I took time to watch the 47 minutes’ video of the screening of one of the young ministerial nominees, Dr. Bosun Tijani, when he appeared before the Senate. Little did Tijani know that something beyond his intimidating resume would stand between him and his confirmation on such an all-important day of his life.
No doubt, whoever listened to him when he was reeling out the details of his 46 years sojourn would agree that “this is a brilliant young Nigerian,” an orphan, who gained international prominence beyond limits without any godfather.
Bosun, an Economics graduate of the University of Jos, holds a Master’s degree in Information System and Management from Warwick Business School and a Doctorate degree in Innovation and Economic Development from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.
The ministerial nominee affirmed that he had spent the last 15 years of his life in nation building considering his contribution to the Nigerian digital economy as well as giving hope to the youths in terms of getting them engaged in productive activities.
In about seven minutes, Bosun was done with his beautiful presentation which paved way for questions from the distinguished senators. There was little or no query on the resume during the screening since the senators agreed that the young man had something to offer Nigeria.
I can vividly recall how lecturers used to resonate it in my undergraduates’ days that we were going to be awarded university degree for being found good enough in character and learning. In the case of the Itoko-Abeokuta indigine of Ogun State, his character was the bone of contention.
It is instructive to note that Bosun was not found fighting on the streets and he was not alleged to have been involved in any fraudulent acts. However, there is another life which will stand against every individual in this age and time. That is the social media life and the Internet personality that you present.
As a Communication expert, I have discovered that one major quality of a communicator is listening ability. The amount of words you speak or write, if care is not taken is capable of revealing your weakness than your strength. This is the reason the Bible clearly advised that we should be slow to speak but quick to hear. Hence, the need to be mindful of what we speak or write. Wisdome even behooves that you should avoid passing comments in moment of anger or extreme happiness.
Many people do not believe that our words can hunt us tomorrow because life itself is like a swing which can move in any direction. If the stage you are standing today is so pleasing that you decide to play to the gallery, you will definitely account for your acts when the stage goes in the opposite direction tomorrow.
One of Bosun’s past tweets raised question about his nationality. It is really not funny that the Nigeria you once condemned in your social media message has suddenly become the nation you are ready to serve. It then suddenly became an uphill task for the ministerial nominee to tell the public the nationality he was representing.
Another tweet which came up was on his past disrespect for Nigerian Senators when he called them morons in one of his old tweets. I wonder what would be going on in Bosun’s heart when he was asked if he still holds the believe that Nigerian Senators are morons. Unfortunately, he was right there standing before them and they have the power to decide whether to confirm him or not.
Some people may say that if he was not confirmed by the Senate, he would move on with his life. Yes! But they should ask how such excruciating experience was from the young lady from Kano, Dr. Maryam Shetty whose nomination was withdrawn.
I really commend the Senate who tempered justice with mercy in the case of Bosun. The Senate President refereed to the distinguished senators as fathers and mothers who all have children while he urged them to see the young man as their son.
There are many people, not only the young ones, who have itching fingers to write whatever they like on the social media, forgetting the legal consequences or the future implications it could have on their personalities. Obviously, social media is faceless. It should not give anyone the liberty to disparage, derograte and disrespect the elders, the people in authority or our national institutions.
It is common here in Nigeria to see people throw caution to the wind in their so-called anger and frustration. Regardless of the number of nationalities one may have, Nigeria should remain atop in our heart. The great nations we run to for safety and economic empowerment were built by some past generations who gave it their all so that the future can be better.
In United States of America, their prayerful slogan, irrespective of religion is “God bless America.” In the United Kingdom, it is a tradition to say, “God bless the king.” The king is human. He has his weakness but the citizens and residents over there have been so wired to call God’s blessing on the person sitting on the throne.
Who says our nation cannot be greater than the ones we envy today? Nigeria has prospects. Nigeria has the potentials. Nigeria has the people. We all need to come to terms to build our nation. Our opinions may be different but our criticism can be constructive. Our perceptions may be different but our proffered solution ls can be towards the same direction-nation building.
We can put our differences aside and focus on our nation, our fatherland-Nigeria. Anger from the old or young cannot build. It would rather tear down. Let’s address issues and not abuse national institutions or personalities. Our mature presentation will earn us applause and not shame which we may beg to apologize for later and there may be no chance for such.
I am confident that Dr. Bosun Tijani will forever live with the lessons of his ministerial screening. It is not only social media that does not forget whatever is said or written. Both our verbal and non-verbal cues can become reference points in future.
You may be the next Bosun who would be called to join hands with the ruling class to bring your knowledge to the table in the next few years. And there may be a window of opportunity for you anywhere, in any capacity. In the magnanimity of the Nigerian Senate, the nominee was given room to apologize, take a bow and go. It may be the other way round for you. Let’s tread softly.
Femi Onasanya, a public affairs analyst, wrote via [email protected] ( +2348084818609)
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