However, Dora Akunyili decided otherwise and misfired when she claimed that Nigerians are a good people and a great nation? Icheoku says, of all the things Nigerians are already known for, it will be a catastrophic paralysis for the government, should it now also become known as being very economical with the truth? Icheoku says, when Dora Akunyili's re-branding slogan categorically states as truth a known falsity, then that peculiar brand of truth itself, needs a re-branding? By knowingly stating as truth, a generally acknowledged falsehood, that Nigerians are a good people, with the intention to deceive the world into thinking in that direction, the slogan is not much different from a typical 419 fraudulent proposition. The present re-branding jamboree embarked by the Nigerian government is merely treating the symptoms of the disease but not the disease itself. Anyone who wants, can shout him/herself hoarse with "Nigerians, being good people" but the test of the pudding is in the eating and Icheoku asks to be shown the freshly discovered evidence? Late Professor Ezejiofor of University of Nigeria School of Law, Enugu once said, "it does not lie in the mouth to say I am, as the onlookers shall attest to your being" and the learned professor of Land Law, now seems to speak directly to Dora Akunyili from the land of the dead? Also in the book of John 5:31, the Lord Jesus Christ said, “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not trustworthy". Since the bane of the Nigerian society is their lack of discipline, Icheoku says, why not start the re-branding by first resurrecting and resuscitating the WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE campaign, to help first clean the Augean stable which is Nigeria, before other things will fall in place? Then and only then will the ever seeing-eyes of the world see that things have really changed for the better in Nigeria and they will become more receptive. A good wine needs no bush! A good product sells itself! If Icheoku may, who is even buying the crap of this re-branding overseas, when nothing has been re-branded with Nigerians, including their leadership that is trying so hard to sell this bad product? Most of the world audience, targeted-recipients of this re-branding gospel of Dora Akunyili, have embassies in Nigeria; and also with the connectivity of the Internet, anybody can verify what is on the grounds in any given country or place. So who needs a misleading slogan to know about Nigeria? Icheoku says, the re-branding of Nigeria campaign is just another exercise in futility which will only succeed in wasting very scarce resources, which resources could have been more prudently applied to other more resourceful, higher dividend-yielding project/s, of much beneficial use for Nigerians. Of all the people that honored the invitation to re-brand, Icheoku specifically responds to Yakubu Gowon's remarks, that 'his strong belief and faith in Nigeria as well as the lyrics of the country’s old national anthem, gingered him to ensure that the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970 did not succeed in dividing the country', and says, Gowon's presentment is a baloney as the dire economic strangulation he levied on Biafra was more atypical of a genocidal maniac's action than a patriot? As far as Icheoku is concerned, Gowon can jump off the bridge to nowhere for his atrocious and venomous war against a people who were only fighting in defense of their existential essence? Also on the comparison of NAFDAC with Nigeria by Dora Akunyili, Icheoku implores this vivacious lady of high intellect not to be carried away by her records at the former agency because the difference between the two is as daylight is to darkness? Ordinarily, Nigerians would have rallied around project re-branding, but they do not trust the government, which was not elected by them in the first place, to meaningfully change their fortune or do any good for and by Nigerians. How can a government whose legitimacy was confered by the Supreme Court and not the people, be telling Nigerians to re-brand? What is its' derivative moral authority when it is the embodiment of all that is wrong with Nigeria and needs to be re-branded first, through resignation? It is equally buffonery to say that Nigeria's being the most populous African country and also the largest democracy in Africa, is a sufficiency of a brand? The gist of the bad press which Nigeria gets has no correlation to its size or population but the attitudinal malefaesces of Nigerians. On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 while delivering her address at the lunching of "re-branding Nigeria" logo/slogan, Professor Dora Akunyili said, “There is no doubt that that this country needs change, a change in character and general orientation, a change in the way we talk about our country and above all a change in the ways in which we willfully destroy this country through our utterances and actions”. To this Icheoku observes, the professor forgot to also add, "a change in the way her government came to power"?
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
RE-BRANDING NIGERIA, HIDEOUS SLOGAN ABORTS IDEA?
The mother of all untruths, "NIGERIA, GOOD PEOPLE! A GREAT NATION!" has been told and a doubtful world is contemplating whether to add "liar" or "a lying government" to what they already know about Nigeria? By putting forward this contraptious "slogan of death" as her re-branding Nigeria slogan, Professor Dora Akunyili, a woman Icheoku admires a lot, has gone into a denial mode regarding the problems with Nigeria? It would appear that she has drank of the same hallucinatory "cool-aid", which is the drink of choice of every Nigerian leadership; and suddenly fantasy is now reality and vice versa. Icheoku asks, if Nigeria is of 'good people and a great nation', why then do we need re-branding? What is the need to re-brand, a brand that is "good and "great"? If it ain't broke, don't fix it is a popular aphorism of the wise, so why fix an "unbroken" Nigeria? Icheoku says, this is one heck of a slogan that is very difficult to rationalize, in view of what is known about Nigeria? The slogan is as thoughtless as the the program itself which it also contradicts. Luckily, both are now presumed dead on arrival, judging from the lukewarm attitude shown by Nigerians during their launching. From the president, to the senate president, to the speaker of the house, to all the 36 governors except Yar'Adua's inlaw, Bauchi's Govenor Isa Yuguda, no "notable" Nigerian invitee honored the invitation in person; they sent mere surrogates because they do not believe in the project but strongly felt that Dora is out of her mind for embarking on such a white-elephant task? Do not ask Icheoku about Gowon, reason towards the end of this article below? The slogan is misleading and misrepresented Nigerians as a good people and Nigeria as a great nation? For Nigeria and Nigerians to be what the slogan says they are and at the same time still requires re-branding is faux-naif; which tectonically challenges the intellect? The deduction is that either the protagonists of re-branding are lying through their teeth or one needs a great suspension of disbelief to accept the given as true? Such a foot-in-the-mouth slogan shows that the government of President Umaru Yar'Adua needs to be the first to be re-branded, through their removal from office, before other Nigerians can step in for their own baptism of re-branding? If Nigeria is a good people and a great nation as the slogan suggests, when did the definition of the two words change their meanings? Dora Akunyili failed woefully here, in a rather strange way, unlike her usual articulate characteristics, to call the devil by its name? She failed to confront the albatross called Nigeria, head-long and instead is begging the question, finally finding some sullen-comfort in a lie of a slogan? Dora's tragic detour on this cataclysmic journey of re-branding has made all she hitherto represents, now suspect? In other words, the re-branding effort is the greatest deceptive advertisement embarked upon by any known entity on her populace, for which the proper response should be their chilling cold-shoulders? These Dora Akunyili's led re-branding band of travellers, are completely delusional as to their targeted objective and as their slogan now proves, the programme has no basis for surviving its still birth? There are usually four stages of over-coming a grief or surmounting a debilitating occurrence in one's life including that of a sick country like Nigeria. First is acceptance or acknowledgment, then introspection as to why, followed by finding the way forward and then, the healing begins. But Dora Akunyili and her band of re-branders suffered their first flaw when they failed to reflectively recognise on their slogan, the reality on the ground in and of Nigeria. This omission is very fatal and thence, began the end of this re-branding boondoggle. For any re-branding to stand a chance of survival, Dora and crew must first, publicly acknowledge in their slogan, that Nigeria is sick; thereafter seek out what is ailing her; followed by exploration of all available options for treatment/medication; before real healing can begin? It is therefore too simplistic and stupefying to proclaim, "Nigeria, a good people; a Great country", when the contrary is the known case and without travelling through this time-tested process. It is a bare-faced lie to assert that Nigerians are a good people because they are not, otherwise the re-branding would be mute? The slogan is not a correct read of the evidence on the ground, which from the leadership to the destitute-beggars on the street suggests a stark differential? A country known for their criminal fraudulent 419 syndicates is not a good people and if in doubt ask British Jack Straw? A country whose statesmen include Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Yakubu Gowon is not a good people and if in doubt ask the millions of Nigerians who were exterminated under these named decrepitude leaders? Talk to Odi people, Zaki Ibiam people, Bola Ige family, Dele Giwa family and the perpetually still provoked Biafrans, whose blood are dripping off these leaders' hands? These victims of various Nigerian paranoid leaderships, multiplies in number when other faceless, also-murdered among the Nigerian society, is computed alongside. A functioning society would have since arrested and tried IBB for the murder of Dele Giwa? A good country would have arrested and tried Olusegun Obasanjo for the genocides of Odi and Zaki-Ibiam communities of Bayelsa and Benue States respectively? That Yakubu Gowon is still breathing the air of freedom in Nigeria, after the atrocious Biafran genocide goes to show where this re-branding really needs to start from - apologise and pay compensation to surviving Biafrans? Too many Biafrans lost their lives, due to the asphyxiating economic-blockade induced starvation, supervised by Gowon to be just grossed over and talk about re-branding? How do you re-brand a country with so many hurting "citizens", when you have not addressed that sordid chapter of Nigerian history that inflicted so much pain and anguish on those "citizens" and make amends accordingly? Icheoku says, until the worst genocide of mankind's recorded history is fully atoned for, re-branding of Nigeria will remain but a chorus for the loonies of the Nigerian leadership as there is in essence, no real united country to be re-branded! A country whose leadership is bankrupt of ideas and would not or refused to yield the stage for fresh young minds, is not a good people otherwise they would rise up and take back their country; Pakistan did it several times? A country where elections are hijacked and the leadership imposed on the people, instead of it being chosen by the people is not a good people otherwise why not let the wishes of the electorates rule supreme? A country which cannot provide her citizenry with power supply is not a good country otherwise how can the less fortunate, non-affluent and the poor among them afford generators? A country wherein the leadership jets out overseas for medical treatment is not a good country when no provisions are made for her less fortunate and decent citizens who cannot even afford visas? A country where kidnappers run amok, taking hostages, shaking people down and sometimes maiming and killing their victims is not a good people otherwise why not put the situation under control? What makes a country that cannot feed her population great? What has greatness got to do with a country where ordinary pencils are still being imported from abroad, several decades since her independence? A country that cannot protect her citizens from being butchered all over the world, and many atimes internally, says it is great? A country that cannot conduct a free election is great, in what sense? Nigeria is only great in the jaundiced eyes of these government town-criers; a government that cannot stop the terrorism of religious zealots pervading the country, maiming and killing her citizens at random and with repeated frequency? According to the accepted definition of greatness, Nigeria does not qualify as a great nation juxtaposed with known great nations of the world; except if the goal-post of the definition has once again been shifted in the minds of these Nigerian government officials? Dora Akunyili's re-branding slogan is too comical and self-indulging that no meaningful person anywhere in the world, who is knowledgeable about Nigeria, will take it as a serious sign that things will change. The slogan is such material for which comedy clubs sell out their seats? Nigeria should address her problem head-on, instead of the present attempt at a make-up? Under the current approach, were the Nigerian government a person, she would be a candidate for mental evaluation or be seen as being under the influence of some controlled substance? But in a dysfunctional country, what would any person expect but a lying government, lying to a doubtful and skeptical world audience about a fantasy? Is Nigeria even really a nation when a part of its population in the South East is gradually being annihilated with hellish vengeance by each successive central government in Abuja? If some critics answer in the affirmative, Icheoku asks, what is the nation made of when qualified bona-fide Nigerians from that specific section of the country are denied their merited positions in the federal bureaucracy and institutions including the police, navy, customs etc just because of where they come from? Please Dora, now tell Icheoku what you are re-branding when there is no basic united Nigeria? It is our thinking that all these people pushing the re-branding of Nigeria agenda, should have their heads examined for some impetuous, appointment-induced euphoric reaction? Icheoku cannot go on and on, enumerating all the ills and infestations afflicting Nigeria, but will stop and say, the only palliative medicine that will heal the ailing Nigeria and Nigerians is the re-introduction of WAI, period! It is only the instilling of discipline into the Nigerian society that will have the efficacy of a NIgeria's rebirth. It is only discipline that will reinvent Nigeria and transform it into a "born-again" country. The current advertorials of "re-branding" will not cut it, it is utopia and will only come to naught. War Against Indiscipline is the answer; it is the only panacea that will heal the ailing Nigeria. The introduction of WAI to the Nigerian society is the only reason why the Islamist Muhammadu Buhari still finds some favor with this portal. The duo of Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon and General Muhammadu Buhari correctly identified the root-cause of Nigeria's problems, indiscipline and rightly put their cross-hair on it. They were headed in the right direction prosecuting this war when the rabble-rouser, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, rolled into the scene with his band of bandits and derailed it? A disciplined mind is an incorruptible mind! A disciplined president or head of government will not take joy in killing the people he was sworn in to defend and protect. A disciplined mind will not appropriate $16 billion dollars for electricity (power) and the country got darkness in return? A disciplined mind will not send a non-existent phony contract papers to an unsuspecting foreigner and ask him to pay an upfront down-payment to facilitate the transaction. A disciplined governor will not privatize and appropriate to himself, his state government's funds. A disciplined police IG will not embezzle money meant to pay salaries of his police men and women and as a consequence thereof, escorted to prison in handcuffs. A disciplined mind will not rig elections and forcibly foist himself on the people. A disciplined mind will not kill his government's sitting attorney general and minister of justice and nothing is heard of it again? A disciplined mind will dutifully go to work and work to earn the day's wage. A disciplined mind will not take bribe and subvert justice as a quid pro quo? A disciplined mind will not unreasonably over-inflate contract sums or flee a construction site as soon as he is mobilized for the job. A disciplined mind will study assiduously without the need to bribe or sleep with professors for better grades. A disciplined mind will use a full measure-scale to sell his/her products and will not try to fleece his/her customers. A disciplined mind will not stuff white powder or chalk into capsules and pass it off as medicine. The list goes on and on ad infinitum, but the short-lived Idiagbon/Buhari War Against Indiscipline program proved that with discipline, Nigeria can be a better place for all. Icheoku therefore asks, why not try the winning formula of WAI instead of reinventing the wheel of re-branding? A more goal-directed Dora Akunyili would have immediately owned up to the reason for the re-branding by adopting a more apposite slogan, such as any of the followings:- 1. "Nigeria, we are not all evil, give us a chance to change"! 2. "Nigeria, we have our problems, we crave your understanding"; 3. "Nigeria, we know things are not perfect, bear with us as we fix them"; 5. "Nigeria, working hard to fix the broken" ; 6. "Nigeria, we admit our shortcomings, but we shall overcome"; 8. "Nigeria, working hard to re-gain your trust"; 9. "Nigeria, we are not the best, but we are trying", 10. "Nigeria, working hard to excel" 11. "Nigeria, we are a hugely populated country, the Judas amongst us shall be punished".
Better still, Dora Akunyili could have gone full ballistic and sarcastically adopt a punch in the nose slogan, such as any of the followings:- 1."Nigeria, yes we are bad, run for cover"! 2."Nigeria, we are the people your mother warned you against, run for your dear life"! 3."Nigeria, we are bad, but we are victims of your corrupting influence"! 4."Nigeria, it takes two to tango, without the giver there will be no taker - remember Halliburton"? 5."Nigeria, yes we are Nigerians, the only people Bernard Madoff was afraid to defraud"! The possibilities are endless and any of the above would have provided a more reflective slogan, of a more sufficiently articulated Nigeria situation, which needs a re-branding?
As Dora Akunyili feels and tries to wipe away the heat of re-branding, Icheoku says, attempting the impossible is not always a virtue? To desire to re-brand a Nigeria that is impervious, not susceptible or amenable to such a solution because of entrenched pre-dispositions will be one herculean task indeed. We empathises with the Nigeria's Information and Communication Minister, on the vertical wall she plans to climb? Dora Akunyili presently occupies an inenviable position, trying so hard to put together the broken humpty-dumpty called Nigeria's image. It is good to dream big but reality is reality as the bogged-down EFCC has shown that it is a near impossible feat to correct the wrongs that is Nigeria? However, Icheoku will be glad if Dora could prove us wrong. By her re-branding, Dora is tugging at a massive carcass of a fully grown blue-whale of a Nigeria in quandry, and with her bare-teeth? Icheoku is not a nay-sayer nor do we in any way wish our Dora a failure, but we are just being realistic that her effort will be in vain as Nigeria's image problem is intrinsically entrenched in its popluation's body gnome? To solve one demands a total make-over of the other and not just a coat of paint? Also a country that is not fully united and mobilized cannot be re-branded!