Why is it that in a country where there is chronic socio-economic under-development, what dominates news cycles and the psyche of Nigerians are issues such as the constitutional rights of a citizen to name a dog, the perfectly legitimate right of a Pastor to share his views regarding marriage with his flock, budget padding, the cost of the First Lady’s handbag and her dress code in the USA,( and whether or not she met her US counterpart), Mark Zuckerberg’s visit being a part of an Islamization agenda, who was to blame for the unfulfilled eclipse, yada, yada, yada. All of these, while other serious nations are making medium to long terms plans to achieve global domination in every sphere of human endeavour.
Wahala dey o
As a nation, we have chosen titillation over cultivation and exhibited an unhealthy fixation for issues which offer no significant contributions to national edification. The lamentable manifestations abound everywhere, beginning from corporate organizations who annually spend billions on sponsorships whose real value to society rarely transcends the superficial. That is why sponsorships and endorsements in abundance were offered to “Jumoke the breadseller” and not to the worthy examples of academic and civic excellence . Blue chip companies enthusiastically embrace gloss and glitter and display a lukewarm attitude to substance and sustainable value.
In a country still grappling with the challenges of socio-economic development, is it more important for us as a nation to invest in producing the next rapper/singer/model/celeb or rather focus on finding the next Bill Gates/Aliko Dangote/Mark Zuckerberg/Steve Jobs???
Wahala dey o
Our youth have been disoriented to exhibit a preposterous preference for vocations which offer mostly glimmer and shimmer even when viable opportunities are available in other areas. Why else would many of our youth make a career out of careening around various locations for years auditioning for a spot on reality shows?? Vocations which do not offer opportunities to become “celebrities and “e-lebrities” are no longer attractive to our youth.
The youth exhibit more interest and concern about rap ““beefs” and have adopted as role models those whose lifestyles are based on an alternative universe.
Wahala dey o
A nation at our current level of socio-economic under-development which has a segment of the citizenry actively praying and hoping for the failure of its President and his administration simply to justify their electoral preferences is treading the path of ruin and perdition. (Full disclosure: I voted for PMB and remain a strong supporter but if GEJ had won the election, I would be rooting for him to succeed) . Turning cartwheels and popping champagne over any real or perceived failures of the Buhari administration is nothing short of imbecilic.
How does it benefit anybody(Hailers or Wailers) that the exchange rates are prohibitive? Epileptic availability of electricity? High costs of goods and services? Missing Chibok girls? I have heard people who before the elections were spouting conspiracy theories about how the “kidnapping” of the Chibok Girls was an orchestrated plot fuelled by propaganda to wrest the Presidency from GEJ. Now they are at the frontline of hurling invectives at the President for not rescuing the same Chibok girls they claimed were never kidnapped? Almost certainly, they are secretly hoping the Chibok girls never get rescued so as to provide constant ammunition against PMB.
Now, as a father whose only daughter survived a kidnapping, this grieves my spirit to no end. What kind of irrational hatred for PMB warps your mind enough to vicariously inflict pain and suffering on another? All those stoking hatred and divisiveness around the country with inflammatory rhetoric both real and fabricated, please be aware that you do not sit inside a plane praying and hoping for the plane to crash simply because your preferred pilot is not at the controls.`
In a country struggling to fulfil its potential and which may have possibly frittered away its golden opportunity to achieve greatness, why are all appointments viewed from the prism of ethnic and religious affiliations? Should not our exclusive concern be the competence and capabilities of the prospective office-holder?
Any country which has religion is its largest industry is not serious about attaining true greatness. Why are religious pilgrimages funded and given preferential treatment while businesses are left to wallow in distress?
Alas, this insensate thinking has been enshrined in our Federal Character from time immemorial. When I worked for a multinational corporation several years ago, we developed and self-funded a pioneering initiative to boost the education sector in Nigeria. Part of my brief was to secure the attendance of the First Lady or at least the wife of the Vice-President as well as the Minister of Education. Sadly, not even the efforts of my colleagues and I combined with the considerable clout of the CEO(arguably the most respected and most influential person in the Nigerian private sector at that time) could swing things in our favour. The Education Minister was a no-show (he could not even be bothered to send a representative) while the First Lady opted for the glitz and glamour of a fashion show which coincided with our event.
The philosophy in developed countries seems to be to do things right and to do the right things. However in Nigeria, we do the wrong things right and do the right things wrong .
Therefore, instead of ordering our priorities we have instead prioritized disorder.
Wahala dey o
Gbenga X-adebija is the President & CEO of Business In Nigeria.