Nigerian youths and the miscommunication minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu and the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore

By Inaju U Inaju

If there is one thing Nigerian political leaders lack, it is public communication skills.

The diatribe between Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and the Nigerian Minister of Communications is distressing to watch and listen to for a lot of reasons. The Minister’s uncouth language and raucous public discuss is pitiable, to say the least, and it was out-rightly disgusting and condescending.

That Minister would do well as a Dugbe or an Ogbete Market-man.

As a minister and, by that nomenclature, a leader, one would be forgiven for expecting him to be more circumspect on a global medium with his choice of words, no matter what is thrown at him. Using gutter language in front of the camera and on a radio program that is broadcast globally, through social media, is not only unbecoming of a federal minister of any government, but showed lack of tact and proper grooming in the art of strategic public communications.

If that Minister actually speaks for APC, I would posit that APC has thrown the gauntlet to the average Nigerian Youth. He has challenged the Nigerian Youth to do their worst in 2019. The Minister actually posited that with or without the Nigerian Youth, APC will still take Aso Rock.

While Sowore cannot claim to be an average Nigerian Youth or to be the Spokesperson for the Nigerian Youth, the Minister should have known better than to keep arguing with someone who presents himself as “Nigerian Youth.” The first thing the Minister should have done was to dismantle Sowore’s claim and then go ahead to present listeners and watchers, facts about the achievements of his government and not to display his ignorance.

The Minister’s description of Sowore as “inconsequential” and his continued effort to ignorantly define Sowore as an Ife person and limit Sowore contribution to a national discuss failed woefully. Not only because Sowore is not an Ife man, but also because the discussion has nothing to do with anyone’s place of origin. The discussion was about Nigerians and that is all that mattered, not your state or village of origin.

Even Sowore misunderstood the Minister when the Minister referred to Sowore as an Ife person. Initially, Sowore thought the Minister was referring to him as a product of the University of Ife, Sowore corrected him by saying he is a graduate of the University of Lagos.

For a federal Minister to try and win an argument by arrogantly and ignorantly labeling his opponent with the sole aim of whipping up regional sentiment shows that, not only does the Minister have nothing to say, but it is also a clear sign that he is a regional gladiator who mistakenly found himself on a national stage and cannot wean himself off his parochial regional lens.

It seems to me that the inconsequential person in the Minister’s induced diatribe was the Minister because he was trying so hard to become consequential by using gutter language and calling on God to vote APC back to power.

Only political leaders who have nothing consequential to show for their stewardship blackmail their subjects with God’s name and scare tactics. God does not take part in human political elections, not in Nigeria.

Given the way Sowore opened the conversation, It would have been in place for the Minister to use his opening remarks to debunk Sowore’s opening lines by focusing on incontrovertible political, economic and factual achievements rather than invoking God’s name as a way to be reelected in 2019.

The Ministers continued and irresponsible call on God and calling Sowore Day-dreamer rather than focusing on the topic being discussed made him look like a man drowning in quicksand.

The Minister even went ahead to tell Sowore who presented himself as “Nigerian Youth” that his dream has no meaning! In many ways, the Minister is telling the gamut of Nigerian Youth that their dream for a better Nigeria (Sowore position), has no meaning! The minister in one word, told the entire Nigerian Youth that to dream for a better leadership in Nigeria is meaningless.

The Minister telling the “Nigerian Youth” that a man of 47 years is not matured enough to vie for office in 2019 is disturbing at different levels. To add that the presidency is not for people like Sowore left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. It also left me wondering what kind of people is the presidency meant for in Nigeria. Is it the likes of PMB and GEJ or OBJ?

The Minister touting his political positions as his achievements is not only ridiculous but laughable. The young, they said, shall grow, but this minister obviously do not accept that “minions” can ever grow, or if they must grow, then they must go and start from where he, the Minister, points to them, councillor-ship.

Nigeria is in a very bad place, and this become very glaring each time you listen to the people in authority in Nigeria, sadly, this country is blessed with so many good people, but they cannot find ways to help this country. I weep for my country, if that Minister of communication is the best example of the kind of people in power in Nigeria, then may God help us.


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