The video above was the second part (continuation) of the interview involving members of Channels Television and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Lagos State Commandant, Mr Obafaiye Shem on the issue of employment scam in the country in direct relation to the NSCDC, posted on YouTube by Channels Television under the YouTube channel name “Channelsweb” on Wednesday, 6th of March, 2013. This interview is what has given rise to the present “My oga at the top” virality. I would advise that the whole interview be watched from beginning to end to get a clearer picture and hear both sides of the story. The links to the other parts of the interview can be found at the end of this post.
The Trend – My Oga at the Top
Many Nigerians today are making fun of the Commandant, many have made money out of the funny clip, making t-shirts, music videos and sound tracks. Many have really had a good laugh, making reference to my “My oga at the top”. It’s all over Facebook, twitter, other social networking sites and all over the Internet. Well, more grease to their elbows.
Findings and Critics from the Interview
I am a Christian, a believer and an ambassador of Christ. I stand for love, judgment and justice, which before the Lord, are better than any form of sacrifice, and without which, every so-called act of holiness is in vain (Proverbs 21:3, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3). I must confess, reading all the jokes and ridicules, it’s funny the way Nigerians have painted it. In fact, just watching that particular clip that carries the Commandant’s error, it is actually very funny; but before you judge, you must always hear both sides of the story and gather your adequate facts. Phil Collins knew better on that matter when he sang “Both Sides of the Story”. Listening to the soundtracks, videos, so-called remixes, it just shows the kind of people we really are, yet we claim to know God. I am pretty sure over 90% of the critics didn’t even see the whole interview to start with.
A lot of people have so much insulted this man; somebody even called him a ‘dumbass’ another called him an ‘idiot’, it is nothing to write home about at all. First things first, this is the NSCDC we are talking about here, I mean, nobody even gives a damn about them. Many people don’t even know the full translation of that acronym, they are just known as the people in blue. Many people don’t even know what their actual duties are, all we know is that they just perambulate around like figure heads and rubber stamps. I have come to realize that if one watched the whole interview, it wouldn’t be as funny as it seems, but the cat is already out of the bag, and now, it is really funny.
I watched the whole interview and read the account of Channels Television, and these were my findings:
1. Professional Incompetence on the Part of Channels Television as Against the Commandant
A whole Channels Television made a huge grammatical error in the writing of NSCDC. According to YouTube, they wrote “The Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp”. The ‘Corp’ there was wrong, it is ‘Corps’. There is no such word as ‘Corp’. The only valid word which is rightly indicated on the NSCDC website is ‘Corps’ which according to Encarta Dictionaries, means, a military specialized military force or tactical unit. How could a whole Channels Television make such grammatical blunder? Yet they did make a short clip, being a critic of the Commandant, Mr Shem, emphasizing on his own professional incompetence. In each part of the interview posted on YouTube, they repeatedly made the same blunder, proving their professional incompetence in that regard. Even in the specific clip criticizing the Commandant, they made the same blunder. For a News Broadcasting Station, they are to be vast in the use of grammar. That grammatical blunder was and still is as big as what they think was professional incompetence on the part of the Commandant, who could not completely spell out his organization’s website, yet he tried. He said www.nscdc., while the actual website was www.nscdc.gov.ng.
Let me tell you, in the professional world, that blunder alone exceeds that of the Commandant, because he was only lacking in the Information Technology (IT) aspects of the organization, a usual trend among the elder citizens occupying top positions in Nigeria and students also; but Channels Television claims to be the leading 24-hour news broadcaster in Nigeria. Go and confirm the date of the post as I rightly indicated above, from that date till the time of this publication, that grammatical blunder and fatal error has come to stay.
I consider the fact that the female reporter sneezed on two good occasions in the first part of the interview, the first at 04:44 and the second at 05:17, within the space of 1 minute, as offensive, unhygienic and unprofessional. Not only were they repulsive (especially the first one), they were also disruptive to the Commandant and also the interview at that time; and were unprofessional.
The lady asked him how he was able to get the two people he claimed were arrested for Internet employment fraud in Lagos under his command, and he adequately answered and said that the machinery of arrest is not a matter for public discussion. The first male reporter then said “Sorry, we’re not asking for the methodology, you can talk about how you got your information briefly; you don’t have to give details of it” The Commandant answered yet professionally.
You can see that the reporters were trying to cover their tracks. They were asking unprofessional and uninformed questions. They had already asked a confidential question which was adequately replied; to cover their tracks, the gentleman then said “we’re not asking for the methodology, you can talk about how you got your information briefly; you don’t have to give details of it”. That was gross incompetence on the part of the reporters. What was that supposed to mean? He has already told you that the machinery of arrest is not a matter for public discussion.
How can you be asking the Commandant how he knows that members of staff of the NSCDC were not involved in such? When there was no contrary evidence or proof implicating any of them, how was he meant to know that? Even with the N150,000 claim, there is still nothing implicating any member of the NSCDC without direct proof and complaint implicating the said corrupt staff. He even answered appropriately saying he has faith in his leader. The same leader he enthusiastically referred to as “My oga at the top” showing respect for him. That was another professionally incompetent question.
Towards the end of the interview, when he was asked about the procedure for filing complaints to the NSCDC regarding fraud or a member of NSCDC, he adequately answered and said he had not received any official complaint, and told them to write. He even stressed that he had just treated a letter the day before the interview. The reporters kept asking unorthodox questions and finally, to prove how unprofessional they were, they started making fun of the Commandant. This was the first male reporter’s question to the Commandant: “You won’t wait for your oga in Abuja before you do anything?” You be the judge. That was total disrespect for the Commandant and the NSCDC as a whole, and showed a lack of professional competence on the part of the reporters. You can even see the look on their faces as they smiled satirically.
Other Considerations relating to the Commandant
i. He stressed on having the fattest and the fastest intelligence gathering system in the country, based on their number, not IT infrastructure. He made that claim based on the fact that they were everywhere, even to the smallest hamlets in the country, which was true. It’s just like Nigeria once having the largest foot soldiers in the world. For goodness sake, this is NSCDC we are talking about here, many people don’t even know the full translation of that acronym, they are just known as the people in blue. Many people don’t even know what their actual duties are, all we know is that they just perambulate around like figure heads and rubber stamps. Let’s be honest here.
ii. When asked about the authentic site of the NSCDC and the normal process of recruitment, he justifiably answered and said that the advertisements will go on the dailies which would tell you the website to go into. According to him, that was the normal process, which was not far from true at all. That was actually the exact normal process.
It is clear from his response that he is not too inclined with the internet processes. Of course, there will be a Human Resources (HR) department or Outsourcing Unit that handles the recruitment processes. He still answered appropriately, because that could also be said to be the normal process. For goodness sake, this man has done nothing wrong here; all he was saying here, in constructive English was that it was not his department or direct duty to handle such recruitment processes, there was a department for that. He kept emphasizing that there was a committee at the top, what did he do wrong there?
iii. He stressed on the publication on the dailies, and that was the right answer. When asked about what would be done to the fraudulent sites, he said “They will be automatically closed”. It only shows he wasn’t IT inclined in that respect to know that, that was a dream, they definitely couldn’t be automatically closed, what made them fraudulent in the first place? When the reporter said when he made a recruitment search, a lot of sites and results came out, what else was he expecting? Was he also new to Google? The Commandant was just not technologically inclined like the over 80% of elder statesmen and some students in Nigeria. That shows that the reporters were also IT incompetent.
2. Professional Incompetence on the Part of the Commandant
The Commandant was then asked what their website was. As far as I am concerned, the reporters were out to nail him. The reporter that asked that question, prior to that time, during the interview, I think he had only spoken about two-three times. He was the one that asked the Commandant the incompetent question of how he knew that members of staff of the NSCDC were not involved in the fraud. He was also the one who asked another incompetent question of how the normal recruitment process the Commandant made reference to was normal. What a question!
Well, I guess I should be criticizing the Commandant here and not Channels TV. The Commandant was professionally incompetent in the area of technological advancements in his field. An area that a man of his position was supposed to be vast in. For goodness sake, he didn’t even know their website (at least he tried). He tried dribbling his way out, but those reporters were already out to get him.
This was the exact conversation
What is the website of the NSCDC?
YES, we believe no, I cannot categorically tell you one now, because the one that we are going to…
Do you have multiple websites?
Wait, wait, the one we are going to make use of, I am not the one that will create it…
See, the question is what is your website?
Wait…the one that we are going to make use of, is going to remain known by my oga at the top. Yes, I can’t announce one now and my oga says it’s another one we suppose to use.
Are you saying you have multiple websites?
We cannot have multiple websites, but the one that my oga…
No no no, it’s not the one for employment. What is your website? The one you use normally your official website. When you want to know about NSCDC, what website do you go to?
If you want to know about the NSCDC as at now, ok, www.nscdc. So, that’s all. www.nscdc that’s it?
Like I earlier said, it is clear that they were out to nail him; even towards the end of the interview, when they were questioning him about the process of filing a complaint, the first male reporter said this “You won’t wait for your oga in Abuja before you do anything?” You can see that they started making fun of him, which was totally unprofessional.
Well, they nailed him big time, but he was only lacking in the aspect of technological advancement and they used that against him till the end. It is clear that he was not conversant with the basic IT processes, not to talk of the Internet. At least he said www.nscdc., even the system is picking that up as an actual website link. He only did not know the end, but he knew that there was a www.nscdc., inside. That was completely unprofessional for a man of his calibre, but he doesn’t even make up to 1% of the over 80% of the IT illiterates in top positions, especially in government parastatals, and also among students.
It is a normal thing, how many staff of different parastatals even private organizations and boldly spell out their organization’s website? Let’s be honest here. Besides, I would keep stressing on the fact that this is NSCDC we are dealing with here, nobody even recognizes them. If he was educated enough, he wouldn’t have attempted to answer the foolish question, and would have taken it personal with them, “how dare you?” Can they ask the Police Commissioner or Inspector General what the police website is? Would they have the liver to ask a top member of the Armed Forces what their website is? Can they ask Governor Fashola what the Lagos State Website is? That was a very unprofessional question for a man of his calibre, it only shows the total disregard that they have for the NSCDC.
I remember a university student who was asked to press the ‘Delete’ button on the keyboard of a laptop. There was a rechargeable lamp just beside the laptop, and so the guy being a total computer illiterate went ahead and was tapping the rechargeable lamp expecting for something to happen. This was a university student, who is probably a graduate now, so please give the Commandant a break.
The conclusion of the whole matter is that it is not enough at all, in fact, it doesn’t even carry any weight at all to be made a matter of national ridicule. According to Channels, the news of the Commandant being suspended and all that, and his wife barging into the TV Station’s office are all rumours.
It is not wrong to laugh, especially when something is really funny. That was very funny, in fact, that is why I put the conversation explicitly there, so we can laugh more; but it is not enough, it is very uncalled for, to make it a matter of national ridicule. Both parties displayed professional incompetence on their respective parts, let’s understand that.
Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Matthew 7: 12 says,
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Cheers and God bless you infinitely.
© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga.