver who wanted me to be dishonest so he could make an extra thousand naira should be made to see that dishonesty is wrong and we should work on getting Bribery and Corruption out of our DNA. I mean the millions of Nigerians who have to walk thousands of kilometres to school only to get there and find out their teachers are on strike.

Why don't we pay the teachers well and make it impossible for them to go on strike. Why don't we give incentives to the million and one Nigerians who have great business ideas but lack the wherewithal to make it happen. Why don't we threaten to ban D'Banj when he collects a million naira and ends up performing only "Suddenly"? Why don't we take action against Dangote when we find out he is guilty of taking illegal measures that cause financial hardship for millions of Nigerians? This is the story of a Nation's Identity Crisis.
Mr I.


  1. All you talk about is true but the government has neither the willpower or the power of imagination to think or implement any of these things. We talk about doing them but no one is actually willing to take it on. Think about the spirit of failure which makes people not do simple things like throw a baby shower or do a presentation. My mum recently offered me the opportunity to speak to Lagos state prefects and if I had stayed in Nigeria I wouldn't have been able to do it. I would be afraid to fail. I think that's the main problem our government is facing. What if they start something and it fails? They look stupid they think.

  2. That's what we get when we vote for old-cargo people as our leaders. Lets face it, the people that get into power...want to die in power. I feel that the only reason Mr.President is not getting any pressure from the people and his fellow officials is because those fellow officials are all members of his family or are scared of loosing their jobs if they step up to the dying man. If we need change in this country, then we need new governance.....meaning fresh blood......new cargo and not just one Obasanjo's boy to run errands for the country.
    And we talk about rebranding. Yeah right.....we should start with the head first!


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