Even for some of us die-hard optimists, it came as a surprise to hear that there is such a thing as re-branding a nation. Anyway, we are optimists and therefore very easy to persuade. So we joined the chorus. But the enthusiasm was not to go unanswered. The moment we tried to sell the concept, someone asked quite seriously, ‘dem de re-brand shit? His question was, can you re-brand shit. We were stalled, long enough for him to explain. ‘No, don’t get me wrong’, explained he, ‘I believe in Nigeria, but we are a people not a product. A product has no mind of its own and no greed. A people have these and as long as they are unwilling to let these go, you can brand them all you want. We need to find what brought us this far and reverse it. If that is the meaning of re-branding, then I am with you’.
We could not argue with this. We needed time to reflect on what he said. There is no doubting that the minister is a patriot. The issue is what the patriotic step should be. There is nothing to be achieved by deriding the minister. Some opposition leaders have said, ‘re-brand our stomachs first’. Again, this falls short of the seriousness of the situation. We are talking about how the rest of the world see us and this is vital, more vital that the bickering of political gladiators. The kind of situation where opposition would not allow an incumbent to achieve anything so that nothing counts to his credit is deplorable, irrespective of who is doing it.
What really needs changing? You and me and our mind sets and our behaviour. How do we begin to change? We need to remove the desperation in Nigeria through good governance and the provision of basic amenities. This is what needs to be rebranded first.
Here is the hard part! If we all agree that poor governance making Nigerians desperate, then there is a sector of this country needing a change—a re-branding if you choose. Can you blame the people. A situation where you have to provide your own water, healthcare, electricity, education and security, you have twice the desperation that is in people whose government carry this responsibility. The price of failure to acquire these things in Nigeria is dire. You will hunt water with your car or wheelbarrow and buy candles forever. Candles that burn out in fifteen minutes; your children would have to attend the nearby public school if the teachers are not on strike and the quack chemist at the end of your street is your specialist doctor.
Please note that we have not mentioned the house rent. It is only in my beloved country that a house owner removes the roof of the house in order to force out a tenant. Whereas this is not justifying crookedness, we are trying to help you see why it is there. There has been a bill in the house to prevent landlords from receiving more than a month’s rent at a time. Are you dreaming? Who are the landlords. Now, where do you think this rebranding needs start.
Left to me, there is nothing wrong with the minister’s concept. At least someone important admits that there is a problem. If we clean the shit, the re-branding is half complete. Let us see legislation that would help our people, put food on the table and ensure that there are schools and that there is electricity. Why are these things so hard to do? When I say ‘give me food’, someone tells me there is a hole in the ozone layer. Re-brand it! All I asked was for food. FOOD, WATER, SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, SECURITY. These are all the re-branding we need now. Do them and the re-branding is complete.


1 Comment

  1. damola..... said,

    Very good write-up….GOD BLESS NIGERIA…….

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