From trust-me “fresh Air” billboards in 2011 to the obscene #BringBackXXX, how low will Nigeria be dragged? – Tola Adenle

September 10, 2014


From this innocent-looking promise implied in candidate’s 2011 billboard that gave hope even though many might not have bought into it,

Picture from emotanafricana Library, Depo Adenle, 11/2011.

To this Vegas-type – pardon me – kick-in-the-groin and definitely over-the-top accidents waiting to happen,


Photo: The Washington Post

that must have cost millions for EACH of several spots, in a country where people picking the trash cans for food is no myth or put-downs. Visit any dump bins and watch as kids scamper for pickings to take home to their parents OR visit any of those obscene weekend parties and see grown women and children move round emptying leftover foods into their bowls to take home for their families.

What kind of country; what cost, democracy because things were never this bad.

And the inherent danger of the new craze, humongous billboards that straddle major city roads and at major intersections in Nigeria pose great danger to motorists. They are all over various cities now, and I’m not talking of the president’s billboards which I have not seen. This one looks like the most humongous I’ve ever seen in my life. No kidding.

Thank God for the “global village”, I thought when I saw above wire story today at yahoo news; I also checked out the Washington Post that condemns the billboards as making mockery of such a serious issue and describes it as “the most inappropriate hashtag of the year”. Thanks very much, Mr. Ishaan Tharoor but a great understatement, I believe.

No matter how many Nigerian newspapers carry critical views of the inappropriateness of President Jonathan making mockery of the world-wide publicity to rescue almost three hundred kidnapped Nigerian school girls, he would not probably have ordered those disgraceful billboards brought down.
Nigerian Editors NOT known to be on the take, powerful editorial writers and columnists and online journalists might have raved and ranted, it would not have meant a thing, especially with the likes of disgraced Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe who will readily call black – white in the saddle of the president’s p.r. machine, those billboards would have remained everywhere as the deceitful “fresh air” ad did.

We all ranted and raved about the Chibok Girls for whom a special prayer was said every Sunday in many churches but it seemed that as far as the government was concerned prayers were enough while nothing was done on its part to effect the girls’ release.

Civil society groups got together and created #BringBackOurGirls and the world stepped in but it would take quite a while before the president had audience with the parents of the Chibok girls. It became apparent to most Nigerians that the government knows more than citizens were being told. Could it be possible that government does not really care whether the girls were returned?

What if one of the girls is the daughter of a top politician – or, worse, the president?

Do the Edwin Clarks and handlers like Abatis, Okupes and others who have a lot to lose if the president does not get another term ever put themselves in the positions of the parents of those girls, just thinking of the horrible things they are going through from what those who escaped have narrated?

What does it say of the government that President Jonathan leads as commander-in-chief having soldiers who run away from local religious extremists? What if these soldiers have to go to war with external enemies?
The global village is very much alive, and Nigerians, who have seemingly become numb to whatever indignities their leaders bring on them at every level with their lack of leadership, are rescued from disgrace this time but how much longer must this go on? How much must we be forced to fall in line – without a gun being held to our head – to the dictates of those who surround the head of state and dictate what is best for him even if it is not good for most of Nigeria’s population, and definitely bad for the country?

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014. 10:30 p.m. [GMT]





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2 Comments on “From trust-me “fresh Air” billboards in 2011 to the obscene #BringBackXXX, how low will Nigeria be dragged? – Tola Adenle”

  1. Fatai Bakare Says:

    What a pity? This is mockery of the century? Do the President’s PRs have any sense of decency at all? What has President Jonathan done for the nation to warrant a second chance? They should all bury their heads in shame if this country is led by sane people. These are the types that should be ”rawlingsed” away.



    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thanks for this. A real and shameless group that surround the president but how could that humongous sign go up without his approval. Nigeria must be a joke among all civilized nations although a nation Nigeria is NOT.




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