My Oga At The Top By Obafaiye Shem Becomes Comedy Of The Month

my oga at the top obafaiye shem

March 15, 2013 – My Oga At The Top: Obafaiye Shem, Lagos State Civil Defence Corps Commandant Turns Comedian

Few days ago, the Commandant of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps cracked the funniest jokes of 2013 after he forgot the name of his boss and the organization’s website address.

During an interview on Channels TV’s breakfast show, Obafaiye Shem couldn’t mention his organisation’s website address.

Embarrassing, humiliating and downright shameful — the two-minute scenario Nigerians and the whole world watched on live TV when the Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) Obafaiye Shem could not mention the organizations official website.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily,Shem when asked what the website was simply said ‘www.nscdc.’
FYI the correct url to the NSCDC is ‘www.nscdc.gov.ng’.

Asked to mention the NSCDC’s web address, Mr Shem said “I cannot categorically tell you one now.” Probed further to name the organisation’s website, the commandant said the address is: www.nscdc.

A Channels Television’s reporter checked the web address and noticed that it was incorrect. Further search on the internet showed that the correct web address for the Civil Defence Corp is www.nscdc.gov.ng

Watch the video below

My Oga At The Top Video

Below is a report from Sahara Reporter on it…

The creative humour of the young Nigerian is on rampage with the joke now interpreted with several images courtesy of Photoshop splashed all over Facebook, Twitter and BBM.

While we may be having a good laugh over my oga at the top at the moment, the reality behind this public show of shame surpasses the humour by far.

Before we even go any further, has anyone realised that many top politicians, CEOs, and men of the Armed Forces these days can’t grant interviews without the exercise turning into a media gaffe? However you choose to look at it, this problem is a national crisis, in my opinion, especially since even our president is guilty in this regard, anyone in doubt please watch the Amanpour interview again.

My concern though is what our definition Leadership has become in the Nigeria. Our definition is simple: My ‘Oga at the top’.

What we have adopted as a nation, intentionally or otherwise, is the ‘Great man theory’ of leadership. The theory states that the leader is the great man we all answer to and he can do no wrong. This theory is perhaps why our country is the way it is.

The ‘oga at the top’ is the one who calls the shots, no one else. Every decision is taken solely by him, delegation is a foreign word. Followership in Nigeria is thus described as an uncompromising resolve to be loyal to a leader in any circumstance, following blindly.

Indeed promotion in the Nigerian Civil Service is hugely dependent on your loyalty to ‘the oga at the top’ initiative does not really count. If a follower shows any hint of initiative, he may be considered ‘too wise’. From that day forward, the Oga at the top would likely label him an enemy who is after his job.

So when the Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) cannot give the website of this organization correctly, don’t be surprised. Complacency is at work, the ‘great man’ doesn’t need to be at the top of his game, as he is now an oga at the top, even though he has an Oga at the top, who may likely not know the address himself, as we speak.

I personally believe that Leadership is communication, collaboration and continuity. However the leadership structure in the Nigerian setting lacks all three. If the leadership of the NSCDC take communication seriously, the web address would be at the commandant’s fingertips.

The Oga at the top mentality can even be found in religious circles. The religious leader is seen as an anointed man who is superior to others because of his anointing. It becomes a problem to address James by his first name, now he is Pastor James and if he has founded many parishes he is now Daddy.

This ‘man of God’ replaces God for several people and they take what he says wholeheartedly without embarking on a research on their own. This is why fake churches defraud members and fake prophets sleep with female members, if you are wondering what charm is at work, it is the Great-man theory of leadership.

“Our Pastor, the ‘Oga at the top’ said we should do it. What choice do we have?” they would say. You then wonder if these people consult their bibles at all, to check what they are being told.

The father at home is the ‘Oga at the top’ who is out to rule his family with a high-hand, punishing at will without taking time to explain what wrong the children did. He enjoys how he is feared by even his wife, confusing fear for respect, and in the end the children grow into dysfunctional adults eventually repeating the cycle which their parents began.

Please don’t get me wrong, leaders deserve a whole lot of respect, but leadership does not make one man superior over another. Leadership is collaboration and followers play a huge role in the success of any team.

In Nigeria, now is the time to redefine leadership, the ‘oga at the top’ great-man ideology needs to die fast for this nation to move forward.
Some of this ideology is rooted in our tradition with strange beliefs, for example, that ‘it is wrong to correct an elder’ or that; ‘old people don’t lie’. In certain contexts, this ideology applied can work well, but in practice Nigeria must move beyond this belief, a younger person can caution an older person with respect and yes old people do lie sometimes!

Leaders and potential leaders must have enough self-esteem to separate the position they occupy from who they are. A leader should be humble enough to admit ignorance, and where a follower bails the team out of a problem, a leader should give credit to that person.

Can you imagine what would have happened, had Obafaiye Shem simply said: “I can’t recall right now what the website is, but once you get on Google and search for us, you won’t miss it.”?

This ‘Oga at the top’ mentality must end fast!

[By Channels TV & Sahara Reporter]

17 thoughts on “My Oga At The Top By Obafaiye Shem Becomes Comedy Of The Month

  1. Yes oo. Dea is absolutely nothing dat is impossible in NAIJA. Imagine the head of NSCDC couldn’t remember the name of his boss and official webiste. Too Disgraceful For Nigeria o. And after he will collect a huge amount of money as his salary. The video is really funny bt still a big Shame on Nigeria.

  2. May God deliver us from these ogas at d top dat does nt care about d welfare of d populace… As for Shem, don’t let us hold only d oga at d top responsible, every individual is to be blame cus those at d top are our products.

  3. Hi
    Can we also try to not corrupt out younger generation by spelling correctly when we write, for example Victor spells their as dea kehind also thinks that ” dat” should replace “that” I am not an English major, but this sort of thing is in vogue and needs to stop because it sends the wrong signals to kids reading these write-ups

  4. I am quite surprised to learn that the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) has suspended – Mr. Obafaiye Shem, the Lagos State Commandant of the NSCDC after his infamous interview at Channels TV. By Jove, that is an overkill for someone who simply got a web address wrong and invoked the infamous “my oga at the top” phrase. So if a public servant fumbles during an interview regardless how innocuous the error is, he risks losing his job, while felons like Rasheed Maina are left to keep their job until Mr. President’s office is threatened by the national assembly.
    While, the “my oga at the top” interview, provides the nation a fun way to escape the daily pressures and frustrations associated with daily life in Nigeria, however, I do not think this is a major offense per se and Mr. Shem should not be treated as an offender.

    • it’s quite ignominous 2 find out dat most leaders(ogaz at d top) dnt hv vital details abt their respective offices.It is truly a great shame 2 notice dat we hv such crop of leaders,i strongly suggest dat d 9jarian Govt shld elect or select d best.

  5. The statement that he is a Yoruba man is practically incorrect he lives in katsina but works in lagos and I’ll ask you not to make it again it is this type of words that leads to ethnic strifes. Anyways,it’s a revelation of the rotten state in which this country is:where those who don’t deserve things get them,I mean how can a whole state commandant be so shallow about where he works,how the HELL did he climb through the ranks?

  6. NO MATTER WHAT TRIBE HE IS,MY OGA AT THE TOP IS A NIGERIAN PDGEON ENGLISH.. AND IF HE HAS SPOKEN DAT IN NIGERIA AND EVERY NIGERIAN UNDESTANDS, THEN HE IS RIGHT!

  7. Are u people satisfied now? D man has been suspended from office Kids ashamed to go to school Wife ridicule at d market May Almighty God judge I strongly believe u at Channels deliberately ridicule d man immediately u realised his limitation Mark my words these is d beginning of d end of Channels by His grace

  8. well actually, if i have authority i would have ordered for the closure of channels tv indefinately.this is totally nonsense, how can u just implicate someone like that just bcos of maybe someone said my oga at d top or what, and even what is d big deal in someone forgetting d website of his organisatio.to me dis is nonsense

    • I can’t agree more with you; the conduct of the interviewers demonstrates gross professional misconduct. The rules of conducting an interview clearly stipulates that when you discover that your interviewee is ‘stuck’, you ‘rescue’ him/her, and there’s an array of technical steps you, as an interviewer, can take to achieve this without your viewers (in this particular case) noticing the mechanics. Except of course, if the interview is investigative in nature. Pitifully, it appeared as though the Channels interviewers were deliberately all out to humiliate the gentleman. That was grossly unprofessional.

  9. I suggest that channels television should be scrap off, because the interviewers were not exhibiting professionalism. Their mission was to ridicule the Man. And moreover that was the products from OUR SO CALLED EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. And lastly, there was nothing wrong is speech, because the interviewers them self speaks pigeon english every now and then. So why acting as if they are not nigerians. Abeg delete channels TV.

  10. Hahahahahahahahhahahhahahahhahahahahhhahahhaha.my oga at the top.nawa oo.mr shem is the funniest man ever.common website,thats how illiterates will be corrupting our society.

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