Dambazzau and DSS Officer

Here’s hoping that Dambazau will ditch his ‘bigmanism’, make necessary adjustments, sit up and get the job done, unlike his predecessors who made a mess of their office.

Let me state for the record, that ‘bigmanism’ is one of Nigeria’s biggest problems. Everyone wants her neighbour to know she has ‘arrived’. Everyone wants to buy the biggest house, the slickest cars, the choicest private jet. The poor are not left out. It’s not uncommon to disturb ones neighbours with loud music or a ‘I-better-pass-my-neighbour’ generator. Even our prayer points in church seem to support this unfortunate mentality.

While there is nothing wrong in enjoying hard earned money as long as it rightfully earned, it becomes a problem when one seeks to flaunt one’s wealth or power, wrongly, especially at public functions.

A case in point: the Nigerian Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Dambazau was caught on camera receiving a professional shoe shining service from one of the Department of State Service agents attached to him. This happened at a public function, right in the midst of dignitaries who seemed not to mind or care.

The questions to ponder on include: when did the duty involved in protecting a VIP begin to include shoe shining? If the minister could condescend to turn the SSS agent into his personal shoe shiner in public, what then happens in private? How are we sure the security agents attached to the minister are actually in charge of their security and have not being simply reduced to running errands?

Barack Obama, the president of the most powerful country in the world, carries his own umbrella in the rain. I seriously doubt if an average Nigerian councillor does the same. We need to change our thinking in this nation and stop abusing power at every opportunity.

Another case in point: Dambazau was one of the ministers who resumed late at their ministries for official appointments with the president.

The interesting thing is that, Abba Moro, the predecessor to Dambazau, was embroiled in a messy N520 million National Immigration Recruitment scam that left over 20 applicants dead and over 100 injured.

Sunday Afolabi (now late), who was appointed minister for Internal Affairs in 1999 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, stood trial in December 2003 along with his successor as Internal Affairs minister, Mohammed Shata, former Labour Minister Hussain Akwanga and others on charges that they had sought bribes worth some $2m from the French firm, Sagem in connection with a $214m contract to produce identity cards.

Here’s hoping that Dambazau will ditch his ‘bigmanism’, make necessary adjustments, sit up and get the job done, unlike his predecessors who made a mess of their office.

Olugbenga Ogunbowale is an ICT trainer and brand strategist. He blogs at www.gbengaogun.com and is a fellow of DESPLAY Africa.