Our Cars

Have you ever asked yourself what good government is all about?

According to Thomas Jefferson, “The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the only legitimate object of good government.” Good government does not in any way imply that the government of a country should throw money in the streets in a bid make the citizens happy.

In my country, the citizens are not happy, our cars are roadworthy but unfortunately, our roads are not car worthy and the government is doing absolutely nothing about it. To mention but a few, Enugu – Onitsha Expressway, Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway, Nsukka – Makurdi Expressway. The above-mentioned roads are not car worthy and the unworthiness of the road is alarming.

Talk about the roads in the rural parts of the country! These ones are a no go area as the people in the rural area are living in darkness. It’s like the government doesn’t know that people exist in rural areas. They forget that the rural roads are directly related to their sources of livelihood.

The primary function of the government is to see to the need of its people and they have failed as most of the roads are death traps.

Why have the government failed to make the people under their car happy?

#freenairamarley – Why Cyber Crime trends in Nigeria

Nigeria loses 127 billion Naira to cybercrime yearly, which is 0.8 per cent of the country’s GDP. Cybercrime has become a bane in the economy and society at large. There are a host of cybercrimes being perpetrated by Nigerians but the most popular is the 419/Internet fraud which is commonly known as Yahoo Yahoo in our Nigerian parlance. It has been on the increase lately.

Some youth have without denial taken it as their full-time job and have crafted reasons to make it justifiable. How sad! Can there ever be any justifiable reason for indulging in Yahoo Yahoo? Recently, this was a trending topic on social media and to my surprise, a number of young people gave reasons why it is justifiable; from lack of employment to poverty, bad economy, peer pressure and as a means of survival. These attempts to justify crime shows that it is no longer a big deal and as a people, we have accepted it as part of the very fabric of our society.

The reason people indulge in Yahoo Yahoo;

Greed! Jonathan Gash said Fraud is the daughter of greed. Young people trying to outdo each other, amassing luxuries and liabilities all in the name of showing off and keeping up with appearances. Thus, the get rich quick syndrome has eaten deep into the minds of most youth that they find legitimate ways of making money uninteresting. They have refused to go through the growth process and want to arrive even before they start leaping. Despite the efforts of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to curb this menace, it keeps growing and we have the anonymity nature of the internet to thank.

These actions, to whose detriment?

Every Nigerian! Around the world, Nigerians are seen as suspects, investors don’t feel safe with us, to mention a few. Moreover, these negative effects have caused colossal reputational damage to Nigeria as a country. Sincere citizens will have to work twice as hard to prove that they are different. Currently, Nigeria at the moment ranks 144 out of 180 on Transparency International corruption perception index. How long are we going to continue to destroy a nation that is standing on one leg?

At the moment, Naira Marley, a Nigerian artist is being prosecuted by the EFCC for internet fraud after he openly showed support for yahoo yahoo. He asked Nigerians to pray for them rather than condemn them. And to think that some youth are out on the streets with placards protesting for his release with the Free Naira Marley hashtag is disheartening. If he is found guilty by the law, he should face the music. Making a case for fraud only shows that some Nigerians have a problem. We complain about politicians, kidnapping, armed robbery and we want to overlook that of yahoo yahoo? All crimes must be punished.

Frederick William Robertson said, there are three things in the world that deserve no mercy; hypocrisy, fraud and tyranny. A changed mindset and attitude are all we need. No circumstance is an excuse for Crime. #SayNoToCrime!!

SUICIDE – Why I have chosen…

I have been in situations where it seems the weight of the whole world is on my shoulders. At times my head feels heavy as if laden with the weight of two hundred storey building. As if the air I breathe in is as toxic as corrosive acid. I remember an incident involving acid, fire and a table. I feel those flames burning my heart every time and I feel my lungs wriggle in pains while the air gushing forth is as hot as molten magma erupting from the earth’s crust. I feel life ebbing out of me each time I step out to face each day. I feel the walls of the world collapsing and engulfing me in its ruins. Oh, how I wish I would be swallowed up never to return. I pass through the gravesides and I feel; oh those who lie within are far better than me, I wish to be like them. How else would that happen if not suicide? The sniper (insecticide brand that has suddenly become notorious for facilitating many suicides) in the room now has such a pleasant scent and I can imagine it tastes like honey. Oh, what a sweet taste to depart with. The ceiling fan and the rope from my clothes hanger now seem like a good combination and me dangling underneath both would make a beautiful sight. It would be just fun and I may feel like I am swinging to join those gone before me.

But then I stop just for a brief moment…

What would the great beyond look like? Will there be light? Will there be warmth? Will there be laughter and mingling? I cry that I am unloved here; will there be anyone to love me there? I lament for not being appreciated here; will anyone appreciate me there? I cry when I fail my grades here; will there even be an institution there for me to attend? I cry that I am broke here; are there riches awaiting me there? I cry for a lack of opportunities here; is there any opportunity waiting for me there? I cry that my parents and everyone else do not understand me here; will I even have any parents there or anyone else for that matter, it may be total isolation. What if death is just a total state of darkness with no air, no light, and no essence?

On second thought, what if there is life after now, beautiful, sweet and lovable, I will definitely love to live there. But will I be welcomed if I arrived without invitation or notice? Whose beautiful house would I stay when I haven’t lived long enough to build one. What if I am treated with scorn as a leprous one because I had wished myself death? What if they treated me worse than I already feel now, then where would I run to, certainly I cannot return back to this world. How come no one has ever returned to tell us the tales of what goes on over there. Many have toiled the path I am contemplating but no news has ever reached me from there. I have heard tales of old men who want to remain in this world afraid to walk that path. They may have good reasons for wanting to remain here despite their old age.

I think I know what to do now. I must speak with these older ones, in fact, anyone who cares to listen to me. Then I must find the essence of my being in this world. I must look at the poor beggars on the street who have nothing, yet struggle to live each day and find meaning in life. To look at the man who lost his job with a large family and responsibility to take care of, yet goes out each day to find a means of survival.  In the end, I must learn to survive by myself. I must see the constantly divorced couples who find love often to remarry and know that love is at my fingertip, I only have to reach out. I must know that life is cruel and has killed me a thousand times from which I resurrected but I am not as cruel to kill life; my life; because it is just one and can never resurrect once it’s dead. Suicide is never the option.

Reputation, So what? (Part 1)

Frustrated and jobless, I came up with an idea to checkmate organizations in Nigeria by calling them out for their products or services, if its good we praise and if it’s bad we lash just to give organizations a sense of accountability. So there I was, excited about this new idea and decided to share with a friend and his response gave me chills. He said, “ this is Nigeria and it will not work, most organizations don’t care about their customers because in Nigeria you can get away with almost anything. The people won’t make a noise about it and will forget about it almost immediately”. The bitter truth it was. Countless times as a people we have and still experience the nonchalant attitude of organizations towards ‘us’ like we don’t play an important role.  Organizations need to see the importance of paying attention to what kind of picture the people outside perceive which in all is their reputation.

 

Going by Topalian’s definition[1], reputation refers to “the expectations, attitudes and feelings that consumers have about the nature and underlying reality of the company as represented by its corporate identity.” In Nigeria, most organizations have failed to see the importance of reputation and its management. Maybe because of the unpopular opinion that “Nigerians memories are short termed and they will always come back to what did them wrong”. This might be true in so many ways but should not stop organizations from doing the right things. Big brands have emerged and some have also fallen. It takes years to build a reputation and only a second to have all you have worked for crumble. Reputation does not occur by chance, it relates to the leadership, management and organizational operations such as quality of products and services, relationships with stakeholders, as well as communication activities and feedback mechanisms. What reputation management does is to help identify organizations’ key indicator and how these can foster the growth of the organization. Organizations need to put up a changed attitude and understand that reputation is EVERYTHING. An example of how bad reputation management led to the downfall of an organization; ‘United Airlines took a huge reputational hit after footage emerged of a passenger being dragged off a plane after refusing to give up his seat on an overbooked flight. The airline’s stock price fell after the incident, and CEO Oscar Munoz was forced to issue not one but two apologies to the public. However, that was only after Munoz initially claimed the passenger was “disruptive and belligerent”’. I’m sure a number of persons can relate to this and have had awful experiences with organizations in Nigeria but only a few have been bold enough to raise dust about it. We have airlines, financial institutions and a host of others who treat customers in such ways but little or nothing is done to checkmate them.

 

Allow me to digress to job seekers because not only organizations that have a reputation which should be managed. As individuals, we have reputations which should be managed.  We have to be mindful of our interactions, attitude and behaviour. Using social media, the world being a global village all thanks to the internet, we can now brand ourselves and interact with people from around the world, have online presence. The internet never forgets and nothing actually get deleted from the internet. People have been rejected by organizations and some have been fired also because of what was posted on their social media account. Just recently a BBC radio broadcaster, was fired after posting a picture of a baby chimpanzee when tweeting about the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Harrison. Also, embassies like UK, US and Australia now require applicant’s social media accounts for background checks before applicant are granted visas. Before you post that tweet, or message as the case may be either on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, ask yourself if you are proud of it and if whatever organization you dream of joining will be proud to call you their representative. Online reputation matters for individuals and organizations. The internet never forgets! So next time you want to make a post ask yourself/organization this question; is this who I/we want to be seen as?

 

 

 

[1] TOPALIAN, A. (1984), Corporate Identity: Beyond The Visual Overstatements, International Journal Of Advertising, Vol. 25, Pp. 61-4.