Public Memo: Nigeria Must Go Back To School

Bamisebi Richard

With the recent flurry of unsavoury happenings in our dear
country Nigeria and the several disappointing comments and reactions of a
number of our so-called elite politicians, I’m convinced now, more than ever
before, that what this country needs is to go back to school and not its
current fruitless preoccupation with churches and mosques.

From Calabar to Sokoto, from Funmi to
Bilkisu, from the teachers to their students, from the President to the
cleaner, from the pastors/imams to their congregations, we must all go back to

This has become necessary as said recent
events have proven that, in directing the affairs of our nation, whether
through private or public enterprise, the vast majority of our people rely
primarily on raw, natural, common sense (this would have been enough if it was
the 18th century) rather than on refined skills as well as tested and trusted
globally accepted practices that are required to drive economies in the 21st
My worries are even more alarming when you
think of the fact that the first Nigerian president to parade himself as a PhD
holder can redefine the indicators of a rich nation to be the number of private
jets owned by a patently minute bourgeois percentage of the entire population.
Without fear of contradiction I would like to
sympathize first, with the institution that produced this president, secondly
with the students who sat under his tutoring and finally with fellow Nigerians
who have consciously chosen to vote such a mind into the highest office in the
land. Nigeria must indeed go back to school.
Some weeks ago, after the abduction of over
200 secondary school girls in Chibok, north east of Nigeria, the administration
came out stating that the girls had been rescued, a declaration that tuned out
to be false.
Can you beat that? An entire security structure of a sovereign country made a
false pronouncement of that magnitude that led even international media who are
given to verifying info before publicising astray. Nigeria must go back to
As if that was not enough, in less than three
weeks, another bomb went off twice on approximately same spot in the country’s
capital, Abuja. The SSS, DMI, Police, Navy, Air Force, Army, Nigeria Civil
Defence Corps and a host of other security apparatuses put together could not
prevent a recurrence of that dastardly act. They couldn’t and still cannot assure
Nigerians of their safety but have been quick to assure the world of its safety
at the coming World Economic Forum slated for this week in Abuja. Nigeria must
go back to school.
Some months ago Nigeria’s Finance Minister,
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced that the current administration had created
1.6 million jobs in 2013. One cannot but wonder how she arrived at this figure
in a country without reliable statistics or in many instances, none at all, as
one is compelled to believe is the case in this instance.
I represent a constituency of graduates from
a federal university and therefore can be used as a case in study. I can
confidently state that nobody has any information about me as regards
employment, not to talk of graduates of non-federal public institutions across
the country. Again, Nigeria must go back to school.
I would not end this public memo without
attempting to explain what I mean by school because it would become a
self-fulfilling prophecy that a failure to heed would mean every segment,
sector and geo grouping of this country would self-destruct.
Now, when I say school, I do not mean the
acquisition of paper certificates but rather, the refinement of every
individual’s natural talents through imparting them with sound analytical
skills and the capacity for objective judgement in their chosen disciplines.
Majority of our people are certified
illiterates who lack the capacity to correctly analyse personal challenges let
alone the demands of a complex global environment and the circumstances Nigeria
finds itself in today’s world by default. Nigeria must therefore go back to
This is my final submission.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Written by Bamisebi Richard


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