Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nigeria: Rebuild Not Rebrand

Deoluakinyemi wrote that he wanted me to 'pirate' what he wrote, so I did.

What I want to write today is an article I will love you to pirate. I’ll like you to dub it, and put it on your blog post. Modify it if you like, give me credit if you want, or give me none at all. They say we’ll achieve a lot more if we don’t care who gets the credit.

I have refrained deliberately for a long time to make any comments about our National Re-branding exercise. I hope I will be able to say what boils in my throat and wrists tonight, without making too much reference to it. For all it’s worth though,... the fundamental error I can see is that Nigerians have not been allowed to own it, and hence rather than having people championing it, and helping others buy in, what we have is criticism and condemnation by the same people ....

Having said that however, I have a proposition of an exercise that we can own as Nigerians. It’s a simple idea and it came as a fallout of a discussion that ensued in my office yesterday. It’s an answer of what we can do to focus our leaders on the problems that we have ... and to assist them in giving it the attention it deserves. We no longer need any assistance from any source to know that our most crucial problem in Nigeria is Leadership! If we are all on the same page in this realization, then our efforts towards a better Nigeria must be channeled to support, focus and direct our leaders.

I remember shortly before the elections last year I wrote an article I titled, “Power is all we need!” I pleaded with our would be leaders not to promise us roads or education, but to promise us just one thing - Power! That if in any leaders 4yrs we can celebrate 1yr of uninterrupted power supply, then we should immortalize that president. Haven been to Egypt now to watch tombs, I say we must do the same, but before they die however.

First for the nation, then the states, then our local governments. Once we have a new president for example, we should as a nation analyze our most significant problem that we want solved in his or her tenure. After we have agreed on this problem, we should then go ahead and give that problem the same name with our president. We should substitute the name of our leader with this problem in our conversations, in our articles in newspapers, in our slang’s, in our music and drama. We should do this per state and per local government as well.

Let’s say for example that we have discovered that our biggest problem in Nigeria is Electricity, and for example that our president’s name for the tenure was Yaradua. Then every time power goes, every time we are in darkness, every time we have any issues, our conversations should be like this.

When it is bad as it is - “Chei, Yaradua has gone again”,
“Ah, we have not had Yaradua for the last 2 days”,
“This Yaradua is so unstable”,
“Ah what did we do today oh, we have half Yaradua today”,
” What’s wrong with you, you are complaining that you haven’t seen Yaradua for 3 days, what about people that haven’t seen Yaradua for one year! or ever!”,
“I wasn’t able to do it overnight, because Yaradua kept fainting”,
“We have been using Yaradua as backup to our Generator”,
“Iron your shirts, Yaradua may soon go oh”, ”

When this start becoming good - ” Up Yaradua!”,
“Yaradua is really trying oh, we are not where we want to be, but we are far from where we were”,
“Yaradua has been consistent for the past 24hrs”,
“Ah, we need to celebrate 1yr of uninterrupted Yaradua”,
“Yaradua is so much better these days”,
“With Yaradua so constant, Nigeria is really becoming the most desirable nation to live in on earth”.
“Yaradua is constant in all the states of Nigeria and the structures are in place to get Yaradua into all the local governments.”

Can you form your own new ones?

If we keep speaking this way, our leaders will know that we mean business with our desire for solutions. The next president will also know that one critical unsolved problem will bear his name until it’s solved. I recommend, that whichever president fixes electric power be given the opportunity to forever bear the same name with electricity in Nigeria and be forever immortalized in the lips and minds of Nigerians.

The same for every future identified problem. A similar approach should be taken to the state levels. Whatever problem we align and identify must be instantly changed to the name of the Governor. If the issue in Lagos for example was Transportation and assuming the Governor was Fashola, then by now, people should be saying
“Fashola is getting better in Lagos now”, or
” I entered one wrong fashola and they collected my phone and laptop.” or
“Big Fashola (BRT) is actually making life easy for Lagosians”.

We can identify the states one by one and identify the problems that need to be solved and replaced with their name.

My people say that whatever hurts one, must be primary in one’s conversation -

“Oun to ba duni lo n po loro eni”


Just...Toluwa said...

interesting. Very good post! I guess it starts with one person and then everyone joins. But in a country like Nigeria where most individuals do not care, how do we make it work. And do you change the name of a problem everytime goverment changes.

I hope Nigeria get better someday!

Also, It is not that we do not realize the problems we have, we just have bad leaders like it has been righly said. Getting good leaders is hard as evryone who goes into politics in 9ja goes in there for their own benefit and not for the citizens!

N.I.M.M.O said...

@JustT: Yes. It starts with one. Your response has just given me the idea for another post. Coming up next. Many thanx for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Well said,we can do a lot more than just rant about it I believe...
9ice post.


Great way of looking at the issue.

Hope all is well, NIMMO?

Anonymous said...

Nice, nice however, i have a slight twist to it, rather than "...we should as a nation analyze our most significant problem that we want solved in his or her tenure." we should allow the leader (per time) to be the one to choose which 'problem' they would tackle in their tenure (afterall, they are to 'lead' us) only, each leader should tackle only one problem per time till that problem is solved before moving on to something else.

But then, you just might have a point to think, some of them leaders might be mis-guided on the problem to tackle. Afterall what does Akunyuli think she is doing re-branding Nigeria when she can get the Freedom of Information Bill passed?

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