I saw something Tuesday, 9th September which really impressed me. I was at Atakobo at Ogbere junction - an outskirt location in Ogun state hosting the nearest quary companies to Lagos State of Nigeria.
I decided to have a look around the place called Ogbere. The place looked like a lost town. Set in the midst of the thick rain forest, the only feeder road is weathered and begging for repairs; just like all the inter-state and intra-state link roads I drove on getting there from Lagos. 'N E P A' men on a ladder reaching for their cables in the forest was the first sign I got of life existing in the place as I approached the location. You'd notice that am playing safe in not using town or village or hamlet in describing Ogbere because I did not know which it is.
After about five minutes cautiously approaching, I entered what looked like the center of the place. Scanty houses lined-up both roadsides. There is a small general hospital, a this and a that. And as I drove along I noticed I was obvious to the inhabitants of the place. I suddenly remembered the tales of the many armed robberies on the only bank in the place. So, my self-preservation instinct made me drive into the police station as I came to it. An officer met me on the grounds and I immediately introduced myself and my reason for being there. And that seemed real smart because he told me of a reported robbery at a nearby village to which his DPO and men had gone see.
There is only one bank there at Oghere. First Bank Nigeria Plc. The bank is usually found where many others would not go. It is clear that it is not out of business sense, but out of caring. None of the other banks currently competing with the bank for prominence are found in commercially unviable places. First Bank usually would have been there, sensitizing the people, creating the banking culture, building their businesses and their lives. Then, when the foundation has been laid, the others unashamedly, with funfare come in to cash-in on the labours of First Bank Nigeria plc. Suddenly, they would have a solution to the peoples' needs which they would bandy about that the bank does not have. And in the heat of the onslaught of their propaganda, the people would forget their first love. The bank which stood by them through rain and sun, the bank who placed them on the map!
This behaviour is un-african. Disloyalty, the forgetting of the good done us is a strange phenomenon in Africa. We used to always remember who our friends are. This un-african practice is even ruling the corporate landscape of Nigeria - the discrediting of pioneers and experience. It is like being unfaithful to the wife of one's youth. Such one will not prosper, the scriptures say. The philosophy now seems to be that the pioneers, the experienced, the old should pack-up and leave. This probably informs the un-ending attempts at branding and re-branding, trying to shake-off stereotyped images.
But you know, one is who one is. Anyone ashamed of his history is not fit to be. There is room enough for all in the world. The new should not run-aground the old because they are eager to make a good showing! I value my aged parents. I would not live to see them in a home for the old. It is not african. It is not human. We should remember that we are first and foremost human beings, not animals.