Nigeria is a nation so rich with problems, minor cataclysms and major misfortunes that I believe it a miracle that life goes as smoothly as it does. Some way, some how, with very little support, we get by. All of us working too hard, and getting paid too little. Most of us functionally depressed and too fed up with the system to really truly change it. Our issues are so numerous that they have made it necessary for some us to form well meaning groups that want nothing more than to see the country move forward, because if things continue the way they are, our tremendous population will hobble on till we all fall in a ditch and die.
One of these groups is Enough is Enough Nigeria. They’re a collection of well meaning individuals and organisations who boast of their commitment to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability through active citizenship. Naturally I haven’t any real idea as to what any of that means. When you're Nigerian, you become very accustomed to big words that sound sexy together but mean absolutely nothing. If we were to be judged by the things we said in public, we would all be sainted, but as actions generally speak louder than words we are all terrible.
Before today, I thought very well of Enough is Enough Nigeria, but now, I only blame them for starting a conversation on my twitter timeline that I think dreadfully inconvenient. And what’s more, all of it was completely avoidable.
The group planned to have an event on Thursday the 27th of October 2016 called Rights and Responsibilities; Engagement Unusual: Unconventional uses of new media. They invited Bashir Ahmad, the special adviser to President Buhari, Femi Falodun of ID Africa, and Subomi Plumptre of Alder Consulting. If the reports I hear are to be believed, Olanrewaju Idris Okuneye aka Bobrisky was the last addition to the list, and they added him without first alerting the other speakers about it. After his surprise addition, Bashir Ahmad pulled out quietly, but Subomi Plumptre, a woman that probably has more pomp than circumstance did so as loudly as she could manage. A press release written by Alder Consulting, published first by Alder consulting on their twitter account with 8,847 followers and then retweeted on her account on the same platform with 13,400 followers.
My gripe isn’t with Bashir Ahmad or Subomi Plumptre for choosing not to sit and talk to Bobrisky. It is their right to decide where they go, and who they engage with, and nothing should ever take that away. And my gripe isn’t with the snap chat famous, skin bleaching, skin bleach selling, cross dressing, Bae having Bobrisky for being more spicy than many Nigerians can handle. It is with Enough is Enough Nigeria for their sinfully unthinking event planning. If they had bothered to tell,Subomi or Bashir that they would be sitting with Bobrisky in advance then they would have been free to refuse, away from prying eyes or wagging tongues in the comfort of someone’s inbox and Bobrisky’s good name and self esteem would have been wherever it was when they found him.
It does not strike me as terribly polite to have a panel without telling the people on the panel who they are panel beating with. If they had done this Subomi and Alder Consulting wouldn’t be bashed for being conservative, and Bobrisky wouldn’t be bashed for being liberal. If they really aim to commit to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability through active citizenship, then they must make like charity and begin at home. At this very minute, they can only watch as the chips fall where they will, and no one is the better for it.
If Enough is Enough Nigeria did tell the panelists about it before they published the flier then they should please say something. If they did, then, the blame doesn't lie with them, it lies with the other panelists for not keeping what was a private matter, private.