This whole re-branding issue is starting to piss me off. Excuse me for starting this article in such a rude manner but really! Really!! Who are we trying to fool? What are we re-branding? Is Nigeria’s problem simply an image problem? Are we being falsely accused of anything? Is our reputation not well earned? Will all our problems go away just by posting a few adverts on CNN, making banners and posters and organizing concerts? I wonder. My beef here is not with the minister of information, Mrs. Dora Akunyili, the former head of NAFDAC, she is someone who has proved herself and is a great role model to us younger Nigerians, in fact, if it was being suggested by someone of questionable character i guess i would have understood and I would take it for what it is, an obvious white elephant project with the sole aim of “chopping money” but this is far more baffling because she is someone that we could never accuse of doing such a thing. This means that her project is a sincere attempt by someone who loves this country to contribute positively to the state of the nation. Something that we aspire to do someday. For that I have no problem with her and I wish her success.
But on a more realistic note what the hell are you talking about? Re-branding Nigeria? You’ve got to be joking!!! Excuse me but with my little knowledge and experience of this vague term called “branding” there has to be a difference, an improvement in the product before you roll out the bandwagon and start dancing on the street and screaming re-branding. What are we re-branding? A country where everyone seems to be trying to cheat the next person? Where the police do their job for an entirely different reason, trying to find something, anything wrong so that they can blackmail you into “settling them” where human right violations occur with so much frequency that a life doesn’t seem to matter, where words like marginalization, corruption, kidnapping, 419, election rigging, examination malpractice, power cuts, armed robbery and police brutality have become part of our daily vocabulary.
I can almost hear some say i should stop complaining and get used to it, and that is what gets me most. Getting used to this rubbish is what has put us in such a situation. We as Nigerians seem able to tolerate any and everything. You are at home doing something important with electricity or maybe just watching TV and poof! NEPA or PHCN or whatever they call themselves take the light and what do you do? What do you say? Nothing. Why? It is because you are used to it. You are walking on the street and some plain clothed policemen come up to you and ask for identification. You don’t have your id card so they proceed to lace you with hot slaps and bundle you into a bus, take you to the station and collect a ransom for your release. And what do you do? Nothing. Why? Because you are used to it. You wake up at 4am everyday to spend 3 or 4 hours in traffic before you get to your place of work but its not that bad because you are used to it. Why can’t we change things instead of getting used to it?