Sunday 17 January 2016

Nigeria: Don't ignore the Dambazau shoeshiner skit

Surely, this is the past
There was a time one might have mistakenly thought that the time of egotistical megalomania had passed with the exit of the unconscionable kakistocracy that held Nigeria at the throat up until the end of May 2015, but some habits do die hard.
What has come on social media is a video of Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau enthroned at some function and being waited on by possibly an armed orderly, that some suggest is an officer of Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service, who stoops to clean the minister's shoes.
This should never have happened
Now, there is no telling what Abdulrahman Dambazau might have stepped into whilst arriving at this function, but whatever it might have been, he could have easily have found a private place to clean his shoes. Alternatively, since one cannot put it beyond, very important pricks, sorry personalities in Nigeria, he could have travelled with a coterie of assistants that would ensure he had a second pair of everything to hand, just in case there was a need for changes.
One must not rush to judgement on the viewing of the video, yet there is a lot revealing about it that makes one very uncomfortable and rather sad.
A crude alabaster box re-enactment?
As the person approaches and lifts the shodden foot of the ‘honourable’ minister, you notice that apparent indifference of the man, literally paying no regard to the minion who had become the accidental shoeshiner and on cleaning the first shoe, the minister lifts his second foot for a dusting, unperturbed and concentrating on the distant activity that he was invited to attend.
It makes one wonder if this was some crude Nigerian version of the breaking of the alabaster box where an apparently very sinful woman visited Jesus Christ at a function and humbly anointed his feet with expensive perfume wiping his feet with her hair. Whilst some objected to the activity, Jesus fully acknowledged her and blessed her.
There is nothing in this activity to compare the status, the honour, the person or the dignity of Abdulrahman Dambazau to Jesus Christ as to warrant this level of obsequious subservience even if he is a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Let’s speak up against abuse
Besides, it saddens one that for the fear of men and other breakdowns that lead to the abuse of staff by bosses and employers who corral their staff into activities as highly paid bag-handlers to do menial jobs to burnish their atrocious egos, no one objected and the minister in a moment lacking in empathy and character could not be bothered to show the slightest appreciation which is poor form at best and quite reprehensible, if not contemptible.
We have always had this problem in Nigeria, with people who have been given responsibility that have chosen to exert it with irresponsibility, from the kings of old who never spat to the ground but in the mouths of human spittoons through the aggrandisement and excess of the overly flamboyant Finance Minister of the First Republic, Festus Okotie-Eboh [The pictures tell the story] to politicians who have lost the ability to reflect that all positions are ephemeral when called to serve.
One hopes
It is my hope that Abdulrahman Dambazau will reflect on this episode with a sense of humility and in doing so adjust his egotistical propensity towards one of a person who acknowledges the burden of leadership, service and the example he represents for this government before we sink into another morass of unconscionable kakistocrats, and worse for him, that he be remembered for this and nothing else.
We all forget that we live in an age where nothing happens in private anymore, anything that is viewable is recordable, even by stealth and it can be easily made available to view by the whole world in seconds. It is unlikely, regardless of the backstory that people will view this with sympathy and in the end, it is causes unnecessary embarrassment for all, we are better than this.
The great deeds of men are usually written in sand and their misdeeds are mostly engraved on stone.

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