My Oga at the Top

 It just occurred to me that many of you might wonder why I, Afam did not categorically comment on the video below.
Yes, it seems like the sort of thing I'd do doesn't it? Contribute my ascerbic wit and lofty manner to the very public skewering of Mr. Obafaiye Shem the Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC). If you thought I would then you don't know me very well. There's no fun to be had kicking a dog while its down. Furthermore, being the last straw that breaks the donkeys back is never in anyone's best interests, because all you're left with is a broken donkey. And you know what happens to broken donkeys don't you? We put them out of their misery. A single shot to the head. It's as good a way for any to go.

I was not at all surprised by Mr Shem's performance. You see, after spending the vast majority of my life in Nigeria, I am no longer surprised when I come across a Nigerian that isn't well spoken. It no longer tickles my nethers. It doesn't excite my innards and inspire eruptions of laughter. There was a time in the past when I would have thought it incredibly hilarious but I, Afam am physically incapable of laughing at the same joke for a decade. And when he speaks marginally less well than the president and infinitely better than the first lady, he is to be praised, not scolded or mocked.

Him not knowing what the NSCDC website is doesn't make him any better or worse at his job. The only thing that can be gleaned from this is that he was ill prepared. Lastly we must thank the Channels team for being the height of propriety and paragons of professionalism. No, the last bit was sarcastic. Do you mean to tell me that three people from the Channels television show, Sunrise Daily interviewed the good sir and we still don't know who the Oga (Master) at the top is? How spectacular!

Happy Days,
Afam.

Note:
 Here's what one incredibly well spoken Anonymous commenter had to say about it:

"I disagree with this post. Its not the fact that his vocabulary was poor that's the problem and its not even so much the fact that he knew nothing about websites, talk more of that of the nscdc. The problem is the lying and attempted deceit. He could easily have said he wasn't in the position to answer but because he'd already told so many lies in the earlier parts of the interview about "gadgets" and plans the nscdc has to change this and that, he couldn't possibly confess that he didn't even know the website. It shows the height of corruption, the fact that he kept blatantly trying to lie about it and it gives insight to how he carries out his job. When in a tight spot, lie and deceive your way out. Its not a problem we should "get used to" its a problem we should try to weed out of our economy even if it means using him as a scape goat to scare a bit of honesty into others like him. If for nothing else, at least that they may stop disgracing the nation."

I agree wholeheartedly with our nameless friend but I wouldn't say that she has disagreed with me, I think she's just added greater scope to the argument. So should Mr Shem be skewered because he doesn't speak well and because he doesn't know what the website of the NSCDC is? No. But, if he is a lying and deceitful charlatan currently employed by the tax payer then he should not only be skewered but deep fried like a kebab. Whichever way you look at it, I feel that people should come to see that there is nothing about it that is funny.




7 comments:

bobby Ezidi said...

When I saw the video, I was appalled @first..nt at the fact that he dint knw d website, or he dint knw it was 'www-world wide web, not ww. & dt every site ended with either a .com/.org/.mobi or in d case of a nigerian parastatal.(.gov.ng) its dt he dint knw hw to act in a situation like that.. Its not expected that one must not always be fully prepared wen coming on tv, buh it happens.. I expected the gentleman to have said something like -"i'll get back to u on that" I believe that would have prevented a rather disgracefull 40+secs.. Then d issue of his 'oga @ the top' dt did it for me.. I see d somewhat inexhaustive feeble attempt of making a joke out of it rather distasteful, buh I believe a message is being passed.. 'Are these the kind of public servants we have?' ..

Afam said...

Yes. But why are you surprised?

A-Zone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A-Zone said...

You hit the nail right on the head here in the sense that, over time, we should really have come to EXPECT this sort of performance from our government officials.
However, should we ACCEPT this sort of behaviour from our government officials?
Whilst it's getting old to laugh at grammatically deficient public servants, I believe that mockery is the finest form of protest.
Blackadder did it, Have I got news for you does it....if we want change, we must do it too.
The only way they'll change is if we make their current ways seem, for a lack of a better word, laughable.

Tolu Ajayi said...

A lengthy and opinionated muse about Nigerian exchange;

Any conversation, debate or battle of wits is like a high placed rock. As one loses ground in converse, so one loses ground on the rock, until there's nowhere left to go. It seems to me that Nigerians are stereotypically incapable of conceding, even if it means plunging from the rock to certain (social) death. The chance to side step to a different 'rock' is always declined for the innate desire to reclaim territory, retain dignity and regain honour. The strength of this desire directly correlates to the amount of power the Nigerian perceives themselves to hold (in government, education, parenthood (particularly fathers), anybody even a measly day older than you)!

As a Nigerian, it sucks to fall off that rock. It was inevitable to see it happen in this clip. But where I agree with A-Zone above, and regretfully disagree with you my dear Afam, is that it is timelessly funny to watch somebody fall off a rock. Especially when that person had ample opportunity not to.
If nobody laughs, and the injury isn't a strong enough deterrent to deter one from future pride induced stupidity, what reason would there be for them not to do it again...?

(Another finely written piece by the way. I followed :-) )

Anonymous said...

I disagree with this post. Its not the fact that his vocabulary was poor that's the problem and its not even so much the fact that he knew nothing about websites, talk more of that of the nscdc. The problem is the lying and attempted deceit. He could easily have said he wasn't in the position to answer but because he'd already told so many lies in the earlier parts of the interview about "gadgets" and plans the nscdc has to change this and that, he couldn't possibly confess that he didn't even know the website. It shows the height of corruption, the fact that he kept blatantly trying to lie about it and it gives insight to how he carries out his job. When in a tight spot, lie and deceive your way out. Its not a problem we should "get used to" its a problem we should try to weed out of our economy even if it means using him as a scape goat to scare a bit of honesty into others like him. If for nothing else, at least that they may stop disgracing the nation.

Afam said...

Thank you. That was really very well said. Thank you for providing a greater deal of scope and insight into the matter than I was able to.

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