The number one thing trending in Nigerian circles anywhere at the moment is Shem Obafaiye’s now notoriously popular aphorism ‘my oga at the top.’ It has gone viral; with T-shirts, caps and songs/song videos as the offshoot.
Obafaiye Shem is the Lagos State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, a position he has held for some three months.
When he agreed to grant Channels TV an interview on employment racketeering in the NSCDC, little did he know he would attain celebrity or (is that notoriety?) status, as a result. He committed a booboo of, arguably, epic proportions while responding to a question on internet scam. The appalling thing being that this is occurring at a time when the web can be accessed through a plethora of devices within the reach of most people.
While it has been argued that the Sunrise Daily crew (of Chamberlain Usoh, Nneotaobase Egbe and Maupe Ogun) could have better handled the interview, watching the interview in full will help any interested person(s) better appreciate where the interviewers were coming from (and acquit them of misconduct–even if Chamberlain was unable to totally mask his amazement).
One desperately wishes, even prays, that this tragedy is an isolated incident, that way we can sleep better, accommodate the gentleman’s goof and may be, just maybe, someday laugh at the incident humorously and not with pain. Sadly, this is not so, rather, it is a depiction of the cankerworm eating up the Nigerian state; where those not qualified for office are put in position for any myriad of reasons from loyalty to nepotism and outright imposition by Ogas at the top (sic).
If this seems harsh, consider that the man was aware he had that interview slated. He dressed up, left his place, showed up and went on air–without the chief tool he needed in his kitty. He was not prepared! How on earth can a State Commandant not know the web address of the institution he represents and leads? Not forgetting that said organization puts food on his table and money in his pockets. And the man said, “ww.nscdc… yes… so… coughs… that’s all!” Even though ‘this’ has become well known, it is by no means the only time that the man floundered (and came up short). The questions that beg answers are: did he come into that office overnight? Did he never function in a subordinate role–where he would have grasped how the system works? Or does being head honcho mean that you lose touch with reality/the (supposed) work of your underlings?
In every clime where socio-economic progress is sought after, a high sense of unwillingness to accept anything sub-standard exists. Nigerians should (at this time) rise up and refuse mediocrity in the polity, it should most definitely no longer be tolerated from those to whom public offices are entrusted. The Commandant may be in the public eye right now but there are others (in positions of authority across the land) who would mess up even more if they had granted that interview. Considering that some of them turned the paper they were handed while being sworn in, upside down.
And this in a land where there is an abundance of brains and propensity to mental acuity. This national embarrassment has to stop.