Archive for November, 2009


November 19, 2009


Many are quick to put the blame about security problems on the state of the Police and Policing in Nigeria. Attitude they say is everything. Our attitude to life and security as a people is nothing to write home about. Our actions and inactions show how much we value human life. When ten people die as a result of an accident or ailment, it makes headlines abroad but may not disturb many minds here. Some had attributed this to our value system as a people; we do attach little or nothing to human life.



In my piece “The irony of befitting burials” I tried to paint the picture of how much value we attach to burial ceremonies but not to the wellbeing of people. The attitude of many is like that of Cain (AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?). When armed robbers visited our apartment not long ago, some of our neighbours were hearing their loud voices but none had the courage to alert the Police. Some were too afraid to alert the Police, while others may have felt less concerned because theirs were not penetrable or accessible to the robbers.



On our roads you will always see this attitude on display. Truck drivers do not seem to want to see any other vehicle on their path. The bus drivers, cab drivers, and private car drivers see motorcycles riders and the tricycle drivers as aliens on the road. The pedestrians are at the mercy of all. Some drivers do not display expertise but drive like they manufactured those vehicles; many would tell you how many years they have been on the wheels before your birth. You will always see pedestrians and drivers, or drivers and riders shouting or hauling all manners of weapons at each other on our roads or at the bus stops.



Many had attributed these to impatience. Our impatience can also be attributed to our attitude to time and life. We do not seem to like early preparations, we prefer to rush and make haste at the very last minute. Our fire brigade attitude is seen in all aspects of our life. Even when Africa had not manufactured a wristwatch or clock we prefer using ‘African Time’. People do not move out early to catch appointments, but try to rush their way down few minutes before the time and become part of the menace on the road. People can afford to programme themselves where there are different and functional transport system, but not here where bad roads, traffic and human factors cannot allow such. We therefore need to be time conscious and leave home early enough. 



Is it the sole responsibility of the Police to secure lives and property in our nation? I do not think so. Borrowing the lines of Mr. Ben OkeziePolice no be spirit”. Most things that happened did happen in the midst of people. But the people that were around the scene of those events would never bother to alert the Police. You might see robbers attacking somebody on the road but it is nobody’s business. Even when those people shout for help, help may not come because no one cares. Many robbery incidents would have been taken care of if the people around dared to alert the police or even raised alarm. Many would not even look in the direction of the incident for fear of being called to testify or give the police necessary information needed for proper investigation.



We may have to complain to God and to the gods about the Police and policing when we are not ready to do our part in the security of lives and property. Gone are the days when people knew their neighbours and kept eyes on their children and property. Nowadays, adults do not bother about children on the roads and their safety because they are not theirs. The spate of kidnapping in the land would not have been if we were our brother’s keeper. Most strange movements would have been noticed and tracked if we were security conscious and cared about the man next door. Even though I advocate community policing and Police living with the people, we can be eyes and ears to the Police.



If we must have GOOD POLICE SERVICE, we must also have GOOD PEOPLE’S CO-OPERATION. For us to have a people friendly Police, we may need to have a Police friendly people. Since attitude is everything we need a change of attitude to the security of lives and property. We must learn to watch our brother’s back and be more willing to give the Police alerts and necessary information to be able to arrest certain situations. May I also suggest that the authorities concerned consider changing from Nigeria Police Force to Nigeria Police Service. The Ministry in-charge of National Orientation should also look in the direction of enlightening the people about being police friendly, being their neighbour’s keeper, and releasing necessary information to the Police to help unravel criminal activities in the land. The Police authorities would also need training and re-training of security agents about their attitude to life, arms and avoidance of extrajudicial killings. People who volunteer to give information about criminal activities should not be made to look like they committed a crime by informing the Police. The Police authorities should make sure their Public Relations Officers do not insult the people’s intelligence by their defense of officers’ misdemeanor. Change?  Yes, we can!  






P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 07029447342


November 3, 2009

Many business owners make their employees to understand the importance of good service delivery. Some even leave inscriptions on the walls to remind them that the clients or customers are the reason they are in business; the customer is the boss, and is always right. Many businesses went under owing to poor service delivery even though many attributed it to the activities of witches and wizards only in operation in this part of the world. I have also learnt that leadership means service delivery. But leadership here does not mean service. A leader here does not need to serve or be accountable. Even people in charge of customer service in different organizations do not really understand why they are there and so treat people (clients) like aliens.


Service in this part of the world is synonymous with arrogance. Some charged with service delivery are sexists. Some look down on you because of how you appear. Some make percipient comments yet their gesticulations or attitude show the contrary. You are left to ponder and wonder if these individuals do understand why their organization left them at the customer service section. Even the ushers in religious organizations and functions show similar traits. They fail to articulate that their actions and inactions can make huge impressions on first time callers. They discharge their duties in manners that depict arrogance and lack of understanding of what they were actually supposed to do. Most of them do not really understand that first impression matters, and may not have a second chance to create or recreate the first impression.


Many believe that those saddled with the responsibility of customer service in the private sector are far better than those in the public sector because of monitoring. Those in the private sector may lose their jobs if there are serious or repeated complains from customers. But in the public sector, many are even tempted to ask you if the job belongs to your father. They treat you anyhow showing you need them but they do not need you. Some times you are left to wonder whether they really applied for the job or were forced to come and work. Some would even ask you how much you think they earn from the job that would make them put so much into it to satisfy you. I dare say that any time you want to be insulted, belittled or even spat on, try going to any government agency for anything either picking a form, submitting a form or paying for any essential services or tax.


Leadership is supposed to be synonymous with service, but over here to lead means being in the prime position for the people to serve you. Public office holders and people in the public service do not understand why they are in office – to render service. Many things may never change until the orientation of service is inculcated into our system as a people. The peacock attitude on display at different levels may never allow real change to take place in our lives. Our problem as a nation or people may be half-solved if we can have people in offices at all levels who understand what service entails and who also can imbibe accountability into their day to day activities. The nefarious monster – corruption troubling our national life would be nipped in the bud if our youths are taught service and accountability. But teaching them may not be easy because they tend to learn easily what they see you do than what you talk about. Who will show the youths service and accountability in the present day Nigeria? Their parents or the politicians?


Have you watched any of our political leaders while they campaign before elections? Did you notice their pseudo humility and concern? Are they the same people who turn deaf ears to the people’s demands? Some times it is very difficult to understand why they change when they assume office but understanding that it was not your votes that put them there makes it easier. The attitude of most public ‘servants’ show that thy are not interested in the job but are there because their parents, uncles or aunties want them there and got the job for them. There is rarely any sign of passion or commitment to service and service delivery.


Have you watched our public office holders address the press or their people? Do you notice the verbal diarrhoea? Most of them talk like they are spending from their personal pockets. Most of them display no diplomacy in speech. Our former president while he was in office showed he had a fair share of verbal diarrhoea and was suffering from the hangover of military brutality. The minister of information who served under him in his bid to impress the Decider-in-chief was very uncultured while addressing issues. Who even gave him the D.G of the Economic summit group after all? The spokes person of our upper legislative house should try show he is there as a servant of the people. I recommend Diastop for his verbal diarrhoea. The image makers should try help the chairman of our electoral body on how to speak like a public servant. It looks like we do not have public servants any more but folks who boss themselves over the people. The rebranding team should look in this direction; rebrand the tongues and speech gesticulations of public office holders. Leadership is supposed to be synonymous with service not arrogance. Genuine public service, service and service alone can put us back on track.



 P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

 08033001782, 07029447342