Perfecting Gimmick

Nigerian's as a people have a way with the English Language, despite inventing our own brand called the Pidgin English, devoid of all the usual convention and restrictions of the Queen’s English language. I must confess that we still do quite well speaking the English Language which to us really is foreign.

What never ceases to amaze me over the years growing up, is that with each challenge or situation in Nigeria a word or certain phrases just comes into use and then gets into over use after a while. For example, when Nigerian returned to civilian rule in 1999, a common word in the public domain that was used to describe its democracy was “our nascent democracy” it got so used and then it was abounded. It’s now 2011 and honestly our democracy is still nascent or should break it down and say embryonic/emerging/hopeful, but surprisingly you almost never hear the word NASCENT again. Reason why? It’s been wrongly overused.
 On top of  It !

Currently playing it self out are a number or variety of phrases being used far more often than usual to describe, explain or reassure Nigerian concerning the “Nigeria security challenges”

Just to make it clear before I start, I do also sympathise with security agencies in Nigeria because with far less skills, experiences, resources and even public confidence. They are expected to combat almost the very same types of terror treats/security challenges” that’s nations like the United States or the United Kingdom with all its technological advancement and intelligence in security know how is still grappling with and spending billions of dollars year on year to combat.  

That been said, I also think Nigeria security agents or government PR people should stop the gimmick. The security agencies can and should do a better job at reassuring Nigerians of their safety or at least encouraging and actively campaigning to gain the trust of good willed Nigerians in this all inclusive fight against insecurity in the land.

Below I have tried to look at what I now consider Government PR /Security Agents Cliché...., for someone who is pro Nigeria like myself I usually don’t highlight just the negatives of anything in Nigeria but in this case I to some extent take an exception.

Even words, when over used losses its original effectiveness, Government PR /Security Agents Cliché....,

“The public should go about their legitimate businesses”

To ask the general public go about their legitimate business,  while the ambiguous public elements is also going about causing mayhem (armed robbery, kidnapping, suicide bombing, killings and even ritual murders)  is such a security advice mismatch

“We have taken adequate measures to protect life’s n property”

How adequate is road blocks and collecting of 20 or 50 naira from motorist is a security measure? or in extreme cases how adequate is a truck load of military men going to sack a village or town in search of militants or extremist long after they are gone.  How adequate is a secret services that is so good at its invisibility it’s like we don’t even have one? How adequate is low motivation, poor training and re training in certain security agencies?

And finally my personal favorite

“We are on top of it”

We are on top of it ?, IT being what ? I practically laughed out loud while typing this one, because in my mind’s eye all I could just picture are public office holders actually being on top of something, the nation and state treasury.

I sincerely want to keep believing that one day Nigerians will wake up and get off our back sides and truly demand better. Better from its, security services chiefs, better from its political leaders, traditional and religious leaders etc until they can willingly give us THE very best, and not their best.  At the same time Nigerians must be willing to offer active and upright followership. 


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