#BIGBROTHERNIGERIA: The Preacher’s Take

I, The Preacher have dedicated myself to social causes of different genres in the last twenty-eight years. I have not only participated in popular social struggles like the June 12, I have also dedicated myself reading of the fascinating examples of the best of social causes the world over, both in the years past and this contemporary age.

I, The Preacher bear on my body, the brand marks of such commitment, which including beatings, cooling off in detention, escaping the bullets of the law enforcement agents, expressing acute material deprivation, having the sentence of death passed on me twice in my lifetime so far.

I have metamorphosed from one phase of consciousness to another. I have made so many mistakes giving expressions to the depth of my social consciousness and I think I have scored some victories also. I breathe agitations even from within myself. My life has been a struggle, even internally, having fought constantly the battle of transforming myself from the seemingly insurmountable impact of abused or truncated childhood to experiencing a measure of peace as a transformed adult.

Today, at the age of 46, few days away from 47, the age at which President Barak Obama become the most powerful man in the world, assuming the leadership of the United States of America, I can say with all humility that I have seen the best and the worst of social struggles, agitations or concerns.

Social agitators, who choose criticism as their method, often die frustrated, yet they are very many in number. The world is yet to properly evaluate the colossally unfruitful nature of works of critics. I, The Preacher had my background in criticism. With criticism comes anger, with anger comes bitterness, and with bitterness comes abusive language. With anger, we deny the other person, whose actions or omissions, we consider anti-social his/her humanity and the respect deserved thereof.

I charge us to check history; there is no example of where criticism and anger has led to any meaningful and enduring social change. True social change begins with recognising the rights of all to be, empathising with the infirmities of those whose deeds or misdeeds we do not agree with, understanding that imperfection will forever remain an unpayable debt for all the living and above all, accepting that we are never better than the others, whose actions or omission we may not agree with today, we are only fortunate to see better than they see by the grace and mercies of God.

Promoting a moral standard or being a symbol of a positive moral order in accordance with universal principles, established by God, who I wholly believe is the maker of all flesh and things will require a lot of maturity and this maturity, I have chosen to define as love. This LOVE is a personality and the Holy Writ says, ‘Love does not fail.’

Love does not write off nor condemn. Love has constant expectation of good for the transformation of all, including the worst of the anti-social fellows, on who the whole world has given up on.

Love does not criticise. Love persuades and provides positive alternative to all, predicated on divine moral codes or order established by the Almighty Maker of the UNIVERSE.  Love organises consensus, without compromising or corrupting the quality of the seed of principles, which germinates into the enduring fruit of social change. It was on this immovable fulcrum that the Ghandis, Kings, Mandelas, Mother Teresas of this world, built all of their social interventions of diverse genres and recorded unforgettable results.

Love employs patience and inspirations as inevitable tools for the change he/she seeks. With love in place, through the instrumentality of patience and inspiration, positive alternatives are provided to social observers and same become a rallying point or a formidable movement for an enduring social change.

Love is power and an unconquerable power for that matter and by her, noble men and woman of old received good reports of successfully unforgettable social intervention. And by love shall noble men and women of this age shall also build a laudable consensus for meaningful social change.

This is the mind set with which I have observed the Big Brother Nigeria reality show and the seemingly disaffection of many, who believe and submit on multiple social media platforms that the show, which has grown rapidly in its acceptance among our youths erode in a most corrosive manner our moral standards as a people.

I think I profoundly share the views expressed in the immediate paragraph above about the reality show. But most importantly, I am most interested in how the show becomes acceptable to our younger generation. It is important to note that whatever is socially acceptable among a people (young or old) is a reflection of their dominant value system. Their dominant value system is built over time, with tacit acceptance or naivety of those who should know better. A dominant value system is often entrenched by a lavish reward system. It is a common saying that what a society rewards, it must automatically possess in torrential abundance, always far beyond its wildest imagination.

Big Brother Nigeria is a fruit of a pop culture, intentionally designed and deployed to achieve certain articulated results, which is often inspired by its commercial value, among many other motivations. Pop culture has been defined as ‘modern popular culture transmitted via the mass media and aimed particularly at younger people.’ It is sad today that we attack Big Brother Nigeria, the FRUIT without paying a carefully designed agenda to tackle the ROOT.

We attack Big Brother Nigeria without addressing the immorality promoted by today’s entertainment world, which is the breeding ground for manifestations likes Big Brother Nigeria.

The question is what positive alternative have we created for the natural energy of today’s young people. Those of us, who claim to have better, superior or even spiritual moral code, are today cut unawares because we did not seize today’s power of the air, known as pop culture when it was near.

I do not envy today’s young people, who are victims, either as participants or viewers of deft pop culture projects like Big Brother Nigeria. Most of our young people are raised as social orphans, lacking moral direction and guidance in the face of an over democratised new media, with the loose temptation of being just a burton away.  Even societal private and public institutions, like families, schools and religious bodies, who are supposed to empower our young people with positive value system often promote the lead protagonists of today’s pop culture as role models for them.

Or what do you think we are doing when we play as music, at children and young people’s parties and programs, adult contents, with lewd, sexual and violent contents, expressed covertly or overtly, but clear enough for feed the curiosity of our young people? What they hear regularly, particularly when authority figures in their lives become the sources and ‘validators’ must as a matter of necessity become their insatiable fantasies and lead them to seek by all means, social and anti-social to give expressions to same, feeling helplessly helpless and reeling under the dire consequences like drug addiction, sexual immorality, cultism, bullying and so many other vices too numerous to mention here.

I have nothing against today’s young people and they must not be criticised by us for their seemingly insatiable addiction to immorality and its entire gamut of wild expressions. To criticise them will be to fail in our immediate responsibility as primary and secondary caregivers to repent before God and apologise to our young people for failing to provide moral guidance, when it was most necessary.

Sadly, the acceptance of pop culture projects like Big Brother Nigeria cuts across religious lines. It is important to note that those who are opposed to Big Brother Nigeria today are best referred to as voices from the fringe. Even many, who may not accept the values of the show, may not want to rock the boat by making their views known. They have chosen silence as golden in this time of moral crisis. For me silence is never an alternative. It is ever inferior to an informed response to a moral crisis, which is the duty of every man and woman of conscience.

Therefore, it is time to work out a short and long term commitment to build another pop culture, which must provide positive and attractive alternatives for our yawning and impressionable young people. The proof of true change is deliberate efforts aimed at providing positive and attractive alternative to the energy of our today’s young people.

At our own end, since 1997, we have embarked on journey of orientation and reorientation of our precious young people through our I’M D-SSMARTTEESSTT™ Academy. The academy is a value revolution effort, aimed at helping our young people discover who they are and defend same by defending their dignity of human person from all internal and external attacks. In the last two decades, we have trained thousands of young people and their highly esteemed caregivers on local and international platforms.

We intend to do more this year and the years ahead. We are primarily motivated by our core ideology that that CHANGE IS AN EVER-PRESENT POSSIBILITY FOR ANY ONE, WHO IS READY TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. We hold the words of Clare Boothe Luce to be true that ‘there are no hopeless situations; there are only men who have grown hopeless about them.’ It is also our firm belief as expressed by Edmund Burke that ‘all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’

Permit me to conclude with this soul searching question: if we do not accept what the present pop culture order is achieving with our young people, what positive and attractive alternatives are we offering them? I guess if we do not sincerely and meaningfully answer this question and deliberately do something about same, we lose our right to complain and must get ready for wilder expressions of the fruits of today’s lose pop culture, fully aided by an over democratized new media. May God help us.

(C) 2017 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUKWU’ AKINLAMI…All Rights Reserved T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com  T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com

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Domestic Violence: Memo to a Slumbering Nation

In 2011, I put my pen to paper and wrote an article which was published in The Punch of Wednesday, July 13, 2011. It was on domestic violence. I am today compelled by recent cases of domestic violence in Nigeria to revisit and publish on my blog this weekend. I read with broken heart the recent case of up and coming Yoruba actresses and pregnant Silifa Ladeji, who was beaten to death by her boyfriend for whom she was pregnant.

I believe cases like this are avoidable…I therefore invite every woman to read this piece and send it to every woman within their network. Ladies and gentlemen, with a sobering heart, I present to you my piece, Domestic Violence: Memo to a Slumbering Nation:

Cure is not my favourite philosophy of change. I believe in prevention. My philosophy for social work is that ‘enlightenment is superior to enforcement.’ While enlightenment focuses on prevention, enforcement focuses on cure. It is an age long wisdom that prevention is better than cure. The foundation of my philosophy is found in the fact that God has given man capacity to prevent any form of evil. It is my profound belief that any dimension of evil is preventable, where individual, family, organisation or nation are aware of and ready to take responsibility for the well-being of humanity.

Thus I always find as credible truth in the words of Claire Boothe that ‘there are no hopeless situations, but only hopeless people.’  I believe that our world, from creation is yet to witness and will never witness a hopeless situation, but has witnessed in torrential manner hopeless people, who have authored ‘world’s darkest hours,’ by initiating selfish agendas, standing aloof, passive and unconcerned or discharging half-hearted solutions.

Therefore doing a piece like this does not fascinate me, except as it becomes a template for prevention. Today, I write about the alleged murder of   Titilayo Arowolo by her husband Akolade Arowolo on Friday, June 24, 2011. My interest here is not the facts of the case. I guess that is the duty the judicial system and officers, who must ensure that justice is not only done, but must be seen to be done. On the same page 5 of the Punch of Thursday, June 30, 2011, where the Arowolos’ case is reported is an interesting and related caption, ‘I beat up my husband because he is irresponsible, woman tell court.’

My major concern today is how to prevent one more spouse from being killed or maimed in domestic violence. I believe that the foregoing is best achieved by taking a holistic look at the issue of domestic violence in Nigeria. My fear is that this piece may not have enough space to sit in, in this paper if it chooses to go all the way. I strongly believe that domestic violence is first a personal problem, second a family problem and finally a societal problem. In solving the problem therefore, all stakeholders, individuals, family and society must be interested in addressing the key actors (and factors) and our responsibilities, with a view to extracting viable and pragmatic solutions from the thoroughness of the process.  We must also be ready to insist on the extracted solutions through the instrumentality of enlightenment or worst case scenario by the force of law enforcement. Seeing and dealing with the full picture is always critical to preventing or curing any form of societal disequilibrium, irrespective of its magnitude.

Today, I am focusing on the individual, who are stakeholders in a home. It will also be difficult for me to focus on individuals as this is also a huge topic. I will therefore attempt to narrow myself to what should a spouse do when he or she becomes a victim of domestic violence? Let me begin by saying that there will never be any justifiable reason, why a spouse should lift his or her hand against his or her partner. The society, in its weak state, may find many excuses but it will never find a justifiable reason, which answers to the universal principles of wisdom in marriage.

It is therefore my pragmatic submission that when a spouse begins to show the slightest sign of violence, the partner must as a matter of supreme urgency look for safe external help. I deliberately use the phrase, ‘safe external help’ because I refer to taking matter of domestic violence first to those who have influence over your spouse or people, who you and your spouse have agreed as arbiter in your marital matters.   People in this category range from trusted extended family members, religious leaders and relate category.  I believe that where that fails, the victim of domestic abuse should seek help from Gender Rights focused Non-Governmental Organisations, who can involve the law enforcement agents in the process of calling an abusive spouse to order. You may want to ask why an abused spouse should go through a Non-Governmental Organisation to the police. It is clear from field experience that the Nigerian Police still erroneously see domestic violence, particularly against the woman as private family matter, in which the Police should not be involved.

Couples must have it as a prime provision of their family constitution or family code of conduct (I know many families do not have) that the issue of domestic violence is a matter beyond what the couple can handle without external intervention. The reason is clear, violence, by its character thrives on unleashing negative emotions, which answers to the animalistic instinct of human. Violence does not answer to reasoning and therefore cannot be pacified by a discussion between the parties involved. It is a universal law of discussion or negotiation that parties involved in negotiation must have mutual respect for one another. Once a partner begins to get violent with the other, it is an abuse of the partner’s dignity of human person and lack of respect.  Discussion between spouses, who are involved in domestic violence aimed at resolving the issue already lack a major universal ingredient of purposeful and result-oriented discussion, mutual respect. Therefore such discussion has failed before it takes off. In most cases, it is interrupted or ends in more violence.

I further submit that the measures advocated above are for minimal and minor cases of domestic violence. Where the cases of domestic violence become escalated and the life of the spouse is threatened, I strongly believe that the victim of domestic violence, whose life is threatened, should seek a separation, while discussion continues. The truth of the matter is that the covenant of marriage is very sacred but not as sacred as the gift of life. It takes the living to be in a marriage. A sage once says, ‘a living dog is better than a dead lion.’ Many spouses remain in physically abusive homes because of their children. While this may be noble, it is not wise. There are provisions of the law, which protects the best interest of the child in the case of an inevitable separation based on domestic violence. Many spouses are today held down in a marriage by what is called, Stockholm Syndrome, the phenomenon in which victims display compassion for and even loyalty to their abuser or captor.’ I think this is demonic syndrome and a mental damage that makes a man loyal to the source of his or her debasement.

My advocacy today may not be popular, but I believe is one of the most credible ways to prevent more deaths through domestic violence. What I have found in most cases is that, our social interventions in the Third World, (due to the fact that most members of the society are in a survival mode as most of our states have failed or are failing) are not motivated by a genuine concern to solve a social problem. In most cases, the intervention is a stepping stone to further recognition and a template for personal or organisational gains. In some other cases, our social interventions are precipitated by raw and unorganised anger (of the few, who still have little conscience) which only feed on the heat of passion. The heat of passion is better referred as zeal without knowledge. The heat of passion makes us to think in stereotypes instead of being open to the dictates of the reality on ground and the pragmatic solutions thereof.

It is important to note that the heat of passion does not breed pragmatic and strategic thinking and solutions. Its best expression is noise, which does not help to pursue cases of injustices to a logical conclusion. Only a minute few in our society today have what it takes to pursue a social cause to the logical conclusion of salvation for the society. It takes compassion, conviction and a sense of mission to make a different in any social cause. The small noise generated by the heat of passion is often assuaged by the force of time, which has the capacity to pour the cold water of nature on the hottest of emotions. But the three-fold cord of compassion, conviction and a sense of mission are only placated by the smiling sight of justice.

I hereby call on all parties, interested in fighting domestic violence and other social causes in Nigeria to embrace the three-fold cord of compassion, conviction and commitment to a sense of mission as dispensable tool in their noble causes.

Social Contract, National Security and Citizenship:Thinking Aloud

That terrorist attacks are assuming a frightening national phenomenal would not  sell a newspaper as a lead story. That Nigerians are yet to fully wake up to the reality of the dragon that is charging at our national live is discernable from the way we carry on as usual is not also news. That most of us are clueless as to the way out of the tunnel is also audible to the deaf. Above all, that our government, particularly at the Federal level have more to say than to do on this matter of national security has become a subject of  beer parlour and pepper soup joint banters(apology to Alozie Ogugbuaja) is no news.

Then what is the news? I think the news as far as I am concerned is that we the people of this greatly blessed nation do not know how powerful we are in directing the affairs of our nation aright. Unfortunately many of us still think that the ultimate power still lies with our elected representatives. I think the major problem is that we do not have an elementary understanding of the working of the state.

Though the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has for example declared thatthe welfare and the security of the people shall be the primary aim of government,’ we do not still know how to hold our elected representatives responsible for our security and welfare. As it has been with security, so it has been with welfare. Welfare is critical for security to make sense. Or what sense does security make to an empty stomach? Security is crucial to welfare. Comfort is meaningless if one has to sleep with the two eyes open. It is the combination of welfare and security that is equal to total social well-being. Therefore, when a state does not guarantee welfare and security, it is pointing us back to the state of nature.

My concern today is to see how I can show us that there power is our hands to determine our national destiny. This is the demand of true patriotism. I have spent the better part of my adult life studying the twin subject of personal and corporate change and by necessary extension nation building and social work. The truth is that the people deserve the leaders they get. The national pulse is determined by the social consciousness of the people. Please note that my views are well-researched and back by historical facts.

I therefore enjoin you to lend me a space in your social conscience to erect some social blocks, aimed at building from foundation your social consciousness.

‘Power to the people’ is one phrase that has continued to punctuate the message and struggle for change throughout the history of mankind. I submit here that the foregoing phrase suggests that the people want power. It will not also be out of social logic to conclude that the people desire for change and their agitations thereof is to enable them be in control of their collective destiny within the tenets of a modern and civil society. There are three areas where the people seek power. These three areas are backed up by God, history and law. Every revolution in human history (The French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, the struggle of the South African people for majority rule and even the recent agitations in the Middle East and North Africa, just to mention a few) has begun with the agitations for one, two or all of these three areas of power interests.

The people seek political power, economic power and social power. Political power gives the people a decisive say in governance. Economic power enables the people to satisfactorily answer the question of how to meet basic human needs. Social power gives the people the platform to enjoy and protect social amenities provided and maintained by the government to enhance their physical and mental comfort. All these three areas of power interests are inseparable triplets. The presence of one is the security of the others. It is when the foregoing are achieved that the constitutional position that ‘the welfare and the security of the people shall be the primary aim of government,’ makes any sense in a modern society.

I made bold to say that the awareness of the people of these powers and effective exercise of them is the true definition of true citizenship. I further submit that anyone, who is not aware and equipped to effectively exercise the foregoing powers in a state, is not a citizen, irrespective of what the opening of a national broadcast, ‘fellow Nigerian Citizens’ suggests.  I hope we know that one of the synonyms of the word, ‘fellow’ is the word, ‘equal.’  Imagine if you and I are equal with the man or woman voicing the common social cliché, ‘fellow Nigerian Citizens.’ If you dare believe in your equality, social status and reality will soon jolt into seeing the full picture.

Now, due to lack of proper social and political education, the majority of our people do not understand the dynamics of power, including the ones they seek. Therefore they are not strategic in their noble pursuit of political, social and economic powers. They approach their agitations either by putting their collective destiny in the hands of a social messiah, often christened, social crusader or they go out in raw anger. The latter was the approach during the June 12 Annulment, where hundreds lost their lives and yet the election remained annulled.

I submit here that in the agitation for ‘power to the people,’ we must take into consideration the conclusion of Montesquieu that ‘power does not shift except for superior power.’ Montesquieu’s apt postulation brings us to the conclusion that the whole essence of social contract is to enable the people to retain superior power. We all know that social contract, which creates a legitimate and formidable platform for the pursuits of the three kinds of powers, enumerated above, ‘implies that the people give up sovereignty to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law.’ Social contract operates to ensure no entity (government or other authorities) is as powerful and effective as the people. Therefore the idea behind the social contract is that people in a bid to retain power, decided to give their collective powers to the government at the inception of the State.

The thinking was that the power was weak and useless in the hands of one person, but becomes a weapon to the people’s advantage when it is collectively deposited in the hands of the government in a modern State structure. It is important to note that the power surrendered to government is a double-edge sword. It makes alive and kills! Until it is able to make alive and kill when necessary, it is not in the best interest of the people. It will only protect the best interest of a few, who benefit from this big loophole of one-edge-sword power dynamics. They recognize their power to vote in and vote out their leaders. They understand the meaning of representative government. In the final analysis the people surrendered their powers to the government and yet retained it.

They know that governance is not the sole proprietorship of their elected representatives, but a Social Public Liability Company, where all citizens are equal shareholders. Therefore they employ vigilance, which has been called, ‘the price of liberty.’ They keep their eyes on the affairs of the State and demand credible service from their representatives. The people understand the burden, the state, through government is created to carry culminating in a consistent and informed demand that their elected representatives at every level of government live up to the primary aims of government, the welfare and security of the people. They demand a credible agenda from the state on how it plans to meet their welfare and security. Therefore the people’s expectations, measured by the devolution of political, economic and social powers are always before them and are hardly victims of gullibility, otherwise known as blind faith and uninformed reliance on unfounded promises.

The foregoing is an ideal, which only few nations have been able to achieve. I do not think social contract operates in its real sense in Nigeria and most parts of the African continent.  In Africa, the State as represented by government has abandoned or has never taken responsibility for the political, economic and social well-being of the people. The people are used to living without the State playing its roles under the principle of social contract. The people have therefore become their own regulatory bodies. It is a pure but pathetic case of ‘everyone to himself, God for us all.’ Government and governance have lost their meanings to the people.

I think this is the template upon which we should begin our agitation and discussion at the present state of insecurity in our dearly beloved nation.

Why I Left Elisalat Blackberry Services

Respect for the hope and yearnings of customers based on brand promises is not a cardinal principle of business operation for many Nigerian businesses, not to talk of it being part of their core values. The trite sayings that ‘the customer is king’ and ‘the customer is always right’ are completely non-existent in the realities and business dictionary of many of our leading businesses in Nigeria. It is interesting to note that even companies, whose customer services were strong out Nigeria, tend to lower the standard here.

I think three reasons are responsible for service providers’ woeful performance in respect of brand promises and their pathetically poor attitude to the compliant of customers in Nigeria:

1. Ignorant Customers: a lot of Nigerians are ignorant and passive about their rights as consumers. I have found myself, countless times in situations, where I was seriously chastised or criticised by fellow customers when I tried to speak up against customer-unfriendly policies of service providers, which affected all of us. These days I have learnt to speak for myself.

2. Comatose Regulatory Bodies: the regulatory bodies that are responsible for holding service providers in critical areas of the economy responsible are not alive to their responsibilities. It is either they are compromised or ignorant.

3. It is not in the character or culture of an average Nigerian company to give their best in the best interest of the customer. For them fulfilling their brand promises and responding with an excellent attitude to the complaint of customers is not a critical success factor for their business. They benefit immensely from the ignorance of the customer and they are committed to doing all to be in the good book of the regulatory bodies. As far as they are concerned, as long as the foregoing variables are intact, it can be business as usual.

It is against this backdrop that I share with you my experience with using the Elisalat Blackberry Services. Let me say upfront that my experience with Etisalat is an index of the general disposition of telecommunication service providers in Nigeria. The truth of the matter is that their services can in some critical moments nightmarish.

Here are the particulars of errors in respect of my use of the Elisalat Blackberry Services:

Not proactive: I was on the monthly 3,000 plan for 6 months. I never received an alert informing me of when my validity will expire. I am just yanked off without notice once I don’t remember.

Slow response: in the month of January I was deactivated on the 19th. I reloaded my phone immediately and my credit was taken. It took 3 days, more than 25 calls, speaking to 2 supervisors and a threat to return my credit for the service to be restored.

A Disorganised or ineffective Database System: a lot of times I call to find out the expiration of my validity. The response is in most cases, ‘our system is down now, and we cannot access your data. Please call back in one hour.’ I tell them,’is it my fault that your system is down and you can’t get me the details I need at the moment. I think you should apologise and make it a point of duty to return my call.’ That advice never makes sense to them. They always insist you call back. In most cases when you call back, the information you need is not yet accessible and you are asked to call back again.

In many cases, my credit is yanked off without using it. I call and call and I get frustrated and leave the matter.

The last straw: after I suffered for many days to get my Blackberry Service restored on the 22nd of January, I woke up this morning, February 14, 2012 to receive a text message that my Blackberry Service had been deactivated. I called Customer Service at about 9.00AM and I was told that I was on 1,500 plan. I corrected the agent that I was on 3,000 monthly plan. The agent went further to say that I deactivated my Blackberry Services myself at about 4.30AM today. I told her that was not possible. I informed her that I went to bed at about 11.00PM yesterday and woke up at about 6.00AM this morning and that nobody was awake in my house at that time. I further explained that why would I deactivate my line. I told her that the phone is not a toy that one fiddles with and would lose consciousness of what he was doing on it. All my explanation fell on the deaf ear of the agent. She insisted on her position and promised they would call me back. I told her that it was not in their character to call back but she assured me.

At about 2.30PM, I had not received a call from them as I predicted. I called again and spoke to Agent Beatrice. She assured me the problem will be fixed. In another I hour or thereabout, I called again and spoke with Agent Benson. I told him my complaint and insisted I wanted to speak with a superior.

He transferred me to a supervisor known as Stella. She listened to me and her response was that I was the one who deactivated my phone. I rejected that fact. I explained to her as I had explained to her surbodinate in the morning. To my amazement, the supervisor did not only stand her grounds, she insisted in forcing it down my already bleeding throat. She kept saying I should listen to her and I would say ‘go and I’m listening to you.’ Then she would begin again by saying that her records show that I deactivated my Blackberry service myself. I informed her that how much can she trust her data considering the fact that one of her surbodinates told me this morning that I was on a 1,500 plan when in actual fact I’m on a 3,000 plan. Nothing made sense to her.

From our conversation, it became clear to me that what she meant by saying I should listen to her was that I should accept the fact that I was responsible for the deactivation. I rejected that and she got angry and said to me, ‘please let us handle this thing in a matured way.’ To this I responded, ‘I take personal exception to your last statement. Are you saying by rejecting a wrong assumption of your organisation, I’m being immature?’ To that she did not say I single word of apology. I repeated my displeasure and she repeated her position.

It is instructive of her anti-customer disposition that we spoke for more than 10 minutes and her primary concern was not to solve my problem, save my precious time and time of her company. Her only concern was to force me to agree that I deactivated my services myself. Since she couldn’t get me to do that our discussion was deadlocked.It is 8.04PM almost 6 hours since I spoke to Supervisor Stella, my Blackberry Services are still unjustly suspended. I am yet to receive a call on the state of affairs. I have obviously

I looked at the situation and I asked myself, what kind of customer service traning did Supervisor Stella receive and from where? What should be her primary concern when a customer complains, is it to prove her point or to solve the problem? Let us now agree that the customer is trying to be funny, is it her training to give up helping the customer and stand her grounds? How can this kind of individual be a supervisor of agents with this kind of poor and pathetic attitude to customers? If an arbiter, in person of a supervisor could display this kind of unprofessional attitude, what should we expect from her subordinates? Too many questions to be asked. I leave the rest to you.

What I cannot leave to you is the decision to take a walk from the Blackberry Services of Elisalat. I think the attitude of Supervisor Stella, being a senior officer, who knew her call was being monitored (as we are always told) but still laboriously threw caution into the whirlwind is representative of the customer service policy of Etisalat. I feel, it is nothing but adding huge insult upon a septic injury, for a service provider, who fails in its brand promises and the customer is insulted for complaining that his business is being hindered as a result of the negligence of the service provider.

I think, even if every Nigerian decide to lay down their lives for Elisalat, I deserve the right to decide the next line of action for my personal peace and economic wellness. Lastly, respect for dignity of human person demands that I take a leave from where I’m dishonured.

In view of the foregoing I announce my departure from the Blackberry Services of Etisalat.  Who is Taiwo Akinlami? What does he take himself for? What does he think his departure would do Elisalat? He must be deluded. Well, those may be a valid thinking, but they are not valid enough to rob my social conscience of its sanctity in taking a principled position in its (social conscience) defence. In respect of this position, time does not need to tell…My social conscience has also judged it and it does not need the validation of time.

I salute the courage of the likes of Supervisor Stella. I also sympathize with the customers she has tormented in the past and will still torment in the future. More grease to her elbow in area of customer deservices…oh sorry, customer service.