Sunday, 17 October 2010

Nigeria: Our way about things

Reviewing old events

I found myself in a phone call yesterday evening that developed into a post-mortem of an event I attended the weekend before.

One had castigated the arrangements and organisation of the event but this was now a time to offer excuses for failings in the hope that the focus would be taken off those that were clearly responsible for the atrocious circumstances we found ourselves in.

Time and again, we find ourselves short-changed by our leadership, the people selected to represent us and the others they choose to surround themselves with.

Business as usual

Patronage, nepotism and familiarity offers a sense of comfort in lieu of efficiency and competence, the result of which the parties end up in a situation where they cannot challenge each other to do better and achieve any level of excellence.

Good money can be paid to get professionals to do a job but the scent of money amongst a cabal of sycophants in the sight of power leaves charlatans pretending to ability and after the debacle they are never in fear of being made accountable having pocketed a tidy sum for doing the barest minimum.

When mothers speak

But like every educated middle-class Nigerian mother might have once said to their kids, their approval of other company usually ranges from – “Too good for my liking.” to “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”

In both cases, those statements were never ones of approval but they rarely get to the point where they proscribe the relationships but the point is clearly made.

It is with regret also that our official representative having excelled academically still has the village and marketplace atmosphere re-enacted with stomach-churning nostalgia in the northern European climes of The Netherlands.

Maintaining the poor impressions

There is no clamber to improve rather the selfsame narrative is reaffirmed leaving many disappointed but then in the mood of a party the subjective jollity might just distract from objective scrutiny.

Culpability of the dastardly organisation lies with those at the top and to think a religious leader was involved in the arrangements but made a complete hash of the event – you can only begin to imagine the chaos that accompanies the matins and the congregants in fervent supplication.

We deserve better

Did the conversation end with the put-down that should not be repeated? Something along the lines of by translation – A village girl who just happens to have a PhD – good breeding and the penchant for understanding the consequence of wrong delegation and assignment of duties does not come with the accumulation of letters.

When it comes to these people, “of whom little is expected much less is desired.” Nigeria deserves a lot better than this, she surely does.

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