Thursday, March 17, 2011

Theatre of the Absurd III

National Anthems are formal songs honouring the spirit of a country. In this regard, the Nigerian National Anthem is no exception. Carefully worded with lyrics meant to elicit strong feelings of patriotism and serve as prayers for continued growth and unity, the Nigerian National Anthem has been taught to the nation since 1978.
It is safe to state that it is practically impossible to pledge allegiance to a country and yet not know the words to her anthem. It is also safe to state that persons who cannot recite a national anthem do not make a habit of following formal political occasions, as National Anthems are often sung to declare such ceremonies open.
It is therefore with much dismay that I receive the news of the confirmation of Mrs. Bristols’ appointment as a Nigerian Ambassador by the Senate - despite the fact that she could not completely recite the national anthem and pledge when asked.
It is inconceivable that at such advanced age and work experience, ‘nervousness’ or ‘exam fever’ could cause Mrs. Bristol to forget the words to the National Anthem, or the name of Jigawa’s capital. It is further incredible that the Senate went on to confirm her appointment even after Jubril Aminu stated that “she demonstrated fair knowledge of the job and what is required of her as an ambassador... BUT was not knowledgeable on specific and general issues concerning the diplomatic concerns of Nigeria.” (Source:; emphasis mine). What are we then saying?
Some points are pressingly obvious from this dismal outing on the floor of the Senate.
First of all, Mrs. Bristol is not necessarily consumed by patriotic fervour – a pre-requisite in my own books for a good representation of the country in other lands. If she cannot recite the anthem, then she probably does not care very much about the land which the anthem honours.
Secondly, Mrs. Bristol neglected to prepare for that interview. In a situation where she had taken time to research interviews granted to previous candidates for Ambassadorial offices, she would have found that she would be asked to recite the anthem and pledge – and probably answer other questions on national policy. Not doing that makes it painfully obvious that she took the whole selection process for granted – no doubt after receiving assurances from certain persons that she would get the position no matter what.
It is not necessary to go any further before I posit my conclusion: if someone cannot recite the anthem – they do not deserve to be an ambassador.

Please follow the links for earlier incarnations of 'Theatre of the Absurd' - Theatre of the Absurd I, Theatre of the Absurd II.

1 comment:

  1. Koye, nice write-up.
    Don't mind these unpatriotic Nigerians, it clearly shows they do not have the country at heart. Imagine a student of OAU not knowing the Great Ife anthem?
    I wonder what she will do in her ambassador office....another calamity waiting to happen.
    May God help us all.